Packing your bags

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No. I didn’t get fired. Heh heh.

This is yet another student quandary for all the student readers out there. Well I guess this could be for anyone, since at one time or another we have all been students – more specifically your time as a nursing student.

My first ‘stint’ as a nursing student, I utilized a locker for many supplies. I also attended classes and had my clinical fairly close to home. So supplies were not much of an issue for me. What didn’t fit in my bag(s), or what I couldn’t fit into my locker I would ‘store’ in my car – since the parking lot was only a jot down one block. Basically everything I ever needed was in ‘reach’, or was accessible with very little effort.

This time around the nursing school ‘block’ is a tad different. Grad school seems to always present new and interesting challenges for me (I could tell you some stories). The scary part is, I’m just now getting through my first year. I still have another 4 semester to go!!!!


Here’s my dilemma.

How in the world do you pack everything you need for your day of classes and/or clinicals without carrying around half a dozen bags? I’m trying to prevent the “I’ve moved out of my house” look while I’m on campus. It’s as if I’m packing for a long trip that never happens.

Right now I’ve whittle it down to just 3 separate bags. I’m toting around my backpack that has all my note taking materials, folders, class supplies, netbook, etc. The core of my ‘school’ supplies are in my backpack.

Then I have another messenger bag. This is the potpourri bag. Anything I can’t fit in the backpack I’m shoving into this bag. Extra food, layered clothing (the weather where I live is extremely unpredictable), umbrella, clinical supplies (like my stethoscope and other needed materials), and anything else I can think of that I might want or need during my ‘stay’ on campus.

Lastly is my lunch tote. The insulated kind with multiple pockets and zippers to hold my pre-made meals, water, and other miscellaneous snacks.

Let me clarify some things first:

  • I travel a great distance from home to school – in excess of an hour drive one way.
  • I have the ‘marathon’ of classes kind of day – one day a week classes that are back-to-back. Thankfully they are all in the same building.
  • The closest parking lot that I can consistently park my car in is approximately 4-5 blocks away up on the top of the hill of campus (not an easy hill to trek mind you).
  • I am a growing boy! I eat often, and I’m always hungry. I tend to perpetually eat /snack. No joke. I always get the sarcasm from fellow students asking my how much food I bring (a lot).
  • No, I refuse to purchase any food while on campus. I think you know why. (if not read some of my past health articles)
  • I only bring what is absolutely necessary for class time and clinical time.
  • As the semesters progress I’m going to have to bring a change of clothes due to proper dress attire when required.
  • I could rent a locker – but it would be pointless since I wouldn’t’ leave any supplies there overnight.

So my question is, or maybe it’s not really a question but an inquiry. How does everyone else do it? What do you utilize when you have to lug so much around campus? Is there anyway to make this just a tad easier on myself? Anyone have a recommendation on a better backpack or other bag?

Inquiring minds REALLY want to know.

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6 Responses to Packing your bags

  1. Chris

    Ok, this might be right out for you but I finally went and got a rolling suitcase- one of the smaller ones. I could not possibly carry all the books I needed AND my purse AND my laptop AND my lunch without looking like a pack mule and killing my back. I know it feels a little silly but I have 8 books and all the rest into one rolling suitcase. It’s the best compromise I could come up with and I am glad that I am not the only one in my class who does this!

  2. Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

    @Chris It may very well come to that! Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. theflyingnurse RN

    Wow! Can I relate to your situation!!
    I just graduated in May, so the memories are still so fresh. I chose to go to nursing school as a second career. Because I already had a mortgage and kids, I had to keep my full time position as a flight attendant while I went to a rigorous 2 year program.
    My books, clinical supplies, and notes traveled to London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Munich, or Rome every week. In addition, I had to “pack” for the trip. I also packed a small cooler for my food that I brought with me to save money.
    So this is how it went:
    24″ Rolling bag contained my basic needs for being a person (toiletries, clothes, umbrella, shoes, flight attendant emergency manual-this is a space taker, and my documentation-passport, visa, etc) and my laptop went here when I was working.
    Luckily there is a clip to add a bag, and I used it to put my backpack on to hang off the front of the rolling bag.
    My cooler bag just slid over the arm of the rolling bag.
    I think that if you had a rolling bag, you could get yours down to one or two.

    • Sean Dent Scrubs Blogger

      @theflyingnurse WOW! Now that’s some serious packing. Thanks for sharing the story and the tip. I’m still trying to find an even balance.

  4. skidevil87 Student

    Being in the grunts of the end of my first semester of clinical, I have just a really good backpack with good support that can carry my huge books. I was fortunate enough to have my clinical day on a separate day than my classes so it hasn’t been a huge issue. Being in my mid 20’s I have not succumbed to the rolling backpack like some of my other classmates. But who knows what’s in store for next semester!

  5. amanda.logue Student

    timbuk2 bags are amazing. They are an investment, but I had a chef at a smaller local restaurant in San Francisco who would get all of the produce for the day at the market across the city. He would then ride his bike back with all of it in his XL bag! I love mine except I only got/needed the medium when I was in pre-reqs and wish I got the large or even XL on some days! I would recommend a specific bag, but they have so many options that you can get the perfect one for your needs.

    FYI: I have no affiliation with the company, I just love their bags :)

    Thanks for all of your great articles!