Essential Things that Every MA Noob Needs

I went school shopping wayyyy before school started, but this is a post about the essential things every grad student needs on hand.

  • A new cozy sweatshirt, branded by your school — because rooms get drafty in night classes and in the library, stay warm! (And part of you does want to blend in with the undergrads, even though you feel so much cooler 😉 ditch any sort of lanyard, because you are not an undergrad)
  • Beverages — I chose Tazo Chai tea and pink bubbly wine, because I am a teahead and a wino and you can just roll with what makes you happy and hydrated (and keeps you focused on school); I also drink lots of water, it’s essential to my happiness
  • A ‘Holder for Your Beverages’ — I did buy a new mug from my school to drink my Chai in…I was on a roll at the Bookstore. I also use a Nalgene and Evive bottle for my water
  • Writing Utensils — I always carry around about five different kinds: Sharpies, mechanical pencils, regular wooden pencils, black ballpoints, blue ballpoints, highlighters, and Pilot V5s; you will need to emphasize different parts of your notes when you’re scurrying along writing them and later studying – and maybe you’ll make a friend because their pen ran out of ink and you’re nice and lent them an extra
  • Notebooks — I stand by my collegiate favorite: Five Star college-ruled
  • Folders that match your notebooks — because, color-coding is important
  • Advil — headaches happen and this stuff is the best
  • DVDs/Netflix — for down time (does that exist?) and mental escapism (I am a big fan of this) (I am also trying to still keep up with reading non-textbooks)
  • Index cards — because I am traditional and I like to use them for presentations
  • White out — again, I am traditional and I like to write things out, sometimes I mess up
  • Bobby pins — because there is never a bad time to stock up on these suckers; I made sure to deposit some in my wallet, purse, backpack, and makeup bag
  • Hand sanitizer — because you don’t want to befriend germs and contract a weird (or common) disease and miss class. Flu season comes sooner than you think
  • Vitamins — again, beware of illnesses, especially during stressful times of the year (beginning and ends of the semester)
  • Backpack — I bought mine when I was entering the 8th grade (2002/3)…it’s now my trusty sidekick; you will also need a strong and sturdy bag, forget fashion and think of your back
  • A computer, pet optional — is it necessary to explain? (Nora looks so cute)
  • Textbooks — don’t forget these! 🙂            PS: read them too
  • POST ITS — in every color and stickiness and size…it’s a problem
  • A ‘Study Spot’ in the library — find one, claim it as yours, and spend all of your extra time there. Befriend the librarians and other students that are there as much as you (they can protect your spot from freshmen and watch your things while you pee)
  • Someone to text/message about all of your problems — because you won’t make it on your own! And remaining sane is essential

What are your favorite (grad) school essentials?

I have officially started classes and I love it. I hope I can remain enthused as the work piles on, but I am determined to stay on top of everything. I worked too hard to falter now! Everything I am learning makes me happy – and it makes me wish I had found my path sooner in life, but things happen the way they do. And I am thankful for it…



4 thoughts on “Essential Things that Every MA Noob Needs

  1. ashley! found your blog via point park’s facebook. i’m taking ma classes there this semester too. excited to get back in the classroom:) see you around campus! –emilee stanford


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