A complete (almost) A-Z list of items you need for sure if you’re heading into High School, and on the second half of this list is a list of must-haves if you’re heading to college like I am. However, this time the list will be a little different because I’ll be focusing on what I think is considered better than others, rather than a general list like “pens, pencils, etc.”
Honestly, this feels surreal. This time 4 years ago, I was buckling up and ready to go to High School and now 4 years later, I’m buckling up again for college. But I think this time around, knowing what you think you need vs. what you think you need is going to help me help you better.

High School:

I know all/most schools are different as to what you truly need for classes, but based on my experience, it seems that you don’t really need a $1000 laptop or anything like that. I know that when you see commercials for students in high school/back to school sales, that they all have the latest laptop, tablet or any other tech. But that’s not necessarily true, during my time in HS, most of our school work were done on paper or in the Library during allotted times.
However, if say one day you were given time to work on it in class, you could literally pull out your phone to do it since most programs/softwares have an app for it too (microsoft word, canva, etc.). But since that new “no phones” rule for TDSB schools came out, I think you’d probably have to get an Ipad or tablet. Or if your school lends out laptops/tablets for school use, I’m sure you can do that too. Save the money to get a great laptop or tablet for College or University because that’s probably when you’ll need it most.

Accordian Folder

Sure binders are great, but they’re also bulky and add weight to your backpack if you have to lug it around everywhere. Folders are great too but most paper ones are single-use and it becomes a black hole for homework assignments. Use an accordion-style folder to keep your homework assignments, so all of your homework is in one place and you’ll probably never lose it. Might cost more than single folders but you’ve got years of use with them.

Black & Blue Bic Pens

Let’s be honest, Bic pens are kind of a staple but sometimes the point of the pen is a little too thick. I found out that there’s a specific one (at least) that has a finer point. It’ll say “Bic Round Stic F” on the pen, and I find it a bit more precise compared to the others. Though I think there are even better ones out there if these aren’t your style, I just haven’t read about them yet.

Wireless Charger

If your phone is compatible with a wireless charger, it might be a great idea to get one.  You don’t have to use it all the time, but it will be useful in certain cases if you keep it plugged in and ready for use. For example, you wake up later than usual and you forgot to charge your phone during the night! Put it on the wireless charger to get your stuff done, then grab your phone just before you leave.


If your school is a super old building like mine was, you’ll most likely benefit from this. It can cool you down a little if you aren’t in an area with AC, or whisk away unpleasant smells. You can plug it into a wall adapter to power it or a power bank, for easy travel.


I’m starting college tomorrow, so this is just a very rough list  of things you may need.

Laptop or Tablet

If you were to get a laptop or tablet (like a Microsoft surface) I would suggest  getting one that has at least 12 or 16 GB Ram. It’s likely to be able to run a lot of tabs open (if your internet can handle it) and would save you a little bit of time booting up apps, or sending in stuff like when the time comes for you to choose your timetable. Or if you’re going for and Ipad, I would suggest getting at least 64GB for storage.  Nowadays I think 64GB is the default storage capacity for new Apple products, but my first Iphone (the 4s) was 5GB. So I always talk in a way as if there’s options lower than 64GB but I guess there aren’t any, anymore.


If you’re going to take digital notes, of course you’ll probably benefit from getting a keyboard of some sort for the tablet. 

Apple Pencil or Stylus

If you’re going to get an Ipad or tablet for digital note taking, you may as well grab some form of stylus. It could come in handy when reviewing your notes, so you can easily highlight, or add handwritten notes.

Cotton Bag

This should be a handy “just incase” item in your bag if you end up having to lug stuff around (like shoes, uniforms, textbooks and etc). I know many stores will sell them for a couple dollars, but personally I think the Yves Rocher and Muji cloth bags are around the best size.

This isn’t what you’d all need for school, but it’s a small list of things you might not think of needing. I hope that your school year leaves good memories for you, and just remember that it’s just another baby step into your future!


Toronto-based Beauty and Lifestyle blogger focusing on the world of Korean Skincare and Beauty, particularly product reviews and where to get them in Canada.

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