What’s in My University Bag

What’s in My University Bag

I’ve always loved reading or watching “What’s in My Bag” posts and videos – I’m a bit nosy and love seeing what other people carry around with them. I always knew that at some point I would write my own post since I started my blog. However, I had so many ideas that I never got around to it, until now! Since I’m heading back to University for my final year this month, I thought it would be perfect to show you what’s in my University bag.

You get to have a nosy around my day-to-day Uni bag, while also seeing what are the absolute essentials after 3 years of learning what I need and what I don’t need. Whenever you start a new journey, whether it’s traveling, or moving, or going to University, sometimes you feel tempted to over-pack. I certainly do! I always think that it is better to be over-prepared, than find yourself stuck for something. Over the years I have found that really, you don’t need to take as much to Uni as you may think.

In previous years, I have used various backpacks to take all my things in. This year, I will be doing a lot of traveling back and forth from home to Uni each day, so I went out and bought myself something different.

what's in my university bag

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here before, so for all those who don’t know, I love tartan. I’m obsessed with it! I’m not sure if it’s the Scottish in me or it’s just a look that I love, but I do love it. So, I picked up this gorgeous blue and green tartan bag from Accessorize. I’ve gone with a tote bag this year as I think it will be a lot easier to pull out notepads, pens, my laptop etc out of an open-style bag like this.

For someone who will be traveling a lot, this is going to great for studying on the go. I won’t need to faff around with trying to open my backpack and find what I’m looking for. This year, I can clearly see where everything is, and I can slip things in and out quickly.

What I love about this bag is that it has a smaller zip bag inside! It’s thin and black, and separates the bag into two. However, it is only attached to the ends, so you can slip things underneath it at the bottom of the bag. My worry with open tote bags is that all your valuables are on show and vulnerable, but this zip bag is great to conceal your keys and purse, and anything else you want to keep out of sight!

what's in my university bag

The first thing I have in my bag this year is a pencil case. In past years, I’ve just left pens to roll around my bag or put them in separate compartments within the bag. They’ve got all jumbled, and end up in different places that it’s just too much effort to try and find a pen. This year, I’m using this cute make-up bag as a pencil case!

I’ve popped a few essentials in there, but I’ve learnt not to overload it. You may think you need your entire coloured pen and highlighter collections, but you don’t. Trust me. Leave those at home for study sessions where you can get really into the presentation of your notes – unless you decide to study this hard between lectures, at the library. (You won’t – again, trust me. You will get distracted by friends, food or go down a deep, dark YouTube hole. Procrastination is a disease.)

what's in my university bag

I picked up some simple, flexible notebooks this year. I really love flexible notebooks for Uni! Hardcover notepads, I find, are a lot more difficult to write in, especially when you’re over halfway through and it doesn’t want to open fully. I find myself trying to hold back the other half of the notebook just to write! For something you’ll be writing in for hours at a time, every single day for months, this isn’t ideal. I’d really recommend either flexible notebooks, or ring-binded notebooks.

The first two I got from my local Flying Tiger. They’re so simple, and very beautiful colours. Flying Tiger had some great stationery in this year, and I was torn for ages between what notepads to buy. Unfortunately they didn’t have enough different colours left in stock to buy four of them, so I only bought two.

what's in my university bag

After buying those notebooks, I headed to WH Smith to see what they had. I picked up these two and I love them. They’re still flexible and simple, but have a little more detail on the covers compared to the ones from Flying Tiger. They ended up all running with a pink and blue theme! That was unintentional, but I’m pretty happy with the 4 I chose.

This summer I bought myself a label maker, and so I labelled my notebooks using that. It’s a really cute embossing label maker that I bought off of Amazon, and I’m having a ball with it. It would’ve been fine just to write my course names on, but I think this looks way cuter!

what's in my university bag

Another few things I’ve added into my bag are these. Firstly, I have the most recent Flow magazine! I love these magazines – they’re so inspiring and such interesting reads, but also come with creative, cool activities and freebies every month. I picked this up from WH Smith while I was there, too. If you think this sounds like something you’d enjoy, I recommend having a look next time you’re in one to see if you can pick up a copy of Flow! I know that Sainsbury’s stocks them, too!

Sometimes you’ll find yourself with spare time between lectures, but not enough time to bring out the study books. Instead of sitting on my phone, I’d rather read something meaningful. So, I’m popping this in my bag for those moments!

The next is a plain notebook from Paperchase. Again, I’ve labelled this one, and it is just for general note taking. I’ll be writing stuff that relate to my courses, but aren’t lecture material. Like: separate coursework, important days I need to remember, or days where lectures aren’t on. The smaller things that I still need to pay attention to, but wouldn’t fit in my lecture notes book.

what's in my university bag

Lastly, I’ve popped this cute Cath Kidston bag in there. This holds little bits of medicine and anything you might need on the go. I have things like cold and flu tablets (a MUST), pain killers, plasters and bonjela (I get stress ulcers, lol). I also have an emergency scrunchie, and a packet of tissues. Another must!

Fresher’s Flu is alive and real, and it doesn’t just hit the Freshers. Mid-way through the year, you’re guaranteed to get a nasty cold/flu and stress colds are also a thing. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, mentally prepare yourself to be physically run down at least once each semester.

Apart from my laptop that I’ll take in some days, that’s everything that is going into my University bag this year! I hope you enjoyed this reading this post. And I hope that if you’re heading to/back to University this year, that this post can help you decide what to pack for yourself.

Is there anything you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

~ Beka

Other blog posts you might like: Printkick Stationery Review | Embossed Leather Journal Review

what's in my university bag | Pinterest



  1. September 16, 2018 / 9:13 am

    I love a whats in my bag post! And your uni bag is SO efficient and organised. I’m terrible at packing and just throw everything into a giant tote and then can never find anything. I must steal some of your ideas – and by that I mean separate small essentials into little bags!

    Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

    • Beka
      December 21, 2018 / 10:55 am

      Thank you! I think this is the most organised my bag has been all of my uni career, and it was actually surprisingly easy to maintain! I’d really recommend small bags for certain things rather than have them getting squashed at the bottom of your bag – like you said, it can be so difficult to find things sometimes!

  2. Soffy S
    September 16, 2018 / 9:58 am

    This post just brought back my memories of my uni days! Like you I absolutely love these kind of posts too and have a nosey around other people’s bags! Those notebooks are just so pretty!

    Soffy // themumaffairs.blogspot.com

    • Beka
      December 21, 2018 / 11:01 am

      Thank you so much! I love them, I think these kind of posts make us a good kind of nosey 😂

  3. September 16, 2018 / 11:36 am

    Those notebooks are so cute, I love the way you’ve labelled them too. I’m definitely an over-packer for uni, but you’ve inspired me to organise my bag a bit better this year.

    Megan // https://pixieskiesblog.wordpress.com/

    • Beka
      December 30, 2018 / 2:54 pm

      Thank you! I’m obsessed with labelling things with that label maker, it makes everything look way cuter
      ☺️ Aww, I’m so glad!

  4. September 16, 2018 / 12:11 pm

    Your notebooks are so cute, I especially love the striped one you use for stats! I’ll have to hit Smiths to pick one up!

    • Beka
      December 30, 2018 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you! I found that those two WH Smith’s books actually fell apart by the end of the year – the glue disintegrated and it made my notes a bit messy. Trying to keep them all together was hard! Which was a shame, since the notebooks were so cute, but I don’t think I’ll be buying notebooks from them again this semester 😔

  5. September 16, 2018 / 1:33 pm

    I love your new bag!! I just picked up a black Steve Madden bag back in May for traveling to work/class. It’s looks the be the same size/shape as the one you have. They must be popular this year! Oh, and your stationary has me a little jealous – I have a bit of a stationary addiction 🤣

    • Beka
      December 30, 2018 / 3:06 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, I think tote bags like that are becoming more popular for people on the move. It’s much easier to reach into and put things into your bag when it’s shaped like that! Steve Madden, I’m jealous!! Ah, me too
      😂 I think a lot of bloggers have a huge stationery addiction!

  6. September 16, 2018 / 2:14 pm

    This takes me back to my Uni days!

    • Beka
      December 30, 2018 / 3:08 pm

      Who doesn’t love a bit of nostalgia? 😌

  7. September 17, 2018 / 6:58 am

    I used to have notebooks, my glasses, lip balm and sanitizer in my University bag. I borrowed pen the entire 4 years😂

    The Beauty Wonk.

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Hahaha that’s amazing 😂 that gave me a right giggle! I love a specific type of pen sometimes, so I’m always making sure I bring my own!

  8. September 17, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    Looks like you will be ready to go! Nice post.

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Thank you! And thank you for reading ☺️

  9. September 17, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    I love these types of posts – possibly because I’m super nosy! I love those notebooks and the Cath Kidston bag too. I really miss school and having a school bag! xxx

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 11:06 am

      Haha, me too! I love to know what people have in their bag 😂 thank you! Ahhh, I feel like that too in the summer. What I like doing is reorganising my handbag/rucksack, and making sure I am prepared for every situation possible with the things I pack it with. It sorta helps with the withdrawal symptoms 😛

  10. September 17, 2018 / 6:06 pm

    Love this – I am totally going to copy you with the label maker, they look so cute! xx

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 3:32 pm

      Do it!!! The label maker is my favourite purchase this year – it makes everything look so cute ☺️

  11. Kim
    September 17, 2018 / 8:40 pm

    I love posts like this. I guess it’s because I’m a little nosey too lol. I love your bag, is a beautiful pattern, you can never go wrong with tartan.
    Kim | http://chimmyville.co.uk

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 3:36 pm

      Haha, I get you! I’m the same, and I think it’s definitely because I’m nosy and just love seeing what other deem essentials for every day! Thank you ☺️ I’m a tartan fanatic, if everything I own could be tartan, I’d do it!

  12. September 17, 2018 / 9:29 pm

    Your bag is gorgeous! And so are the notebooks. I don’t have the excuse of needing them for uni but I might have to indulge – blogging ideas need to be jotted down somewhere, right? Great post – and good luck in your final year.

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you! It’s such a lovely bag ☺️ yes, definitely! I have a separate notebook for my blog, and I think you should, too 😛 thank you very much, Lindsey!

  13. September 18, 2018 / 3:53 am

    It’s always interesting to see what people carry in their bags. Love that you keep things to a minimal. Totes are the best because you can fill it with so many different things and don’t really need to worry about space. Your notebooks are so cute! Glad you like how they turned out for notes. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 4:03 pm

      I know, I really love it! Thank you ☺️ yes, definitely. So easy to grab things out of your back as well – a lot less fumbling around trying to find something compared to my previous rucksack. Thank you for reading, Nancy! 🧡

  14. September 18, 2018 / 10:50 am

    That bag is STUNNING oh my! It’s gone straight on my wishlist.
    Those notebooks are lush, and I love how you’ve got it sorted with your stationery. I’m one of those people who either has one pen that will inevitably run out, or my whole pen collection filling my bag. There is no middle ground haha.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    • Beka
      October 30, 2018 / 4:07 pm

      Thank you! I love it, it really is gorgeous and so smart-casual and practical ☺️ haha, I used to be the girl who brought her whole pen collection with her, too! I’m trying to restrain myself in little ways in my life right now, and try not do things that I know aren’t necessary – bringing all my stationary being one of them!

  15. ruthinrevolt
    September 25, 2018 / 11:55 am

    First up, your bag is so cute!! I really like your notebooks, too, and I agree – using the label making is much cuter than writing on them. 🙂 Also, big fan of Cath Kidston so loving that, too!

    • Beka
      November 2, 2018 / 11:03 am

      Thank you, Ruth! ☺️ That label maker is my life. I have labelled my dog’s food container, the tea and coffee, my notebooks… anything I can label, I will label it! Cath Kidston is so adorable, I’d love to have more of her products, but they’re a lot of money 🙈 I received this little make up bag as a gift and I love it!

  16. September 26, 2018 / 10:11 am

    I loveee your tartan bag! It’s gorgeous! He he, I’m so nosey so as soon as I arrived on your blog this was the first post I clicked on. You can never have too many pretty notebooks, right? I love the designs you picked. I also need to invest in a label maker, they are so cool! I’ve never heard of Flow magazine but it sounds exactly like my kinda thing! Thanks for the recommendation. Great post Beka, hope uni is going well <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • Beka
      November 2, 2018 / 11:56 am

      Thank you, Bexa! I am totally the same, for some reason I live for these posts. Even “what’s in my hospital bag” blog’s and videos are something I can’t help but read/watch, even though I’m not having a baby anytime soon 🤦‍♀️

      Yes, exactly! Thank you, and oh my, you NEED to get a label maker. You’d love one – it’s so therapeutic to label every pot and container in your study and kitchen! I can imagine Flow being right up your street, too! I haven’t bought the latest edition yet, so I can’t tell you what’s in it, but I can’t wait for their Christmas crafts to start coming out!

      Thank you, Bexa ❤️ it’s a bit hectic right now (hence the very late reply to this comment) but I’m getting there! Xx

  17. Lyd
    September 26, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    Cute stationery always helped to make my lectures feel that tiny bit brighter, I love the notebook with multicoloured dashes you picked up! The little medicine/handy bag is a great idea too, I like to carry on with hand sanitiser, hair grips, and spare change for emergencies.

    Lyd from WhatLydDid

    • Beka
      January 2, 2019 / 9:25 pm

      Me too, and thank you! It turned out to be really handy having all those tiny bits in my hand bag – was a big hit with my friends whenever they needed some headache tablets 😜

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