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Backpack essentials for back to school

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

It has been over a year since many UH students have had in-person classes, and with that gap it can be a challenge to recall what the backpack essentials are.

Now is the time to dust off those deserted backpacks we know are lost in your closet and start replenishing them with school necessities.

When packing, you want to travel light, but not too light where you are not prepared. We did the thinking for you and made a list of things we believe are worth filling your backpack.

Sunscreen and sunglasses

It is important to wear sunscreen and sunglasses on campus during the beginning of the fall semester because the walk to classes can be from one side of campus to the other can include intense exposure to sunlight.


Houston has unpredictable weather. Even after checking the forecast before heading out to campus, the predictions may alter throughout the day. Keep a mini umbrella inside your backpack, and you have one less thing to worry about.

Reusable Water bottle

UH encourages students to use reusable water bottles to save money and conserve plastic. Stationed in many buildings on campus are water bottle refill fountains. Keeping water on hand is vital for students walking on campus as temperatures remain in their summer high. The last thing anyone wants to be is dehydrated.

Class material

Check out Blackboard and prepare to bring any required materials to class like textbooks, class supplies, a copy of the syllabus, something to write with, a laptop and your laptop charger. It is never fun to ask the people sitting next to you for supplies.

Hand sanitizer and face masks

If the pandemic has taught students anything, it is cleanliness. As if many students did not already carry one of those fun hand sanitizers from Bath and Body Works, it can be beneficial this fall as students can be exposed to thousands of people each day. Although UH does not mandate face masks, students might feel a greater sense of security when wearing them inside buildings and in smaller classrooms.


Despite Houston’s scorching hot weather, keeping sweaters on campus will come in handy as many classrooms and buildings with lower temperatures to beat the heat. No one wants to hear teeth chattering in the middle of a lecture.


Although UH has plenty of on-campus dining options, packing a snack can save students a few bucks and help you hold off until your next meal. Sometimes your day may get so busy it might be the only thing you eat for hours, so a healthy and satisfying snack is advisable.

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