Ahh, high school – what a time!
One of the things that stressed me out about entering high school was the utter lack of school supply lists / the lack of consensus on what you need for high school. As a Type-A, ESTJ worrier, I was super freaked out an overwhelmed. And I’m the oldest out of the kids, so I didn’t have any older siblings to tell me what to buy.
First, high school is very different from middle school, but the supplies you need basically stay the same. The thing that will change the most is probably your organization system, but that’s a *whole* other blog post.
Anyway here’s what you need.
If your school isn’t paperless, you will likely need a binder (or two!) for every classes. This is where you will store old handouts, worksheets, tests, and quizzes. You won’t take these to school with you every day. It’s best to keep this organized chronologically. Alternatively, you could use one binder for all the classes, but thats a) more expensive for one 3in binder b) hander to organize. I got mine from staples. I recommend getting D-ring binders.
This one is a bit trickier. It’s hard to gauge whether a class is going to need a whole notebook to itself or not. For example, my freshman history only took about 40 pages of notes for the entire year. I’d recommend buying one 3-subject notebook and two 1-subject notebooks. That way you can put the classes that don’t take a ton notes altogether. Alternatively, one the first day, you can ask your teachers what supplies they’d recommend for their classes. You can always return items if you don’t need them, but you can’t buy things after they’ve sold out.
You will definitely need some No. 2 pencils for scantrons and standardized testing. I like the Dixon Ticonderoga and the Pilot Dr. Grip Mechanical Pencil. You can use mechanical pencils as long as the pencil is using HB grade lead.
//FOUR// Colored Pens
This one is pretty simple – having multiple pen colors is super helpful for drawing diagrams, annotating texts, spicing up your notes, and basically everything. I have a set of colored gel pens and a set of colored ballpoint pens.
You will have a project or a poster to create. You will need colored pencils. Do your future self a favor, and buy the 24 pack of Crayolas. This is save you from the inevitable last minute, late night dash to Staples the night before your project is due.
//SIX// Pencil Sharpener
I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t have a pencil sharpener – don’t be like those people. Assume that the pencil sharpeners in your school are trash (they probably are) and bring your own. I keep a mechanical one on my desk at home and a manual one in my backpack. The manual one is my absolute favorite pencil sharpener. I’ve had mine for 3 years! And I absolutely love it!
//SEVEN// A folder for every class
This is what you’ll carry around with you every day. I like to store ONLY the handouts relevant to the current unit in class. It is imperative that you keep this clean and organized. I’ve used these really cool 4-in-1 folders and these basic 2 pocket folders. I’d definitely recommend getting these in plastic, so they are more durable.
I will never understand the people who just throw their pens and pencils all willy-nilly into their backpacks! I high recommend using a pencil pouch that has two pockets like this one. That way you can have one for your post-its and erasers – things you don’t to get dirty with pencil marks all over them. Plus a separate compartment just for your writing utensils.
Honestly, I probably should’ve put this first. A planner, agenda, assignment book, whatever you want to call is one of the keys of long term success in high school. You NEED to know *exactly* when your assignments are due and when your tests are given. A planner is key to that. You don’t really need a planner that’s any bigger than 5in x 8in. That’s the size I use. It’s slightly smaller than the A5 size.
A watch is essential for me. I know in my school, at least 2/3 of the clocks in my school are broken. Also, most of time, teachers won’t allow you to whip out your phone to check the time. This is why a watch is the best thing ever. I genuinely wear a watch every day. I get watch tan lines. Here’s the watch I currently use! One really important feature for a watch to have is the date – I constantly forget the date, so having it on your wrist is super convenient and useful.
Good luck with high school – You’ll need it!