What’s in my Bag?: The Essentials for Surviving Communications and Multimedia

By: Diana DiPede

Shortly after starting university, I began to realize that my backpack was going to become my best friend. It was with me for the whole day, and so everything I needed had to be in it.

Here is the unofficial list of everything that I have in my bag that helps make being a Communications and Multimedia student a little bit easier.



This is going first because it is by far the most important thing. Throughout my years in the program, I have realized there is a trend in class scheduling; our days are very long, with a lot of classes being held back to back, not giving us any time to go out and buy a proper lunch. Even if you did manage to somehow manage to get food in the 10-minute window that we have between classes, I find that the lecture halls do not provide us with a lot of room to eat.

Carrying a bunch of snacks on you is a way to solve this dilemma. Sure, it is not as satisfying as having a whole meal, but at least it prevents you from getting hangry in class, so you can pay attention in lecture. Sugary snacks are especially good for those long night classes.


Laptop Charger

As I mentioned, Communications and Multimedia students often have long, drawn-out days. A lot of the things we do are computer based, so it is important to make sure that your computer can make it through the day with you. Be sure to bring a charger for your laptop, phone, and any other devices you use throughout the day.

In the Active Learning Classrooms in LR Wilson, there are multiple outlets per table, so you will have an easy time charging your laptop. For traditional lecture halls, outlets are sparse, so it is important to scout out the few that exist, so you know where to sit when your laptop needs a little extra power.


USB Flash Drive / A Larger External Hard Drive for Multimedia Work

USB flash drives come in handy for a number of things. The first is presentations. Instead of having to do Google’s 2(000) step verification when trying to log into your Google account on a new computer, you can put your presentation on the USB and present it from there. Just pop it into the computer and go!

Flash drives are also super handy when you are doing a hands-on tutorial with a computer in the Multimedia lab. The lab desktops delete all saved work when you log out, so it is important to make sure that you are saving a copy of your work, so you can continue editing the file. For this specific use, I would recommend an external hard drive because the files that you are going to be working with are larger.



Even though most of our work is computerized, it is good to have a pen or pencil. The most you are going to use it is during tests, but it is so much better to have them ready in your backpack, so you aren’t scrambling to find a writing utensil at the last second, which will just add to the stress you are already feeling.

A lot of our classes have attendance marks, which means you need to sign-in. It’s good to have your own pen or pencil just because some profs tend to lose their pens when it goes around with the attendance. It’s best to just let the profs keep their pens, and sign the attendance using your own.


Memory Card

This is good for students who are renting cameras from the Multimedia Lab. It is a lot more convenient to have your own memory card that you put into the rented camera, this way you do not have to worry about remembering to upload the photos on the rented card onto your computer before having to return the camera. Also, by having it on your own personal card, you will always have access to the photos.

This is especially important considering you only have access to the lab’s cameras for 24 hours, and since the lab owns so many cameras, it would be hard to find the one that you had used, especially since a lot of other students are renting out the same equipment. Finally, the memory cards on the lab cameras are formatted often, so your photos may be gone by the time you find your original camera.


Student ID

This goes for students in all programs, not just Communications and Multimedia. It is so important to keep your student ID with you at all times. Sometimes profs ask for student IDs during midterms, other times they don’t. Instead of trying to guess whether you need it, just keep it in your bag at all times! Also, if you are renting anything out from the Multimedia Lab, you need your Student ID, so it is good to have if you rent anything last minute. You just never know when you might need your ID!


Obviously, there are other things in my bag (including a European plug adaptor, which I don’t even know how that got in there), but these are the things that I use daily and help me the most in my Communications and Multimedia classes!

Hopefully I was able to spread some wisdom. Be sure to comment if I left anything out, or if you have any other essential items that help make your life easier.