I Want To Go Back To School: What’s In My Backpack?

I know, I know. I’m crazy. I’m weird. And I’m serious.

School is just… comfortable. It’s the only thing I know how to work my way through. Teachers are always there to guide me and to tell me what to do. I know what will happen today and the next day and maybe the whole week. On weekends, my friends and I would either gather in someone’s apartment for a movie marathon or drink and dance to the same, horribly-mixed songs.

And then the cycle continues.

Attend my classes. Go back to the dorm. Lie down. Eat dinner with friends. Go back to the dorm. Finish homework. Sleep (optional).

Unlike the “real world,” school has a routine. Unpredictability can only be reduced to mere tests in most cases. There are plans and timetables. It’s organized and, oftentimes, well-thought-out.

The “real world” adults love warning graduates about is the complete opposite. It’s… It’s hell, really. Whatever plans I had were all taken down. That’s all. That’s why I’m sitting here writing about wanting to go back to school.

Anyway, here’s a post about my college bag.

I went to college with the goal of turning into this ‘girly’ girl, so I brought some of my mom’s handbags with me. I thought that maybe it would be an achievable first step. Of course, it wasn’t reasonable. Carrying notebooks and books inside a leather handbag isn’t really smart. I knew that bag wasn’t meant to last.

And it didn’t. Two weeks into college, I knew I had to replace it with a backpack that could survive carrying my laptop, books, notebooks, and papers for four years.

So I headed to the only mall in town and browsed for cute backpacks. It had to be black because I didn’t want to think about paying for laundry. Then I found this black, canvas Jansport with two front pockets. It was cute and comfortable to wear. The material was also soft, making it really good for hugging. Four years later, the backpack’s still… a backpack. Sure, it’s worn out and a little bit dirty, but it doesn’t have tears or loose threads.

I got through college with this bag. I love it so much that I’m so emotionally attached to it. I’ve made so many memories with this bag on my back. It was there when I climbed the stairs to the fourth floor for every single day. It was there when my three-year crush started holding my hand. It was there when I had a full face of makeup and barely walking in 7-inch heels. It was there when I defended my final thesis, and even on the day that I passed the final draft. I’ve gone to so many places with this bag: a lot of beaches and falls, Davao, Cebu, Bohol, and Hong Kong.

I’m telling you, this bag was always full of different stuff for different situations. But as a college student, there were things that I needed to carry around most of the time.

What was in my college backpack?

What's in my bag?

It doesn’t look much, but it’s actually pretty heavy. I had a pencil case instead of bringing only one pen to class. I had three different notebooks because I’m a Virgo. My laptop was also with me most of the time during my last few semesters when we were writing non-stop.

Actual Notebook

The notebook in the photo was the one I had during the first semester of my third year. It was my favorite out of all the notebooks I used. I remember this notebook being full of notes about literary tradition. It was the semester of the classics [read as: the beginning of our suffering]. The semester that taught us how to read three books in one day, how to nourish ourselves with pancit canton and coffee, and how to take an exam with one hour of sleep then have enough energy to go to the beach after.

I had fun with that notebook, though. I was so happy that we were finally discussing poems, stories, and plays. Gone were the not-so-important-subjects-that-we-discussed-in-high-school-but-still-took-up-two-years-of-college classes. This notebook had words and not formulas.

Drawing Notebook

We all know that not every class is worth listening to. Sometimes, people need something to keep themselves from sleeping or something that’ll help them pay attention to what the professor is saying. This was my something.


Specifications: regular laptop, cheap, slow, but will never shut down in the middle of staring at a white blank page.

Pencil Case

I didn’t start carrying this around until my last semester in college because it was only then that I started learning how to draw. My pencil case contains my highlighters, brush pens, felt tip pens, three pencils, and a single ballpen. It was my sister’s old pencil case from her school. I think I kept it with me mostly because it gave me a sense of home.


College journal

Everything had to be in the journal. If it’s not in the day’s schedule, it’s not happening… unless I get really sad and exhausted that a break would be necessary. Also, pictures! And feelings! And people! I needed a place to paste pictures of the fun stuff in my life.

I got this journal from another local craft store that I love. It has one page allotted for every day of the year, but I ended up not following the dates. The Earth just doesn’t have enough trees for that. Instead, I divided the pages into sections for each day of the week. By doing this I’m able to maximize the space and have a clue with how much work I need to do for the week. Plus, it’s satisfying to look at a page with a lot of tasks being marked as done.

Is there anything you want to say about going to school and/or college? or, better yet, the “real world.” Post them in the comments section below!


I don't believe in astrology but... I'm peak Virgo.

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39 Responses

  1. Vaishali says:

    This post brings back so many memories.

  2. Tanya Perri says:

    I completely understand. I remember feeling the same way. It’s a big transition!

  3. Meygan says:

    I’m definitely there with you – the older I get, the more I want to go back to school. Great bag, btw!

  4. In addition to everything you listed here, I always had candies, biscuits and a novel in my backpack (I’m addicted to candies, gums and biscuits). Everyone knew me as the bis-can girl (biscuit-candy) and would always come to me for some.
    On the constant need to go back to school: this girl hated school and everything it represents. I’ve never nursed the dream of going back to school for any reason in the world since I graduated. However, I’m more keen to take/learn skills (self-paced) that are relevant to my business or work so I don’t waste my time acquiring degrees I don’t need or won’t use.
    And I think we also need a form of a routine (personally created) to help us survive and make the most of our days in the “real world” that is constantly making demands of you yet giving so little.

    This was a good and easy read.


  5. MELISSA AY says:

    Good luck with school. I am happy for you that you are going back to school. I just want to add one thing tho 🙂 you do not want the “real life” to be routine like school, trust me 🙂 It is so much exciting, and fun like it is 🙂
    Enjoy your college life!

  6. Niki says:

    Sometimes I wish I could go back to school! This post brings back so many memories..

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