Back to School/Uni Bag Essentials

By: Fadila

Maybe it’s because I’m paranoid, or maybe it’s because I’m a control freak, or maybe it’s because I’m both, but I’ve yet to find myself in an uncomfortable situation due to both of those qualities. A couple of weeks ago, I was out with a friend and she told me: “nefsy marra te7sal karsa w el solution maykonsh in your bag”. Honestly, I have anything and everything in my bag, so yes, my paranoia saved me, and I’m here to tell you everything you might ever need for any “sticky situations”.

 

1- Bag Organizers so Your Arms Could Stop Hurting

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I ain’t digging in my entire backpack for one item, nu uh. I’ve got mine from Miniso, they’re sold in 3s at 150 LE, translucent, good quality, AND affordable. Each pouch is for a specific set of products or things, you choose where to put what depending on your personality. Having bag organizers makes reaching for anything much simpler and it leaves no room for losing anything, wasting time, or forgetting anything at home. Personally, I have four;  I’ve dedicated one for hygiene and meds, one for cables and electronics, one for beauty, and one for my notepads.

 

2- POWER BANK

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You cannot just not have a power bank. I have one of those with multiple holes to charge a few things at a time – iPad, phone, etc – and all the while have the power bank’s charger with me too, just in case I forgot to charge it the night before. Today, everything we do – assignments, some exams, homework, papers, surveys, research – are on some form of electronic device that has internet access. Just to prevent disasters, especially if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to walk around with chargers, a power bank solves all of your problems. Make sure to buy a good quality one regardless of the price, it’s an investment, buy something durable, something that can take your heavy usage and also something that’s not bulky too. Virgin Megastores sell some pretty neat ones at a price range of 500 – 1000 LE.

 

3- Chargers, Chargers, Chargers – AND EARPHONES

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Well, you need at least the chargers’ wires if you’re going to be using the power bank. Coil them for minimum space usage using an elastic band, doing so also means you will not ever have to waste time detangling charger wires ever again. I don’t need to say why earphones are important right?

 

4- Skip the Wallet – Get you a Mini Pouch

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National ID, Credit Card, Student ID, Driving License, Car License, and coffee/lunch cash are honestly too small for you to carry around your whole wallet with you, it’s also uselessly heavy and takes up space in your bag. I have a pretty little mini pouch that’s honestly tiny, I always keep it in the inside zip of my bag, that has all of those cards and whatever other important cards I hold. Including parking lot tickets 🙂 It just makes life easier and leaves a lot more space for much more useful things.

 

5- Dear Period and Headache, Screw You; I’ve got Meds and Pads!

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I walk around with meds, yes, I actually do. I’ve always got Brufen, Panadol, Visceralgine, and Paramol on me. That is in the case of a headache, Aunt Flo, or a minor stomach ache. I know very well how much and when I can take those though, it’s important to know and consult your physician as to when and how much you can take of those, Panadol is when I have mild headaches, Visceralgine is for when Aunt Flo kicks in, but when it gets bad it’s either Paramol or Brufen. Oh and I always always always have pads on me, Always Diamond usually, because the absorption is lit and they’re ultra long, just in case I’m wearing a light colored bottom like grey sweatpants or a white skirt.

 

6- Tissues, Wipes, and Sanitizer

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I’m not a clean freak at all, but Egypt is so undeniably dirty, I just can’t help it. One of my bag organizers always has a small pack of tissues, a Dettol mini wipes pack, and Easy Clean Care sanitizer. In the case of spills, dirty hands from eating and no bathroom, needing to use the loo but finding it dirty, etc. Honestly, the situations are endless, they take up as much space as your huge heavy wallet did, this is such a better replacement!

 

7- My Beauty Bag

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  • Mini roller deodorant and body splash for post Gym class or in the case of extreme sweating from the scorching sun.
  • Mascara, Lipstick, Eyeliner (Kohl), and Makeup Remover, in case your makeup got messed up or removed for whatever reason, don’t fret, just go to the bathroom and fix it in no time, no need to run around like a headless chicken.
  • Hand Cream, if you’ve got a lab, I promise your hands will smell like shit so it’s useful then. Oh, and it also helps when you have really dry skin, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
  • SUNSCREEN – my dermatologist recently scolded me for not wearing any sunscreen in this heat, the sun is so harsh it will mess up your skin regardless of your skin type, La Roche Posay’s new 50+ SPF sunscreen is a bit expensive but it’s tiny and it works like a charm!
  • Chapstick – Labello anyone? The stick lasts for such a long time, it’s perfect to carry around and it’s affordable. Regardless of whether you wear makeup or not, stress leads to dryness of lips and that’s both annoying and bad, so really, just keep it on you and moisturize your lips whenever you can.
  • NAIL POLISH – okay this is not an essential but I almost always have a bottle of nail polish on me, sometimes it’s french, sometimes it’s some crazy color, it doesn’t really matter, what matters is, if I’m bored in class, I have something to busy my hands with if I don’t want to work 🙂
  • Hand Mirror, I have a vintage Dior one my grandma handed down to me and I am so in love with it! It works when you don’t want to look like an idiot holding your phone camera up to your face and taking pictures so you can see whatever is bothering you…plus, you can use it to apply your makeup better!

 

8- With Notepads, You Will Never Forget Anything Again!

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I hold 3 small notepads in one organizer, a to do list from YM Sketch, a pocket sized notebook by Mofakera, and a mini year planner by M Box. Obviously, I don’t need to explain the purpose and importance of each 🙂

 

9- Stainless Water Bottle

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Yes, not plastic, stainless, plastic harms the environment, stainless is more durable, costs less, and doesn’t harm the environment as much. Hydration is important, thus, so is a stainless water bottle. Kefaya plastic disposables baa cause they’re harmful af.

 

10- Metal Straw

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Don’t look at me that way, yes, buy a metal (stainless) straw, you can find one on local yogi, vegan, and kickass entrepreneur Amina Ayman’s launching brand Urban Earthlings (@urbanearthlingsegypt) or www.urbanearthlings.com . Why metal straws? BECAUSE PLASTIC IS GOING TO KILL US ALL! Yes, so please to an active role in saving our planet and making sure we don’t all die by 2066, thanks.

 

11- Travel Mug

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Yes, this is an essential, next time you stop by your school/uni cafeteria/coffee shop skip the paper cups and ask them to brew your favorite drink in your own travel mug, not only does this save money, but it also contributes to saving the planet – AND it keeps your drink hot/cold for a much longer time.

 

I know those things sound like much, but they’re really not, you can pick and choose whatever you wish to carry around based on your own personality and priorities, I did say that I’m paranoid after all. My life motto when it comes to essentials and sticky situations is: “better safe than sorry”. Hope y’all feel ready for a year full of growth and joy. I wish you the best. Remember to raise your head high and walk with pride. Sending you lots of healing and love, till next time. 

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