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I'm starting grad school soon and these are the 15 college school supplies that are helping me feel prepared

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Side by Side of Gareen Puglia and grad school starter pack products, including Red Co Journal with Embossed Heart and Motivational Water Bottle
The supplies I bought for graduate school include a durable notebook, jump rope, 1-gallon water bottle, hand sanitizer, and journal.
  • I'm heading back to school for my master's degree and needed to organize my shopping list.
  • I divided my college supplies list into different categories to create a grad school starter pack.
  • Want more school supplies? Here are the best school notebooks to buy in 2021.

After graduating during a pandemic and working remotely for a year, I'm heading back to school as a graduate student at the Information Management and Systems program at UC Berkeley. After deferring for a year due to the pandemic, I've registered for my classes, signed a lease, and am almost ready for school.

But, along with many other grad students, I'm entering the academic world after a long time away, and all these new changes at once (like moving to a new city) have made my shopping list very chaotic.

After doing a bit of research and looking at my school's requirements, I organized my list into four categories: Academic, Physical Health, Mental Health, and Fun, because part of being successful in a graduate program is also taking care of your mind, body, and soul.

Though this shopping list might look different for you depending on your preferences and your program, I found that assessing my needs based on these categories helped me figure out what I really needed. Think of it as a grad student starter pack, to help provide any inspiration you may need in getting ready for a rigorous (and exciting!) academic year ahead.

15 college and graduate school supplies to buy in 2021:

Grad student starter pack Banners Academic
A laptop capable of a graduate student's workload
Macbook Pro Apple Laptop

My laptop has been through my undergraduate research papers, internships, and one major tea spill. Let's just say it's time for an upgrade. My specific graduate program doesn't list any specific laptop or technology requirements, so I opted for a MacBook Pro as a lifelong Mac user. You can check out our list of the best MacBooks here.

MacBook Pro with M1 Processor (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB) (button) A physical planner to write out my busy schedule
Blue Sky 2021-2022 Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner

Though there is an abundance of different calendar apps, I enjoy physically writing down assignments and events in a planner (which some studies say boosts your memory). This Blue Sky planner has monthly and weekly pages to fill out, perfect for both social and academic purposes. You can also check out our list of the best planners here.

2021-2022 Academic Year Weekly & Monthly Planner (button) A classic notebook that got me through high school
Gareen Puglia holding Five Star 2 Subject College Ruled Solid Spiral Notebook (Academic Health)

I've been relying on Five Star notebooks since high school, picking a different color for each subject. To this day, I love their sleek feel and all the variations they have. Though I'll be mostly be typing my notes on my new laptop, I love rewriting my notes as a study strategy. You can check out more of the best school notebooks here.

Five Star 2 Subject College Ruled Solid Spiral Notebook (button) Colorful pens to make notes more exciting to look at
Colorful Papermate InkJoy pens

Like I've said before, I love writing things down. Naturally, I need lots of pens — and the more colorful and fun, the better. Papermate InkJoy pens are a favorite of mine — I enjoy using them as an incentive to read the notes and study guides I make.

InkJoy Retractable Ballpoint Pens (button)
Grad student starter pack Banners Mental Health
An app for daily meditiations
Calm app

I've always wanted to meditate (especially with school coming up), but have still felt unsure of where to begin. The Calm app was referred to me by my best friend as a good place to start. You can begin using the app with a seven-day free trial and purchase a year subscription for $69.99. 

Meditation App (Yearly Subscription) (button) An Audible subscription to give my eyes a rest
Audible logo

I've found putting on an audiobook is a great way to unwind from a long day. Though I love revisiting old favorites like "Pride and Prejudice," I recently listened to "Ariadne" and was absolutely hooked. After using Audible Plus via a 30-day free trial, I decided to keep my subscription for $7.95 a month.

Plus (Monthly Subscription) (button) A comforting drink to bookend my day
Product image of Dunkin' Original Blend Medium Roast

Coffee wasn't always my favorite, but I've grown into my taste for it. My go-to — a cup of Dunkin's Original Blend paired with oat milk and cinnamon — is my ideal comfort drink. Though I enjoy the ritual of brewing a pot of coffee, instant coffee is also a great quick option. You can check out our list of the best instant coffee here.

Original Blend Medium Roast Ground Coffee (button) A separate notebook for journaling
Gareen Puglia holding Five Star 2 Subject College Ruled Solid Spiral Notebook (Mental Health)

I like to journal when I'm feeling overwhelmed to focus and center my emotions. I've used this Red Co. notebook as a means of coping with stress and anxiety during the pandemic and will continue to write in it as a means to combat potential impostor syndrome or other stressors I might experience during my graduate program. If you like having more guidance via writing prompts, these anxiety journals can be a great option, too.

Journal with Embossed Heart (button)
Grad student starter pack Banners Physical Health
Masks for when I travel to campus
Black disposable masks (50 pack)

Since my graduate program is hybrid, I'll be attending some in-person classes. Naturally, I'm stocking up on masks and have been using these from Amazon throughout the pandemic. Though I have reusable ones too, if I'm in a hurry and haven't done my laundry, theses are a great option. You can check out our list of the best masks here.

Black Disposable Face Masks (button) Hand sanitizer that almost doubles as perfume
Gareen Puglia holding Trader Joe's Hand Sanitizer Spray (Physical Health)

I do not leave my house without hand sanitizer and love the Trader Joe's Hand Sanitizer Spray. My favorite scent is lavender— it smells so good, I sometimes pretend it's my perfume. You can check out our list of best hand sanitizers here.

Grapefruit & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray (button) A motivational water bottle to make sure I'm staying hydrated
Gareen Puglia holding Fidus Large 1 Gallon Motivational Water Bottle (physical health)

This lighthearted, motivational 1-gallon water bottle (which has encouraging messages like "Don't Give Up" and "Feeling Awesome") has become my greatest sidekick. It's helped me stay accountable when it comes to hydration and is great to use around the house. I'll fill it up each morning and add fresh strawberries or mint leaves if I want to kick it up a notch. Though this bottle is heavy, it's perfect to leave on my desk and I won't need to move it around too much in my apartment.

Large 1 Gallon Motivational Water Bottle (button) Jump rope for exercise that isn't running
Gareen Puglia holding Jump rope

I decided to pick one physical activity to do every day that doesn't involve running. I landed on jump roping as an alternative — like running, the equipment needed is easy to store and use anywhere. Taking a jump rope break during the day has been a great way to really move around during the workweek, and I'll continue to take at least 10 minutes a day to do it during grad school. 

Jump Rope (button)
Grad student starter pack Banners Fun
A too-cute mini rice cooker for mealprepping in style
Pink mini rice cooker

I was so excited to buy cooking supplies for my new apartment and fell in love with this mini DASH rice cooker/steamer. Though I've become a much better cook this past year, I might not have time to go full out in the kitchen when school deadlines become overwhelming. I was drawn to its bright millennial pink color and am actually excited to use it in meal prepping throughout the week. This tool will provide me the ease I need to enjoy cooking dinner, rather than the task stressing me out. 

DRCM200GBPK04 Mini Rice Cooker Steamer (button) Fun rug to spice up my studio apartment
Sunflower rug mat

In an attempt to fill my space with things that bring me joy, I found myself smiling when I saw this fun floral rug. Since I will be working predominantly from home in my hybrid graduate program, any purchase to brighten up my room is a welcome investment.

Sunflower Rug Mat (button) Mugs that remind me of campus
Two University of California Berkeley mug

I've always been a mug person and found these adorable UC Berkeley Map mugs on Etsy. They're perfect for drinking my daily coffee but also a great way for me to get familiarized with the UC Berkeley campus since I was unable to visit as much as I wanted during the pandemic.

University of California Berkeley Latte Map Mug. Berkeley, California Latte Mug (button)
Read the original article on Business Insider

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