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Okay, Here's What You *Actually* Need for the Best School Year Ever

Now that your backpack's got a few miles on it and your first-day jitters are a thing of the past, let's talk REAL back-to-school must-haves, mmkay?

Daniel Fernandez · about 1 month ago


Yeah, the new school year is well under way — the swimsuits have been traded in for gym uniforms, and boogie boards for blackboards. But now that we've had a chance to settle in to the new routine, it's time to take stock: What would help this school year actually kind of...rock? Here are 15 must-have back-to-school items you probably haven't thought of yet, that'll give your school day routine a serious upgrade.

Flip LCD Alarm Clock

Already missed the first bell a few times? Sames. Time for an alarm clock that does the job right. If you’re a snooze-button-lover like myself, then this alarm clock is perfect for you because the alarm is activated and deactivated by flipping the clock over to either ON or OFF. It forces you to get your body moving and catch that bus!

To-Do Pad

You know that saying that gym teachers all over the world have plastered along their walls? You know the one:,“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” That’s where the Knockpad: To-Do list comes in. It has a space for you to keep track of all of your tasks, errands, correspondence, and notes — it basically helps you organize everything! 

Pad of Butter Notepad

According to Google, the average human has 6,200 thoughts a day — and that definitely doesn’t account for the extra 6,200 thoughts someone has just getting through an average school day. This butter-shaped notepad is perfect for jotting down fun ideas, notes, or thoughts at a moment’s notice! Pro tip: Don’t actually put these on toast.

Super Power T-Shirt

A good outfit sets the tone for a good school day: “It’s called style sweetie, look it up.”  That’s where this superpower t-shirt comes in: Aside from being soft, comfy, and a truly excellent shade of green, this tee lets you write your superpower in chalk right on the front. Prepare for jaws to drop as you strut into homeroom with your superpower proudly on display: "SPELING."

Polaroid i-Type Camera

Speaking of super-duper-mega-fly school day outfits, answer me this: If you didn’t take a picture of your OOTD then did you even really wear it? Sure there are camera phones and insta grams and face books, but what better way to commemorate the moment you made fashion history than with a cool pic that you can stick right up on the fridge or in your scrapbook? 

Urbanears Plattan II Headphones

“Hearts on Fire from the Rocky IV soundtrack, duh.” Oh, sorry, I thought we were talking about songs we listen to when we want to get PUMPED UP. Get in the zone and start your school day off right by blasting your favorite tunes on these Urbanears Bluetooth headphones. You’ll be feeling excited and strutting down the hall so smoothly you won’t even realize you walked straight into the janitor’s closet.

Fart Sound Box

For quiz day, for boring remote-school Zooms, or for breaking in that slightly-high-strung substitute teacher, you gotta call in the big guns: the Fart Sound Box by Gift Republic. Everyone loves a funny prank to break the ice — or in this case, cut the cheese. With 12 distinct fart noises, you’ll enjoy hours of fun flatulence with your classmates. Fair warning: This product does not come with a "Get Out of the Principal's Office Free" card, so use at your own risk.

Go Fish Card Game

Did someone say “Lunchtime funtime?!” Go Fish is a classic card game that helps with making new friends, opening up conversation, and killing time in the cafeteria before the playground is open for recess. “Got yesterday’s math homework?” “Nah, go fish!”

Friendship Bracelet Maker

Everyone knows that a friendship isn’t official until it’s christened with a friendship bracelet. With a spinning loom and a travel-ready supply drawer, this portable friendship bracelet maker makes it super easy to celebrate your friendships in bracelet form anywhere. Did we just become best friends?! YEP. 

Puffy Sticker Kit

Everyone in class has a plain old, boring black-and-white notebook. Snoozefest, am I right? But you being the mold-breaker that you are, pull out your Puffy Sticker Kit and start making your very own stickers to adorn your notebooks, textbooks, desk, and locker with. You’ll be the talk of chemistry class with your custom designs. Also, these are great for sharing! 

Ice Cream Scented Markers

Do you love art? Do you love ice cream? Man, if only there were a way to enjoy both of these things at the same ti — wait a second! Though you can’t actually eat Ooly’s Ice Cream Scented Markers (I mean you technically can eat them because there’s nothing in this world you can’t do so long as you put your mind to it but we don’t recommend it), they’ll make art class much more fun and sweeter than you’re used to.

DIY Design Studio

Bursts into the room leaving a human-sized hole in the wall: “Did someone say arts & crafts?!?!” With 40+ art-making essentials like watercolor paints, oil pastels, and markers, this DIY Design Studio by STMT includes everything you need to blow off some after-school steam making great art with your friends.

Mindfulness Cards

“The science project is due tomorrow? The syllabus is how many pages long?! What the heck is a mitochondrion?!” School can be a little overwhelming thanks to the sheer amount of stuff you’re learning, people you’re meeting, and places you’re going. These Mindfulness cards include an inspiring phrase and mindfulness exercise to help you be more present in the moment and roll with the changes that come your way.

Letters to Me When I Grow Up

Reflecting about ourselves and setting intentions is important when it comes to knowing what direction we want to go in life and how we want to grow as people. Whether you wanna believe it or not, by the end of the school year you’ll be a totally different person than you were at the start, and these letter-writing prompts are the perfect way for you to see just how much you’ve grown after another year of school.

ABC Affirmation Cards

When we find ourselves surrounded by new people, new activities, new places, and all of the possibilities a new school year brings, it’s easy to be nervous, afraid, and sometimes feel small. These Affirmation Cards by Darlyng & Co. are perfect whenever we need a little bit of love to keep on facing the unknown with our heads held high. You got this!