Grad School Back to School Must-Haves


We are now squarely back to school. I’ve been in school for a long time, and my needs look a little different as a graduate student that they did when I was in public school, or even when I was an undergraduate. Part of this is due to my not being in classes anymore. Despite that, there are some things that I still find essential to getting back into the school flow.

1.) A weekly/monthly planner: I know most people use their cellphones these days to keep up with dates, but something is satisfying about sitting down and keeping up with your calendar, important dates, and assignments.

Passion Planner

When I was in coursework, I would get my planners from Target because they had the 8×11 planners that I like. Now I use the Passion Planner, which helps me to be more intentional about making weekly and daily goals, as well as attempting to manage my time better.

2.) A therapist: College is not easy, and your mental health should be a top priority. Check with your school’s wellness center and see what services they offer. Get connected to a mental health professional so that you are developing useful tools for handling stress as well as tools for graduating. I see my therapist every other week, and it is a game changer.


3.) A good coffee cup and water bottle: I put these two things together because college, at any stage, requires copious amounts of caffeine and hydration. Coffee is a diuretic and will dehydrate you. So for every 2 cups of coffee plan for 24-30oz of water. Yes, you will likely be in the bathroom every 10 minutes, but you won’t be dehydrated. Having your own cup can also save you some money since many places offer discounts when you have reusable cups. Save the planet, save a coin. You’re welcome.

School supplies? Check.

4.) School grade essentials pouch: I live for organization, and there are supplies that you just need: Pens, pencils, calculator, tape, highlighters, sticky notes. There are so many things. Save yourself some time and headache and have a pencil holder that carries the implements that you need to get some work done and just toss it in your bag. I got mine from Hobby Lobby for $3, and it attaches to my sketchbook.

5.) Good headphones (and backup headphones):

Whether you work in the library, coffee shop, or a carrell like myself, you need some headphones that will keep you grooving and focused. I use Apple AirPods, which are super convenient, but I also have a pair of noise-canceling headphones from Sony. Because both of these are wireless, I also carry a pair cheap of wired earbuds in case they die.

I hope all my student readers are getting into the school year well. Tell me, what was on your back to school list this year?

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I'm Sharde', I'm Doctor living in Houston! I'm a nerdy jetsetter, Master Packer and personal growth enthusiast. I share my tips, tricks, and soul searching adventures here and on my YouTube channel. I enjoy reading, photography, writing short stories, hanging out at the beach, skin care, and discovering new coffee shops. These days you can usually find me creating new photography projects, shooting with my camera, or planning my next adventure.

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