I’ve never liked backpacks. But then I moved to Lund and realised my handbag gets way too heavy on a daily basis and purchasing a backpack might be a good idea. At least my spine would thank me.
So I did get myself a nice, spacious backpack that I am now starting to like, because I can throw so many things in it and still not have horrible shoulder pain by the time I get to school.
As a student in Sweden, I found this to be one of the most practical ways to carry things. Everyone’s doing it and it makes sense. It’s easier to cycle with a backpack, easier to carry… Not so easy to go into stores if you’re not used to having a backpack on your back – I often feel like an elephant in a glass store, but hey, I’m slowly getting there. Maybe I will start knocking out less chocolates off shelves (because, of course I am in the chocolate section all the time).
Anyway. I wanted to show you what I carry to school every day so you get a feeling of what [I think] is necessary.
Ta-da! My backpack’s content, exposed. There are 16 things I keep in my backpack. Here we go:
1. A BOOK NOT RELATED TO SCHOOL
I love reading for pleasure and I always have a couple of books on my nightstand that I am reading simultaneously. They usually have nothing to do with school work, or law in general and I carry one to school every day to read in study breaks. I am currently reading Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman (in English) and Britt-Marie var här [Britt-Marie was here] by Fredrik Backman (in Swedish). The book on the photo is Backman’s book – lately I have been reading books in Swedish in order to enrich my vocabulary. It’s not going as fast as I usually read, but hey, that’s the process of learning. One must have patience and grit.
It’s simple. Lots of time spent reading and using a computer gets to your eyes, so… I need my glasses when my eyes get tired.
I’ve been an avid Moleskine user for years. I always use the same notebook format, just different colours. I use it for everything, from to-do lists to notes-to-self. I’m a bit old school that way – still like the old-fashioned pen and paper to get things done. I also remember things better once I’ve written them down by hand, rather than typed.
Well… Do I really need to explain this? I need my latte in the mornings. 🙂
Highlighters, pens, pencils (love pencils), coloured page markers to help me colour-code my notes and books. VITAL stuff, trust me on this.
6. A HEALTHY SNACK
The photo shows baby carrots. Yum! I usually have an apple or carrots or banana or any other sort of fruit/vegetable I can snack on during my long library hours. Satisfies my usual 5pm cravings and it’s healthy.
7. HOMEMADE LUNCH
Eating out is fun but I like to cook my own food as well. I have a growing interest in cooking and though I might not be that good yet, I certainly give it a good try. 🙂 I like to make my own lunch at least for most of the week. I know what I want, like and what ingredients I use so I can get the most out of my lunch, nutrition-wise. I usually make my lunch while making breakfast and simultaneously getting ready and leaving home before 8.45 most days. Don’t ask how I do it, I wouldn’t know how to explain. 😀
8. COURSE MATERIAL
This one is an obvious one too – having the course material at hand is time-saving and helpful at all times.
I drink lots and lots of water during the day. I can’t even imagine going to school without my bottle of water and I drink two to three of these only during school hours and then some more at home. In Sweden, you can and are encouraged to drink tap water. I use a container I received in my welcome package from Lund University.
My second notebook is the one I use for school notes. I take lots of notes and I like having everything in one place. My notes have to be detailed, but also aesthetically pleasing because I can’t focus if it’s a mess. True story.
One must always have a pack of tissues at hand (thank you, Mom, for instilling this habit). I never leave the house without them. And besides, you can’t expect to not have a runny nose during Swedish winter. 🙂
12. HAND CREAM
Yet again – Swedish winter can affect your skin. I like to have a small hand cream in my backpack just in case.
13. UNIVERSITY ID CARD
You get this when you come to Lund. It’s your uni ID and you should always have it with you, in case a Uni security officer would like to ask who you are and what are you doing at the library so late? 🙂 [this rarely happens] At Juridicum, Lund University’s law school, we also need this card to access lecture halls and group rooms. The library I go to is specific to my programme and one needs to use this card and enter a personal code in order to access the library outside of office hours, so it’s quite a useful little card to have. I also intern at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, so I need it to access my office.
Ah, my iPhone. Can’t live without it. I am one of those people. I don’t know if it’s FOMO or just pure addiction but my phone is super important to me. Besides, I need it to make photos about studying in Sweden and post them here and on our instagram account! 🙂 Oh, and I just L-O-V-E my phone case. A brunette with a stack of books and a smile? That’s me! 🙂
I wake up and I put on music before I brush my teeth and go on with my day. Music is essential to my lifestyle and my earphones are always with me, wherever I go. I also like to put them in and distance myself from the daily fuss, and music helps me focus as well.
This one is obvious too – I write my essays and school work on my laptop and use it to access online articles and books, at least while I’m at school.
So there you have it. My 16 essentials for a normal school day (or a study-marathon if you please, works either way). 🙂