Back To School Essentials (Feat. Amazon)

Ever since I was a child, I have always been very academic and have always valued my education. This hasn't changed since I have gotten older, if anything I have just developed a greater appreciation for it, and with that being said I think it's pretty clear that I am absolutely thrilled when a new school year (or in this case semester) begins. Besides being excited to be back in school and to be pursing my psychology degree, I am also excited because this is the first time in two years that I've gotten to do back to school shopping! In addition, even though I'm perpetually buying clothes and accessories, I have to admit I've gotten a kick out of buying many of my back to school essentials, perhaps I'm just giddy to start this new chapter of my life. (Except for my textbooks, almost $500 dollars later, yikes!)

And along with me returning to school, I also have an exciting announcement that I have become an affiliate of Amazon and will be partnering with them for a handful of posts this semester including this one. (Remember my Winter Beauty Essentials post from the beginning of the week? Yep, that was for Amazon too!) So, for this post I'm going to share my top back to school essentials that I purchase using my Amazon Prime account, which totally made my life a lot easier. (Note, if you are a student, you can try Amazon Prime for 6 months free here.)

A Stylish but Serviceable Backpack

Yeah, I know, a backpack for school is kind of a no brainer. However, I'm sure many of us know the struggle of finding a backpack that is stylish and serviceable. I know that I personally have bought trendy backpacks in the past only to be disappointed with the amount of wear and tear they had shown by the end of the semester. Well, I've finally found a backpack that is as stylish as it is durable and is also affordable! This backpack by the Amazon Shop, Weekend Shopper, is a perfect choice for any college student who wants to carry their books in style. This backpack is roomy, lightweight, and can hold a standard 15.6" laptop.

A Cute and Compact Wallet

I'm sure every girl knows the struggle of trying to carry a purse, a backpack, and whatever other necessities you may need for class. However, now that we have found an attractive and roomy backpack to keep our things in, why don't we just skip the purse and just carry a compact wallet that could neatly tuck away into one of our pockets? This little leather wallet by Orient Bee is perfect for just that! And it also comes in a wide variety of colors so you have tons of options.

A Personal Agenda

I know that in this day and age, most of us (myself included) keep a calendar on our phone. But, when it comes to classes, homework, and in my case, my blog's editorial calendar, I find keeping a physical agenda keeps me much more organized than just relying on my calendar app. Perhaps it's just the act of actually writing something down that helps me remember to do it, however this is definitely one of my classroom necessities and since I need one, it might as well be a cute one! Which is why I chose this adorable gold agenda from my affiliate, Kate Spade New York.

A Smart (and Affordable!) Fitness Tracker

Though I will be the first to admit that I hate the gym and therefore never go, I do however try and keep a healthy lifestyle via diet and exercise on my own. My daily workout routine is generally just an hour of yoga and 30 minutes of walking, but now that I am back downtown, I am walking exceptionally more. So I figured it would be great to get a fitness tracker to see just exactly how much activity I was getting walking to and from class. (and you know all the other parts of Pittsburgh I enjoy hanging out in!) However, I didn't want to break the bank so I decided to give this little fitness watch by LESHP a try and I have to say it works great! This watch tracks steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, and active minutes. This watch also can sync to your smart phone and will notify you if you have a text or call, but the last awesome thing about this watch is, is that it is water proof meaning if you enjoy swimming (like me) you can wear it in the pool or on the beach!

Coffee-- I mean, a Travel Mug

I don't know about you, but I personally cannot start my morning without an Americano or a cup of tea. However, I also am not a fan of waking up incredibly early before class either, meaning I generally enjoy my caffeinated beverages on the go more often than not. So naturally I decided I needed a good travel mug and lucky for me my mum got me this adorable rose gold mug by Bubba Brands for Christmas last year! This mug honestly works just as well (if not better) than the Yeti Rambler I received as a Christmas present from DSG, and in my opinion it's more attractive to boot! This mug keeps my tea or coffee warm for up to five and a half hours, even when out running around in the cold Pittsburgh weather, and I have to say I found that quite impressive.

Fun Phone Cases

So okay, maybe this isn't an absolute necessity, but a playful phone case is a great way to show off you style and personality in a subtle way as well as being a great conversation starter, especially while in class and on campus. And the reason I chose this phone case by DOMIRE is simply because hippos are one of my favorite animals (only second to bears, actually) and I just think this phone case is adorable.

A Chic Lunchbox 

The reason a lunchbox has made my back to school essentials list is due to the fact, during my first four years of college I went out to eat a lot. And though it was never anywhere overly expensive the cost really added up and it was not conducive to me saving money (not to mention it wasn't all that good for my waistline either). So I decided this time around, I'm going to practice eating healthily and save money by packing my lunch, which is why I decided to snag this insulated lunchbox by Kate Spade, because nobody wants a warm salad.

An Adorable Umbrella

To finish off this list, I thought it would be a good idea to add an umbrella. There have been so many times that I have rushed out the door to class without checking the weather and then was suck walking home in a downpour from campus. So much like with the lunchbox, this time around I am older and wiser and therefore will always be prepared! That is also the reason I chose a bubble umbrella opposed to a retractable umbrella. The reason this is, is because for one bubble umbrellas definitely keep you dryer, and two because bubble umbrellas are much less prone to getting blown inside out. The reason I chose this SMATI umbrella? Well hey, if I'm going to need an umbrella it might as well be cute!

What are some of your back to school essentials and must haves? Let's chat about it in the comments below or you can tweet me about them at StarkRavingChic! Want to show off one of your adorable essentials in action? Feel free to tag me on your Instagram Story at @StarkRavingChic. Later babes, and happy studying!

Xx, Bree