13 Hours on Campus Packing Essentials

For months I’ve been bragging about my class schedule: afternoon classes only on Tuesday and Thursday. It was the perfect set up! Problem is that I also need to work. Turns out my schedule for work makes it so I have lots of gaps of time but they’re not long enough to go back to my apartment which ends up getting me a 13 hour day on campus once a week. That’s a freaking long day. 

But I’m determined to live every day with a happy heart, even if I have to put my happy heat on campus all day. I also know that this is not a one-woman pity party and plenty of people have incredibly long days on campus as well.

So to make life easier on all of us, I’m rounding up what a quintessential backpack looks like when it comes to surviving an incredibly long day.Food & Drink

Water bottle is a must no matter how long your day is. But bringing a reusable one (because duh climate change) will save you on those extra long days.

Meal prepping your lunch or dinner will make it easy to store a healthy energy boost when the afternoon slump comes. Either pack your lunch in a cute lunchbox or bring something that isn’t perishable. My go-to is a buffalo chicken salad — the chicken keeps me full while all the color makes it interesting.

Snacks. Snacks snacks snacks snack snacks. Need I say more?

Things to Do

I’ve got a couple of 50 minute breaks in between classes: not enough time to go back to my apartment, but too long of a time just to sit around.

Of course when on campus for this long you’re going to need to keep busy. This means bringing what you need for class and for getting homework done. I keep my laptop, planner, and a notebook with me so that I can get some work done when I have a half hour here or there.

Another gadget that should always be in your backpack for those long days is headphones. Sometimes lectures will be videos or sometimes Netflix will be necessary for survival. Whatever the case, forgetting your headphones can easily lead to massive boredom.


I’m not sure of what your stance is on napping in public, but if there’s a time in your life that it’s acceptable the time is now! I always stuff a sweater in my backpack just in case it’s chilly in a classroom or at work. What’s great is that the sweater can also double as a pillow when sneaking a power nap on the fourth floor of the library. Sometimes that’s all you need to break up a long day on campus.

Usually I put on my makeup at the beginning of the day and don’t touch it until it’s time to take it off. But when it comes to seeing people I want to have a good impression on at 8:00 at night, I tend to need a refresher. Stashing some blush to liven up the cheeks can make it look like I just came from my apartment, not a three hour class.

Bonus: Tips to Surviving

Move Around: There’s only so much to see in one building. If you’re spending an extra long day on campus, make sure to switch it up and check out other buildings. Never been to the design building? Take ten minutes to walk over there and see if you can scope out a new study space. The walking will get you some much needed fresh air and space.

Meet Friends: It can be super lonely spending all day moving from building to building, so text a gal pal and ask to meet up for coffee. Or after class, see if anyone’s free to sit out on the quad. Meeting up with friends can make it feel less like an obligation to stay and more like a choice.

Take a Break: I’m sure I don’t have to convince anyone too much that a break can be a good thing. Just because you’re on campus doesn’t mean you have to be working the whole time. Find a cozy chair and sit down to watch a couple episodes of FRIENDS.

Dress Right: Are you really going to get work done if you’re in your pajama pants? Are you going to feel comfortable enough to sit around for the next 4 hours in that dress? Make sure you’re wearing something that is comfortable yet functional for spending a long time working and sitting around.

How does your class schedule look this year? How long is your longest break between classes/work?

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