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The School Supplies List You NEED to Have

I swear, I’m going to scream at the next person who asks me to borrow a pencil in my accounting class! Okay, maybe not because I’m not that kind of person- and that’s an overreaction. But I distinctly remember the teacher telling us on the second day of class that we were not allowed to use pens in accounting, as we need to be able to erase our mistakes. In fact, she takes marks off our tests and quizzes if we use pens! Yet, every single day, someone who knows that I’m obsessively prepared for class asks me to borrow a pencil, or a pencil sharpener, or o.7mm pencil lead, or (most annoying request of all) my textbook. How do you not bring your textbook to class, really? But airing my grievances is not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is to give you a checklist of all the physical school supplies you’ll need each and every single day to help you get through your classes and get through them well. Each night bfore bed, or in the morning before leaving, you can give this checklist and your pencil case a quick glance to make sure you’ve got everything you need.

At first, I thought a list like this would be common sense. But then I realized that if it was common sense, why would so many of my classmates be asking me to borrow these things? So here’s what you need. Every. Single. Day!


  • Pencils. I think I made myself clear that people get pretty annoyed with you if you’re constantly borrowing theirs. Have multiple pencils. At least four, I’d say.
  • Erasers. The little nubby ones on the end of your pencils are useless. Get yourself the pack of 2 big ones (the white ones, not the pink) from Staples for a dollar, and write your name on them in case you ever lose them. As an extra, you might want to get the small, round erasers for quick mistakes that don’t require a big block of rubber.
  • Pens. For the classes you’re actually allowed to use them. :D You’ll need blue, black and red at minimum. Have multiples of the colours you use most.
  • Highlighters. One pink and one yellow. (I’m also going to give you little Lifehack for those of you GTDers who use a paper calendar system. Buy a different highlighter colour for each of your commitment categories, and then when you write something down, highlight it with the designated colour. That way, you can glance at your calendar each day and know instantly how much of each activity you’re doing. What I do is that I have 4 different highlighters- pink, blue, yellow, orange. Pink is for extra curricular activities (ex. student council meetings), blue if for personal commitments (ex. my orthodontist appointments each month), yellow if for school due dates, tests and quizzes (ex. the creative letter due for English tomorrow about a book I’m reading) and orange is for work and volunteer commitments (ex. the workshop I have this weekend on “becoming a leader with character” for which I get volunteer hours towards my diploma). Actual nightly homework is written in pencil so I can erase it as I get it done. This is just another way to help you know the “hardscape” of your day even more.)
  • White out. If you’ve got a pen, you’ll need this. Get liquid (quick dry!) and the kind in tape form. Liquid is for those moments when you’re about to hand in an essay worth 10% of your final mark, and you see a spelling mistake and an improperly used comma that will surely cost you valuable marks. Liquid whiteout eventually looks better than tape whiteout when you fix the mistake with a black pen.  Tape whiteout is for when you’ve got a history lecture and are too busy writing down important names and dates to wait for liquid whiteout to dry when you accidentally write that Columbus discovered the new world in 1694 using the Mina, Tina and Santa Gina. (Yep, this happened to me! Crossing things out gets really messy, really fast was what I learned during that lecture.)
  • A ruler. They come in handy when you lease expect them. Going back to my accounting class, proper straight lines are crucial for doing an A+ balance sheet by hand. They’re also great for tearing sheets of paper with a neat edge.
  • A pencil sharpener, or extra lead if you use a mechanical pencil. Make sure you’re got the right size lead for all your pencils.
  • A calculator. Not just for math class- you can also calculate your mark for those times you get a test that 32 our of 40 and can’t figure that percentage out in your head. (It’s 80% by the way.)
  • Extra: dental floss and mints for après-lunch breath freshening, a sample of perfume/cologne for those days your deodorant give up on you, colouring pencils for those impromptu diagrams of a paramecium you make make in biology and lip blam. Chapped lips hurt.

What other pencil-case essentials have you discovered come in handy?

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14 Responses to “The School Supplies List You NEED to Have”

  1. Daryl Tay says:

    You’re being far too nice by just screaming at them! I’d stab them with my pencil.

    Ok not really.

    One thing missing: a stapler or paper clips. I think that’s the #1 thing most borrowed from my pencil case. Or maybe it’s different in Singapore.

  2. Ayomide says:

    Hahaha, that’s hilarious Daryl! Perhpas one day I will actually just snap and go ahead and give them a good stab.

    I actually do keep a mini stapler and paper clips with me too (and extra staples of course!) but no one’s ever asked for them. Perhaps things are different in Singapore! :D

  3. Chris Y. says:

    A portable 3-ring hole puncher. The GTD in me is annoyed not being able to properly file a piece of paper.

  4. eruntale says:

    I am ADDICTED to school supplies. My essentials, besides the ones you’ve mentioned are:
    -Small stapler, they make a great ice breaker as well, I’ve made many friends just by lending them my teeny stapler.
    -Permanent ink pen, for the recordable CDs or DVDs.
    -Whiteboard pen, it could save many a teacher and get you bonus points :)
    -The last one is not really an essential, it’s just a really neat ruler by Maped that actually folds and can reach up to 30cm.

  5. Uh-oh. I went through a phase when I keep forgetting to bring a pen or pencil with me to class. Sometimes, I find myself on the other side of the fence as well. I know little things like this should not even be a problem at all but I found that the longer you allow this habit to continue, the harder it will be to get rid of.

  6. Rene Herrera says:

    Nice list, as for the highlighter, I read somewhere that those little fluorescent yellow ones were harmful to our eyesight.

    Don’t remember where I saw that but since then I stick to the other colors, green, orange, blue, pink, purple, non-fluorescent yellow, etc.

  7. Jorge says:

    I know this is not a school supply, but when going to class/studying, you should have a watch or a device that tells time (ipod, cellphone).

  8. Kate says:

    this website is awesome i wouldn’t think of the highlighter thing it so handy it works for me so im sayin thanks

  9. Carmen says:

    this is an awesome list, but what i was actually looking for when i looked in this page was a list of school supplies that a teacher should not be without at her desk. besides all the suggested items, do you guys have any other suggestions. I am looking into a pre school teacher position and I need to be prepared because sometimes, believe it or not at some places there is nnot but one darn stapler in the hole school!!! that really annoys me. thanks.

  10. gotta love those people who arent prepared for class the more you let them borrow things the more they will depend on you lol

  11. Taz (= says:

    Awesome list of supplies (:
    theirs actaully a few things you forgot…

    1. A mini hole punch.
    They are really handy if the teacher dosn’t have one spare.

    2. selo tape. A big essiantial for emergencys.

    3. A pencil case! You can’t put pencils,pens,rubbers,rulers and other essentials in your bag. It will get messy easily.

    4. Your brain :P

  12. i don’t know dude, if you bring extra pencils and lend them to people, they’ll continue to “forget” bringing their own. just laziness i think that needs to be fixed. i always carry a pen or pencil in my pocket just in case no matter if its a class or not.

  13. joe momma says:

    thx for all the help this will definetly help me get prepared for my first day of high skool nervous!

  14. sandra says:

    Love your blog! Trying to grow mine!