7 Backpack Essentials Every College Student Should Have

Don’t you just hate being unprepared for school? As much as we like to joke that all we need is a pencil and one notebook, there’s something about being unprepared that makes us uncomfortable—we try to avoid it as much as possible. I’ve got you covered with seven backpack essentials that will carry you through the school year.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

1—Chapstick/lip gloss

This one’s a no-brainer. Don’t you just hate it when you don’t have chapstick so you have to lick your lips instead? I know, gross. Make sure you always have some chapstick or lip gloss in your backpack.


This is also a necessity, and lotion gives you soft hands throughout the day. 

3—Hand sanitizer

There are germs everywhere, so hand sanitizer comes in handy all the time especially when eating food.


I didn’t realize the beauty in having earbuds when walking to class until a couple weeks ago. It’s great to listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook as a way to get your mind together.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

5—Snack and water

We all love food and get hungry, but with all the schoolwork and extracurricular activities, sometimes we forget to eat. Having a snack handy is always a must, and with this summer heat still in full play, you can’t forget to have water. Water bottles like this can keep your water nice and cold for hours!

6—Small journal

I don’t know about you, but things are always flowing through my head. It might be due dates, reminders, quick poems, or drafts, but I like to have a small journal in my backpack so I can jot down my thoughts. 

PHOTO: Anna Coke

7—Pen and pencil

Don’t be that kid who forgets to bring a pencil and pen to class. My rule of thumb is this: make sure you have enough pencils and pens for yourself and one other person. Not only will you be prepared for class, but you’ll also be helping someone else out.

What do you absolutely have to have in your backpack? Let us know what your backpack essentials are in the comments below! 

7 Essentials for Cute Camping

The month of August consists of many long, hot days where the living is easy. Therefore, packing for a camping trip should be anything but stressful! However, I always find myself frantically trying to overstuff my backpack with my whole wardrobe. If you are anything like me, then you need some guidelines to keep this process simple. It is essential to pack basics that mix and match, and fun accessories to keep things interesting!

I recommend you start with two T-shirts, one tank top, two pairs of shorts, one sweatshirt, a pair of leggings, a raincoat, and a cover-up for a week of camping. Pack less if you are only going away for the weekend! The list that follows breaks down my tried and true extras for the great outdoors. These items will let your personal style shine through.

1—Statement sunglasses. Protecting your eyes from intense sun rays is a must! My pick for the summer is blue-tinted aviator sunglasses! These frames are timeless but pack a punch with fun-colored lenses. If you feel this classic style is too tame, you could try thick cat-eye shades in cherry red or pastel pink that give a nod to the pin-up girls of the 1950s and 1960s.

2—Performance sandals. Whether you are team Tevas or Chacos, both sandals allow you to comfortably romp through streams and keep your footing while navigating tough terrain. Minimalists can stick to all-black styles while quirkier Fashionistas can choose from a range of intricate patterns and bold colors.

3—Hiking boots/sneakers. If you prefer a shoe that hits at the ankle and provides more stability and coverage, a hiking boot suits your needs! However, some people feel restricted by boots. If you fall into this category, then you should try trail sneakers which provide traction while letting your ankles breathe. Regardless of what you choose, have fun with your shoes! I like to switch out basic laces for a more colorful pair.

4—One-piece swimsuit. This is a no-brainer! A one-piece is more functional for swimming around a lake or traipsing through a stream. The one-pieces of today are far from dorky, so use yours to express yourself. I personally love a one-piece in a bright shade like coral.

5—Backpack. This is the perfect carryall! You can fit everything you need into one bag neatly given the different compartments. In addition to your clothing, I recommend bringing a book, BB cream, lip balm, bug spray, sunscreen, and a travel hammock in your backpack!

6—Hat. Whether you prefer a baseball cap, wide-brimmed sun hat, or bandana, all three can make an outfit and camouflage greasy locks instantly. Bandanas can also double as a cute bracelet!

7—Water-resistant watch. My favorite essential is a sporty watch! You can keep an eye on the time to ensure your activities move along smoothly.

Time to go explore! What are your favorite essentials for cute camping? Let me know in the comments below. 

Get Inspired With This Festival Look

One of the most sought after and braggable summer activities for people in college is going to a music festival. Coachella, Electric Forest, Bonnaroo, Firefly Music Festival, and Lollapalooza are just a few of the big names out there. Music festivals are a huge trend right now that have people from all different parts of the country attending and bringing their different styles with them. The music festival trend has not only attracted crowds in the masses but has created its own kind of style.

A popular trend at festivals is the tie dye material. As you can see, this Fashionsta rocks the tie dye look super well. Her tie-dye maxi dress with the slit in the leg is the perfect combination of comfortable and cool. Yes it is a dress, but no it’s not over the top or too dressed up looking. Her accessories are on point as well for this outfit. From her super trendy, round frame, nude sunglasses to her double-layered choker, this Fashionista knows what’s in.

As far as practicality, she knows what to do as well. Festival season isn’t something that you bring your nicest handbag to or really any handbag at all. The boho, crochet backpack is extremely handy and cute. She can fit all of the things she needs inside without worrying about holding onto her purse all day.

Another practical thing that this Fashionista brought along with her was her sandals. These are the lace up kind that won’t rub your feet after wearing them hours on end!

What are you wearing to festival season? Share your festival outfit photos on social media and don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista. 

Backpack Essentials for Your Best Semester

It may seem like a small thing to worry about, but when it was time for my freshman year of college, what to carry in my backpack was something I contemplated for a long time. I was constantly worried I might leave something important behind, which resulted in me stuffing my bag full of stuff I never touched. Now, a year later, I think I have finally mastered what I need in my backpack to make it through a long day of college classes.

1—The basics. First things first, you need all of the materials required for your classes. For me, I like to carry a notebook and folder for each class, and if it’s required, the textbook for the class. I also carry a few of my favorite, pens, pencils, and highlighters in a pencil case.

2—Electronics. No matter what, always make sure to bring your laptop. Whether it’s for note taking, pulling up the online textbook, or the occasional scroll through Facebook during a long lecture, your laptop is a backpack essential. Make sure to bring the charger as well; the last thing you want is to open up your laptop in class just to find out it’s at 2 percent and your charger is at home.

3—A good planner. Keeping an organized planner is easily one of the most helpful things I’ve learned in college. Always carry around a nice planner to jot down due dates or a friend’s birthday. Trust me, your planner will become your new best friend! I also like to carry around some planner stickers to mark important dates.

4—Things to keep you comfortable. I always make sure to carry around a sweatshirt, scrunchie, sunglasses, and my prescription glasses. Even in the middle of summer, you’ll always have that one class that is absolutely freezing, and having a sweatshirt with you is an easy solution to this problem. When you step outside of that classroom, though, the summer heat will still be there, and having a scrunchie to pull your hair back and some sunglasses to throw on is always helpful.

5—Water. During a long day of classes, it’s easy to forget about staying hydrated. I make sure to always carry a large water bottle with me to remind me to stay hydrated throughout the day. Similarly, I always make sure to carry a protein bar with me for the days where I don’t have time to stop for a meal, but don’t want to sit through a long lecture hungry.

6—Extras. As a few extra items, I always make sure to carry hand sanitizer, hand lotion, lip balm, and gum. These items are essential in my everyday life, so having them in my backpack is essential too!

What are some of the items you keep in your backpack that you couldn’t live without? Let me know by commenting down below!

A White-Hot Look for the Summer

Currently, I’m abroad in Greece visiting family and eating way too many chicken gyros. I’m also taking notes on some of the best upcoming fashion trends from Europe. My inspiration for this outfit comes from the white and blue scenery that makes Greece so famous. I decided to add some personal touches as well.

For my look, I chose a breezy white cotton shirt that provided protection from the afternoon sun. This is what I consider one of my classic shirts, which can be used for almost any occasion. The breathable fabric is especially ideal for warm days. This pair of high-waisted blue jean shorts is one of my favorite items in my closet because it fits me like a glove and is a staple to have during the summer days. With these shorts, all I need is a couple of tank tops and I have several outfits ready to go.

I bought this white embroidered backpack in Greece, and I’m already in love with it. The stitch work is gorgeous and on trend with the embroidery craze this year. The backpack is also big enough to fit my water bottle into for impromptu nature walks in the Greek countryside or afternoon shopping in the outdoor marketplace.

I try to make most of my wardrobe interchangeable (so I can save both time and money), and these sunglasses are a perfect example of that. They are chic, simple, and versatile. The gold necklace is from my cousin’s jewelry shop in Crete and features an ancient Cretan depiction of two honey bees. Gold hoops help to round out my outfit and make my white-hot summer ensemble look even hotter.

What’s your summer look? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.

3 Back to School Must-Haves to Start the Year Off Right

This summer has officially reached the halfway mark. This means school will be back in session before you know it. Every college student knows the life of a college kid is pretty crazy. I have put together a few key items you’ll need to ensure you start off this upcoming fall semester on the right note.

1—Planner. You should make sure you invest in a planner—also known as a lifesaver—before your first day of class. From tests to quizzes and tons of assignments due in each class, it can get pretty hard to keep up with everything. One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been in college is that you cannot remember every single thing. For those of you who are involved in extracurricular activities or work outside of school, a planner will definitely benefit you. Using a planner will help you be able to be more relaxed by giving your mind a break because it will basically keep up with your schedule for you.

2—Backpack. Aside from making sure you’re on top of your schedule, you also need a durable backpack that can carry all of your belongings. It’s not always about which bag is the cutest. You need to get a bag that can hold your books, laptop, and notebooks. With that said, you can never go wrong with a classic solid black backpack. A solid black backpack can match everything, and you’ll be fashionable and comfortable.

3—Cute mug. Besides staying organized, you also need to stay hydrated. You can quench your thirst in style throughout the day by getting yourself a cute mug. You can take it a step further and get a cute mug with an even cuter quote on it. These mugs are so trendy and are perfect for your early morning coffee to start off your day.

What are some of your back to school must-haves? Show us on social media and tag @Cfashionista.

If These Bags Don’t Scream “Summer” I Don’t Know What Does

In this day and age as our phones get bigger and women’s jean pockets seem to get smaller (or disappear altogether), carrying a purse becomes essential. Filling a bag is never hard. Tossing in your phone, wallet, keys, and lipstick of the day is a must; litter the bottom of the bag with receipt paper and spare change, and I think you can consider yourself a classic American woman.

But not every purse is up to the challenge of your adventure of the day. Sometimes you don’t need to bring your massive Mary Poppins bag to dinner, or you need more than a clutch for a beach day. I’ve selected the perfect summer bags to tackle any day filled with sun and sand ahead of you.

The Camera Satchel Bag: This bag fits it all without looking bulky and weighing you down. Choose a satchel bag that easily stashes away your camera, wallet, and any other essentials for the day ahead of you. This purse will also serve well in the fall to carry your school notebooks or photoshoot essentials. I chose my bag in a sweet terra-cotta color, dancing on the spectrum of “millennial pink” for a classic cool girl vibe. Pair the purse with a sundress and block heels, and go explore some historical city streets.

The Mini Backpack: This small backpack fit a lot more than I ever expected it to. This was my vacation purse that I toted around with me when I was on island time, stashing away my small wallet, passport, and even my camera inside. The double straps of the backpack make it easier to adventure hands-free, and the size doesn’t slow you down. The mini size makes you look stylish, not just like a student. Pair with your favorite pair of denim shorts, tennis shoes, and power slogan t-shirt.

The Posh Beach Tote: Just because you’re going to the beach doesn’t mean you can’t look fashionable beyond your bathing suit. Stow your towel and sunscreen in a heavy duty and waterproof tote bag that doesn’t scream soccer mom. I took mine to the beach the other day and the tide tried to take it way, but it held up! Talk about durability. Also, the pebbled leather look and tassel element to this bag takes your beach day up a notch. Style with your favorite bikini and sandals.

Do you own a must-have summer bag? Show us your favorite carry-all on social by tagging @CFashionista!


Dare to Wear Fishnet Stockings

There have been a lot of controversial trends this year. There are old trends making it back onto the fashion scene, and new trends emerging from nowhere. My absolute favorite trend the fashion world decided to embrace this year is the use of fishnet stockings. The fishnet stockings have been revolutionized from being an edgy hosiery garment into something that will fit into your everyday fashion look.

The fishnet stockings, when dated back, were considered to be overtly sexual because of the bold open-diamond design that reveals one’s skin. Well, that’s not a problem in the 21st century because they are now a part of mainstream fashion. Since fishnet stockings were spotted on the Kardashian/Jenner clan back in the fall of 2016, the world, bloggers, and the it-girls of Instagram have been mesmerized by them. In this article, I show a way to wear fishnet stockings and will give other tips on how you can style them.

For this look, I’m wearing fishnet stockings under ripped jeans with a black bodysuit. Bodysuits are a huge trend right now and will make your outfit absolutely incredible especially when you plan to tuck your blouse into your bottoms. For my shoes, I went with black boots. I don’t think one can ever go wrong with boots. The boots have an edgy and youthful look to them and I wanted to be sure I looked my age while putting together this outfit. If you are not comfortable wearing heels, then you can easily wear a pair of sneakers and you will still look great. In order for me to create the street look I wanted to achieve, I accessorized with a black mini backpack.

Wearing fishnets stockings with what would be considered a basic outfit is a perfect way to elevate your look. A basic outfit of a skirt and a T-shirt can be made to look edgy with fishnet stockings. A T-shirt dress paired with fishnet stockings can also help you achieve the ultimate street style.

There are so many ways to style fishnet stockings and it is impossible to do it incorrectly. I love that even though fishnets are one simple item, it does not limit one’s style in any way.

How will you rock the fishnet stockings trend? Let me know in the comments below.

The Ultimate Festival Preparation Guide

Music festival season is, without a doubt, the best season! Between the live music, warm weather, being with friends, the outfits, and the overall energy, festivals are my favorite thing in the world. The proper preparation is key in order to make your festival experience nothing less than perfect. Here are some of my best tips and tricks (from personal experience) to make your festival experience easy, safe, and positive.

What to Wear

1—Outfit. The most important thing is that your outfit is comfortable. You don’t want to wear an outfit that restricts you from dancing, makes you overheat, or that you are worried about ruining. In this look that I will be wearing to Lollapalooza this year, I am wearing an Emory Park matching set from Pitaya. It makes me feel comfortable, confident, and I’m not worried if it gets dirty (because if you’re still clean after a music festival, you did it wrong).

2—Shoes. My go-to concert shoes are my Adidas Original Superstars. I don’t know how some people wear wedges and heels to festivals, but I recommend wearing shoes that you can stand walking miles in and dance around in all day and night!

3—Backpack. The most important thing at a music festival is hydration. So, why not make hydration stylish too? This holographic backpack is from Vibedration, and it contains a two-liter water bladder. Most festivals have free water filling stations, so this backpack is perfect to keep you stay hydrated and keep all of your belongings together.

4—Hair. My favorite hairstyle for music festivals is French braids. It keeps your hair together and out of your face. Plus, it looks good on everyone!

5—Makeup. Prime your eyeshadow with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion and top your whole look with Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray. Use waterproof products like the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner and Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara. By using these products, your makeup will survive any rainstorm or heatwave!

What to Bring

1—Sunscreen. Bring a small travel-sized bottle in your backpack to reapply throughout the day.

2—External phone charger. Don’t get stuck with a dead phone at a festival during your favorite headliner or if you lose your friends.

3—Extra cash. While many festivals now offer wristbands that you can connect to a credit card, you never know when your credit card will get declined or your wristband malfunctions (yes, this happened to me).

Other Tips

1—Use the festival app. Many festivals offer an app that includes a map of the grounds, festival updates, and the festival schedule with stages and set times.

2—Make your schedule beforehand. This will give you a general plan for your day and allow you to make sure that you don’t miss any of your favorite sets!

3—Assign a meeting place with your friends. In case your group gets separated, it is important to have a go-to place in the festival to meet up.

What are your tips for a successful music festival? Feel free to leave me a comment below. Tag @CFashionista to your music festival photos and show us your best festival looks!

5 Travel Essentials You’ll Need This Summer

Traveling is especially prevalent during the summertime, whether it be for an internship, studying abroad, visiting family, or vacation! No matter the occasion they are a few items you will not want to leave home without. The key to packing smart for a trip or vacation is bringing versatile products that can be used throughout the trip. For example, pack a pair of boots that can be styled in several different ways, or your go-to eye shadow palette.

The Travel Essentials.

My number one travel essential is a stylish backpack. I use a Rebecca Minkoff fringe backpack, this bag is super useful because it can be used as a backpack for traveling, and then be used more as a purse during your vacation.

My next travel essential would be a comfortable pair of slip-on shoes. These are crucial for traveling, especially if you’re going to be flying—going through airport security is much easier with shoes you can slip on and off! My two favorite pairs come from Zara, and H&M, so they’re affordable as well.

You cannot forget skincare and beauty products! A personal favorite of mine when traveling is a refreshing facial spray. These are great for freshening up and keeping your skin hydrated. These also help to combat breakouts that tend to occur while traveling.

Along with skincare, it is key to keep a simple beauty routine while traveling, only bring your most-used, favorite beauty products. A few of my favorite makeup items include the Make Up Forever Ultra HD Foundation, and the NYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in the shade Stockholm, along with brow gel to fill in my eyebrows and hold them in place, a concealer to fix any blemishes or imperfections, and a blendable highlighter.

Lastly, I think an important item to travel with is sunglasses! Not only do they serve a practical purpose, but they are also a great accessory to spice up any outfit. My most worn pair of sunglasses is Ray-Bans with a round metal frame.

What is your number one travel essential? Let me know in the comments below!