Things to Bring on the First Day of School

So, you’ve gotten yourself a new school bag and a squeaky clean pair of shoes, and you’re all ready to start a brand new year in school. After taking a break of several weeks, you might need a little refresher on what to bring on the first day of school.

If you haven’t been packing your school bag for some time, it can be easy to leave something out.

Here is a checklist of items which should go into your school bag, especially for the first day of school:

  1. Stationery and School Supplies
  2. Student’s Diary or Weekly Planner
  3. Water Bottle
  4. Umbrella or Raincoat
  5. Cash, EZ-Link Card and Keys
  6. Name Tag and School Badge
  7. Holiday Homework and Projects

1. Stationery and School Supplies

Most teachers wouldn’t be jumping straight into lessons on the first day of school – unless you are sitting for the national examinations at the end of the year and there is no time to lose. However, you’re likely to find yourself writing down something.

Some teachers may be giving an overview of what to expect in the year ahead. They may even introduce a list of recommended books to supplement your learning. So make sure that you are well-equipped with your pen and writing paper, so that you can record the information down.

For those who like to keep things organised, consider bringing a notebook or file with you on the first day of school. Check your pens to make sure that the ink has not dried up over the school holidays. Otherwise, you might end up having to scribble words on your palm, using a pen borrowed from the person sitting next to you.

2. Student’s Diary or Weekly Planner

Start keeping track of your homework and other things to do from day one of school. Rather than trying to consciously remember the tasks you have on hand, write them down in your diary. Whenever you get a new assignment or a date for an upcoming test, write down a quick reminder for yourself.

This time management technique helps you to make better use of time. You can quickly find out which activities which you should prioritise and which tasks you should save for later. A weekly planner also gives you an overall picture of how your week is going to look like. A busy week ahead means that you will have to start checking things off your list early.

You can even use a different coloured pen to distinguish between the various types of activities. For example, use a blue pen for homework and assignments, a red pen for upcoming tests, and a green pen for activities after school. Finally, strike it out with a black pen when you are done with the activity. It’s always a good feeling to be able to take one more thing off your plate.

Alternatively, you can make use of the calendar function on your phone (if your school allows this). But if you do not want to risk getting distracted, stick to a diary or weekly planner.

Just in case you are reading this the night before school reopens and don’t have the time to buy a diary, here’s a printable weekly planner which you can use. Print a few copies to last you until you can get hold of a proper planner. Or you could share them with your new classmates (and maybe gain instant popularity).

3. Water Bottle

You and your schoolmates have so much chatter to catch up on after a long break away from school. All this non-stop talking would make you feel thirsty, wouldn’t it? Your water bottle would certainly come in handy, allowing you to keep your conversations going.

Drinking water at regular intervals helps you to keep your body hydrated throughout the day. As a student, you should drink enough water so that your brain can perform at its best. In general, you should be drinking around 2000 ml to 3000 ml of water per day. Or even more, if you are a physically active person. Divide this number by the capacity of your water bottle (in ml). That gives you the number of times you should fill your water bottle each day.

Pro tip: Tie a few rubber bands around your water bottle, corresponding to the number of refills you’ll need. Every time you finish your bottle of water, remove a rubber band and put it on your wrist.

Bringing your own bottle of water to school also helps you to save money. And it is better for the environment too. You can refill your bottle using the water coolers around the school campus, instead of buying drinks from the school canteen.

4. Umbrella or Raincoat

If you’re living somewhere which rains all the time such as Singapore, you may need an umbrella or raincoat to keep you dry during a thunderstorm. This is especially important for those getting around by public transport. While most walkways are sheltered these days, you wouldn’t want to be left stranded when trying to cross the road.

Don’t forget that January is one of the wettest months of the year in this region. You’ll never know when it will start to drizzle or rain. An umbrella or a raincoat can help you to stay dry during the rainy season. We’d always choose an umbrella over a raincoat, because umbrellas have an extra function of providing us with shade from the sun.

5. Cash, EZ-Link Card and Keys

If there is one thing that you must remember to bring on the first day of school, it should be money. Having enough cash on hand can help you to solve potential issues that arise during the day. If you’ve forgotten to bring some of your school supplies from home, you can always buy it from the school bookshop.

On the first day of school, you may need to contribute some money to your class fund. Teachers may ask you to purchase recommended books, or even folders of a specific colour for each subject. While you may not need to buy these items straight away, it shortens your to-do list by one item.

You’ll also need to have enough money for your various meals at the school canteen. Consider carrying a little extra cash in your wallet, as prices tend to increase at the start of the year. However, don’t bring too much cash to school either.

If you are travelling to school by public transport, don’t forget your student concession card. Otherwise, you may find yourself getting charged a higher fare when you pay by cash. Your house keys should also be kept with you if you’re going back home when nobody is around.

6. Name Tag and School Badge

Apparently, there’s always someone who forgets to put on their name tag at the start of the school year. Your name tag helps you to identify yourself to the unfamiliar faces around you. If new students are joining your class this year, name tags make it much easier for you to address each other.

Similarly, don’t forget your school badge, tie or belt, if these are also essential components of your school uniform. Make sure that your shirt is clean and neatly pressed for an extra boost to your self-confidence. Start the new school year on a positive note by making a good first impression.

7. Holiday Homework and Projects

Holiday homework is designed to help students reinforce what they have learnt over the past year. After spending a good amount of time and effort on your holiday homework, you’ll want to get some feedback from your teacher on your work.

During the holidays, you may have also worked on individual or group projects. It is finally time for you to show off your excellent work, and get the credit you deserve. Some group projects may require team members to combine their individual parts before submission. In that case, drop your friends a reminder so that they would remember to bring their parts for consolidation.

What Not to Bring?

Unless specifically instructed by your teacher, you might want to leave your textbooks and workbooks at home. There’s no reason for you to bring all those heavy books to school, just to realise that it is not needed on the first day of school.

However, if you are certain that you will be assigned a locker on campus, you can start bringing some books to school. This could lighten your load for the next few days as classes start to ramp up. Bring your own padlock if it is not provided by your school.

Have A Great Year Ahead

That’s it for the list of things you’ll need bring on the first day of school. We hope that you are excited to start another fruitful year of learning, and don’t forget to set new goals for the upcoming year. Most importantly, stay healthy and make sure that you are getting enough sleep

Wishing all students a successful year ahead, from the team at

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