Having earned my bachelor’s degree three years ago, it’s been quite some time since fall marked the start of a new semester. This year, it’s not only the start of a new term, but the start of a new chapter in my life. As of yesterday, I’ve officially begun my journey to earn my Masters in Teaching! Surprisingly, though, I encountered my first challenge before classes started: shopping for grad school supplies.
It sounds like it would be easy, right? Not so much! As graduate classes contain advanced coursework, most of what’s found on undergrad college shopping lists doesn’t apply. Also, most grad students are working professionals who aren’t living in dorms. (Thank goodness.) But that eliminates a whole other section of college shopping. Looking at generic college supply lists can be overwhelming as a result.
Fortunately, I’ve parsed through several college supply lists, both for undergrad and advanced degrees, and compiled this concise list of grad school supplies for your convenience!
Recommended Grad School Supplies
Tip: You likely have a lot of this stuff left over from undergrad, so double-check your old college bins before rushing out to Office Depot. (Unless, of course, you’re like me, and you want a completely fresh start.)
- Backpack, briefcase, or messenger bag
- Laptop or tablet with keyboard
- USB drives
- A portable phone charger
- Pencil case
- White-Out/corrective pen
- Post-It Notes
- Page tabs
- Folders for each class
- 3-Ring Binder w/ section dividers
- Notebooks for each class
- An academic planner
- Eco-friendly water bottle
- Hand sanitizer
- A solid support system
The latter is, perhaps, the most important thing on the list. Grad school isn’t easy by any means, and having friends or family who can provide moral support during your journey will be vital in helping you succeed.
Thankfully, I had a number of these supplies already. (We’ll take a look at my extensive planner system next week, I promise!) As for everything else on the list, here’s a look at my supply haul for this semester!
My 2017 Grad School Supplies
I will absolutely admit it: I adore school supplies. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to teaching as a profession, haha! My past three autumns have had a depressing lack of school supply shopping, so it was something I was extremely excited about this year. I went to Michaels and Target with one of my best friends who’s beginning her MBA program this fall, and it’s safe to say the two of us were the most excited students in the stores.
Kids, I’m tellin’ ya’, learning is fun. Never take school for granted.
What did I end up buying? Let’s take a look! Beginning with the bottom of the list…
Spiral Notebooks: Greenroom | Bound Journal: Eccolo Journal
I have three classes on campus this semester, plus two online courses. I’ll be taking notes digitally for those online lectures, but for my physical classes, I selected these three notebooks. The two spiral ones will be used for my teaching courses, while the bound journal is for my advanced creative writing class.
Next up, I bought a folder for each of my campus classes to keep track of homework and other assignments, as well as a three-ring binder to organize any hand-outs. The binder will be divided with tabbed sections, one for each class.
Mechanical Pencil: Papermate | Post-It Notes Combo Pack: Post-It Flags and Notes | Gel Pens: Pilot G2 Pens
I know for a fact that I have plenty of pencils and pens… but I couldn’t resist buying new ones! I snagged my favorite type of mechanical pencil, as well as my favorite gel pens. (I’ve sworn by these since high school.) Also, to help with reading notation, I bought this fancy pack of Post-It notes and page tabs.
Once we were done at Target, we popped over to Michaels. I didn’t see much there that I wanted, but I did snag this adorable set of desserts erasers:
Mini Scented Cake Erasers: Creatology
For the rest of my school supplies, I turned to YesStyle and Amazon. I’ve always had a penchant for the kawaii style popular in Japan, and lately, I’ve taken an interest in Korean fashion, too. Being a teaching major, I feel that I can get away with some of the more “cutesy” items; if you’re going into business or law, perhaps stick with more executive-style supplies.
Corrective Tape: Class 302 | Highlighters: School Time
Personally? I couldn’t stick with generic Bic-branded highlighters and White-Out. Instead, I found this corrective pen that’s shaped like a milk carton, as well as these tiny egg-shaped highlighters that have animal faces on them.
I swear, I’m starting grad school, not kindergarten.
Printed Faux Leather Pencil Case: Class 302
I love deer, and I love pink… so I really, really couldn’t resist this pencil case. I love that it’s made of vinyl, too; it’ll be easy to clean and it won’t turn grey and dirty from use.
Polka Dot Canvas Backpack: Canvas Love
Lastly, I needed a new backpack to carry everything! I picked out this one because I loved the subtle pattern and the lace detailing, and the music note throws me back to my marching band days. (It appears black in this photo, but it’s a deep navy in real life.) What I really love about it, though, are all the internal compartments, especially the padded one for my tablet and keyboard:
Other than textbooks, that’s been it for my new grad school supplies! If there’s anything you think I missed, please leave me a comment to let me know! Good luck to all my fellow students; let’s make it a great semester!