18 Finals Week Essentials You Need In Your Bag

In the hustle and bustle of finals week, it’s easy to devolve into a state of disorganization that rivals Leslie Knope’s house pre-dinner party.

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Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need in addition to your schoolwork to keep in your bag to prepare for this trying time. Pack up your bag before the mayhem begins and you’ll be good to go for the rest of the week.

Portable phone charger

Trust us, you don’t want to be on hour 10 of a library cram sesh when your phone dies and with it, all of your perfect Spotify playlists and your only link to the outside world. Keep a backup battery pack on you at all times to prevent disaster.

Reusable water bottle


Not only is it good for you, it’s good for mother nature. Staying hydrated is key to not shriveling up into a raisin and for keeping your brain functioning through the most stressful week of the semester. Jazz up your water with cucumber to keep your skin looking fresh even when you haven’t gotten a decent sleep in what feels like an eternity.


Keeping organized is key! Jotting down everything you need to do will not only give you a place to remember it but also, you can design a really neat system – like a bullet journal – and crossing off tasks is so satisfying.


Your breath will be fresh despite going a few too many hours between brushing your teeth, and you’ll have something to chew on to physically get all that stress and frustration out!

Inspirational quotes


Jotting down some inspirations in your planner or on post-its is a great way to motivate yourself in those low moments.  Plus, you can write them in cute colors and design them and spend your time doing that rather than actually studying.


Your hands and lips will get about as dry as the Sahara. Be warned.

Waterproof mascara

Never underestimate the power of a quick mascara touch up when it comes to reinvigorating yourself. Make sure it’s waterproof, because while it’s a confidence booster when it’s intact, you want to make sure that the rest of the world can’t see the results of your scheduled study-induced sob fest. 

The entire Hamilton soundtrack

It’s just that good. And it’ll help to study for that History final.

Dry Shampoo

Let’s face it, personal care falls by the wayside when grades are at stake. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself, but for when you just don’t have time to wash your hair between shifts at the library, it’s a good idea to have a can of dry shampoo on hand at all times to combat the third-day hair woes.



It’s the blanket with sleeves! They’re functional and fun! These super cool and stylish sleeved blankets will keep you warm when unpredictable A/C turns your favorite study space into the tundra, and will cuddle you when there’s no one else to do the job. Not to mention, they come in a variety of fun prints and colors. 

Yoga mat

What better way to destress than yoga? Keep a mat on hand so that you can practice your zen anywhere and everywhere. Your dorm? Yes. Outside? For sure. The HUB? Of course. The library? Naturally. Anywhere can become your yoga studio with a mat and a dream.

Change of clothes

For those all-nighters you’re sure to go through, a fresh pair of clothes will help you feel refreshed when the sun rises.

Snack bar

You’re going to get hungry, then hangry, so keeping a snack bar in your bag is a wise idea. Make sure to stay stocked with a variety of foods so you don’t get bored!

An entire Starbucks


Lattes always. Need we say more?

Your hopes and dreams

It’s easy to lose them in the muck and mire of all those exams; keep them in your bag so you can keep them tethered and stop them from floating away.

Your pet

Dog, cat, fish, whatever – a companion that loves you more than anything is the biggest self-esteem booster in the world. Plus, they’re cute and cuddly and who doesn’t want that?

Your best friend

Someone to cry to, and someone to kick you in the butt when you need it.

Plane tickets to Venice


Or literally anywhere other than campus. Anywhere. Just remind yourself that you’re almost out of there. Anywhere is better than here. Anywhere.

Image via Kristen M. Bryant 

Madeline Portzline

Madeline Portzline, Penn State University Major: English Her heart belongs to: bees, books, farmer's market fruit, moleskin journals, and Oxford commas Take her away to: Green Gables, Shakespeare & Co., or a little A-frame in the PNW

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