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Back to School Essentials

Ellen Zacarias

Back to school essentials

With fall classes coming up, getting back into the school grind can be tough after summer vacation. Here is a list of things that can help you get through the day when you get back to school.

Portable Phone Charger / Portable Power Bank

Whether you’ve been draining your cell phone’s battery by catching Pokémon or using GPS apps like Google Maps, a portable phone charger is going to come in handy to get you through your day—especially when you’re back to school and on the go.
Portable power banks come in many colors and store varying amounts of energy. Many of the inexpensive ones store about one full charge for your cell phone. Larger ones can store three or more charges, but they tend to be bulkier and heavier than the one-charge power banks that you can toss into your pencil bag or purse.

Daily Sunscreen

While this may be a given for people who already do it regularly, it’s a habit that I only recently began. One of the most common pieces of advice the elders have given me is to wear sunscreen. Whether you live with ample sunshine or ample clouds, when you go back to school, daily sunscreen is a must for preventing skin damage and premature wrinkles (your skin will thank you in ten years—or sooner!) You can get a lighter formula and apply it to your face, neck, chest, arms, hands…anywhere the sun hits.
You should still wear daily sunscreen on cloudy, snowy or rainy days. The goal is to prevent UV damage to your skin—clouds only block about 20% of the sun’s UV rays (so your skin is still being pelted with 80% of the sun’s UV rays).
Make sure to protect your lips too! I’ve known people to wear sunscreen but forget to protect their lips (either with sunscreen or lip-balm with sun protection). They suffered swollen, dry and flaky lips which resulted in a trip to ER due to the pain.
Ultimately, it’s best to get in the habit of wearing sunscreen everyday.

Read: Staying Safe on Campus is Not Necessarily a Right—Apparently


Thank You Cards

Have some pretty stationery ready for when a friend goes out of their way to do something for you, someone gives you a gift or a professor writes you a letter of recommendation. Writing a “thank you” card is a way to show appreciation that goes beyond an email or a text message.
“Thank you” cards are often inexpensive when purchased in a box (as opposed to individually). You can find them in places like your college bookstore or Target’s $1 section (eight cards for a $1 pack of “thank you” cards is a fantastic deal and their designs are often beautiful and fresh-looking).

Academic Planner

Stay on top of your assignments and deadlines with an academic planner.
*Bonus: You can keep track of club meetings, appointments and hangout plans too!

Learn about: How to Set Academic Goals 

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