Life can be messy, especially when you least expect it, like when you spill Wawa coffee on your shirt on the way to class. But when everything seems to be crashing down around you, do not fret friends. A well–packed backpack can solve any of these emergencies that may attempt to ruin your day, so for any of these common inconveniences, here are some small yet essential items to keep on you at all times.

Medicine in your Altoids Tin

Nothing seems worse than settling down into class just to get a massive headache right before your 90 minute lecture. Keep a stash of Advil along with your mints in a tin of Altoids so that you have easy access to pain relievers and breath fresheners wherever you are. If not Advil, then cough drops or allergy medicine—anything you feel you might need during the day. Turn that tin into a pharmacy. Just make sure you don't mix those pills up.


Having a small pack of tissues can be a lifesaver during cold and allergy season because you can blow your nose without making a commotion in the classroom. What to do with the used tissues though? An empty sleeve of tissues can serve as a portable trash can to dispose them in. Ta da!

The Emergency Snack

Whether it’s a banana, granola bar, or pack of fruit snacks, there’s a plethora of small yet filling snacks out there that are perfect to slide in right next to your water bottle. This way you can combat any bout of hunger that threatens to ruin your day. 

Tide Pen

With the power of a washing machine inside of one small pen, having a stain pen is one of the best tools to pack in your backpack. It’s small and convenient and allows you to continue your day without rushing home to change your shirt. 


The winter and wind can be brutal, especially for your skin, and nobody wants chapped lips or dry patches on their face. A small tube of Aquaphor acts as the perfect dry–spot treatment, as it applies easily to the skin and soothes it instantly. With the weather getting colder, you definitely want to make sure to be packing your Aquaphor for any sort of dryness emergency.

Oil–Blotting Sheets

While Aquaphor may be the holy grail of dry skin, oil–blotting sheets are there for you on the hot and humid days. Thinner than paper, oil blotting sheets can be stored away in any backpack sleeve and take up minimal space. So never again will you have to worry about glowing a little too much around campus because with just one sheet, you’ll be feeling matte in no time.


Weather can be a very fickle thing, and when it rains, it usually pours. Don't be that person walking from DRL to Huntsman in a downpour with nothing but shorts and a T–shirt. If a small umbrella is still too bulky, get a single–use rain poncho. So when you start to feel those first few droplets start to fall during your daily walk down Locust, have no worries. You came fully prepared for nature’s worst.

Other small tools to include: safety pin, hair tie, tampons, a nail file, band–aids, a concealer pen, and hand sanitizer.

Put all of these in a little pouch in your backpack, and you're ready to go!