I know you’re only meant to talk about your main bag for this, but I’m cheating a little because there are four bags I consider absolutely essential to every week at university:

  • My shopping tote
  • My backpack
  • My gym bag
  • My handbag

My Shopping Tote


I have to admit that if you were really going to make me choose just one bag to carry around for the rest of my life it would be the tote. They’re so versatile and fold up small enough to fit in your pocket when you’re not using them so they don’t get in the way! I always carry one with me when I go out, just in case, because while I mostly use it to do my grocery shopping or carry my laundry to the laundrette (I pop it in with the clothes just to make sure it doesn’t pick up that old socks smell) you never know when you’re going to buy emergency shoes or take out more library books than your backpack can handle.

My Backpack


This is my kitchen sink bag. I definitely overload it a bit, but I try to make up for it by wearing both straps like a nerd, so at least I won’t be a nerd with back problems.

I’ve got:



My laptop
Notebook and folder for handouts
At least three library books depending on what essay I’m working on
Water bottle, lunch box and, once the coffee’s all finished, my travel mug
Small first aid kit (I admit it, I’m the mum friend)
Six pens, all of which will be hiding in the bottom of the bag when I need them
Bottle of wine for the party tonight (I promise I don’t always carry one of these around!)
Emergency chocolate. Shh.

My Gym Bag


This one’s easy, what does anyone bring to the gym?


Trackie bottoms and t shirt
Shower gel and shampoo

I suppose I could technically use my backpack for this instead of a separate bag, but then I’d have to go home between lectures and the gym which just seems like such a waste of time!

My Handbag


Oh no, when I said the backpack was my kitchen sink bag I lied. I’m a bit embarrassed about this one to be honest. I think, like most women, my handbag’s a little bit grotty inside because we just shove tissues and receipts in there and forget about them.

We have, drumroll please:



Phone Charger
Makeup Bag
Little tub of lip balm that’s escaped the makeup bag
Three packets of tissues (I’m sure I don’t actually need so many!)
Bottle Opener (nothing wins you points like being the person who’s remembered to bring one)

…and the receipts of shame. I really should throw these away.