Whether you want to hear it or not, back to school season is just around the corner.
Ugh. We know.
Summer has gone too fast and you probably haven’t had time to tick off everything on your bucket list, whether that was to binge every episode of Gossip Girl for the third time or to travel the world on a $100 budget.
If you have managed to do either of those, go you, gurl!
It’s the last thing you want to think about, but with the next college season approaching fast, we thought we’d put together some essentials you need to think about before the bell rings…
We’re not saying that you need to replace everything in your wardrobe for the new season, but purchasing a few new pieces can give you confidence and help you kick off the new school year with a bang.
Head to your local shopping centre and have some fun trying on new styles – Back to School Season is the perfect opportunity to change up your look.
Having said that, don’t underestimate the damaging effects of the fast fashion industry, and consider purchasing second-hand clothing from charity shops and thrift stores rather than buying online.
Even better, hang out with your friends and organize a clothing swap – each of you can take five t-shirts or dresses that you no longer want, and trade with your friends to get some new looks without having to spend any money.
You’ll also be benefitting the planet.
Whilst we’re on the subject of fashion, consider experimenting with old clothing and make some modifications for the season.
Old jeans, for example, could be turned into a fancy pair of shorts for the warmer months, and an old blouse can be tye-dyed if you’re feeling like a hipster.
Try something new and see what happens – that’s what being a student is all about!
Next up, makeup.
If your school, college, or university allows you to wear makeup, you’ll probably want to stock up on some basics before you head back into the classroom.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on high-end makeup or accessories – products from the drug store or supermarket are just as good and can be kicked up for a fraction of the cost of a MAC lipstick, for example.
Shop around and see what you can find – you might be surprised.
We’ve got tonnes more tips on saving money when buying new makeup for school:
- Try before you buy. Many makeup counters offer samples or trial products.
- Use what you already own before you splash out on new makeup products.
- Buy in bulk or with your friends to save money. Kits are often more affordable.
- Collect free samples. Many cosmetics companies give products away!
- Make your own. You can create cleansers, moisturizers and more on a budget!
Whatever you’re studying, it’s important to have a backpack to lug around your laptop and textbooks – and unlike makeup, it’s often wise to spend more on a quality backpack that will stand the test of time.
Stores like Costco regularly run promotions on high-quality, durable backpacks that may not look stylish, but offer the comfort and space you need day-to-day.
We know that a big back rucksack isn’t going to look great when you’re wearing a pink tee and a skirt, but you need to be practical when you’re at school – a small handbag won’t cut it.
For a day-to-day backpack for school with room for your textbooks, laptops, camera, lunch and accessories, we recommend a backpack that’s around 2500 cubic inches.
If you have to carry more books than a typical student, go for the next size up (2500 to 3999 cubic inches).
It doesn’t matter whether you buy your clothes and backpack from Amazon or a cute little handmade store in the middle of nowhere – the chances are that someone else will have the same outfit or handbag as you.
And if you want to stand out from the crowd, that can suck.
One way to personalize your outfit and accessories is to purchase some embroidered patches and stitch them onto your backpack and denim jacket.
Not only does this give you an opportunity to rock clothing that’s totally unique, but it helps you to express yourself and build a style that works for you.
Those little finishing touches are a great way to show off who you are without going over the top – and they can serve as mascots if you’re feeling nervous.
Looking for badge ideas? We’ve got tonnes for you.
Why not buy a pair of cats eyes patches so you can pay tribute to your cute little kitten at home, or a pair of sexy red lips to show the guys that you’re up for hanging out!?
The best part about personalizing your clothing with patches is that it’s an ongoing process, and you can add to your collection over the years, and keep your backpack and accessories as a token of your time in college or university…
If you’re not particularly crafty, don’t worry.
As well as stitching patches onto your clothing, you can purchase Velcro to attach to your clothing and patches so they can be removed and washed independently, and you can purchase glue that keeps your patches clinging on. We recommend shopping around, or asking a friend or family member to do the stitching for you!
Finally, a quick word on water.
We’re going to sound like your mum, but it’s so important to stay hydrated when you’re studying, so treat yourself to a fancy water bottle that you can carry around campus with you.
Single-use plastic water bottles are not only expensive but they’re so bad for the environment and have caused significant damage to our oceans, so choose a reusable water bottle made from sustainable materials that you can refill on the fly.
If you’re fussy about the types of water you’ll drink, then lookout for a water bottle with a built-in filter that will remove the chemicals and minerals that give water its taste.
In some locations, hard water can leave a strange taste in your mouth, but most filters will remove those chemicals and minerals, like a BRITA bottle or a bobble water bottle from Amazon.
Prefer flavoured drinks? Throw in a couple of slices of lemon or orange before you leave for college, and you’ll have delicious fruity water all day long.
You can carry some more slices in a tub in your backpack if you want to add some more flavour halfway through the way, and you can purchase squeezy water enhancers that change the flavour of your bottled water.
Wherever you’re off to, we wish you the best of luck back at school, and hope these suggestions were useful…
It might feel like the end of the world right now, but a couple of weeks back in the classroom and it’ll feel like your summer holidays never really happened!