10 Back to School Supplies You Now Know You Need

It’s been a minute since I tossed my tasseled cap into the sweltering air on the quad of a well-respected university. I didn’t graduate with honors and, unlike so many others, I didn’t make a single lifelong friend.

Looking back, I'm not sure where things went south. But for the first time in my life, I was struggling to find my way academically and socially. I felt humbled. I felt like an outsider. I felt... lost.

Luckily, my parents let me take my car to school sophomore year. This gave me the freedom to leave campus and explore the surrounding area, which is when I discovered Pilot Mountain.

Pilot Mountain became my happy place—maybe because I felt the ancient rocks understood my feeling of outside-ness. It also supported my need for feeling okay-ness. Years later, I learned that the local Native Americans called the place Jomeokee, which means “great guide”. Looking back, the big rocks may have guided me to plant the seed for Sit in the City here.

As you head back to school, as you navigate life inside and outside the classroom, it’s my hope that you find your “Pilot Mountain”. Perhaps it’s right here in our simple deck of Sit in the City meditation activity cards, which is #1 on our list of Back to School supplies to support your mental and emotional health. As for the others? Read on.

  • #2 Noise-cancelling headphones: Rowdy roomie? Noise-cancelling headphones help increase concentration and reduce stress during study sessions, making a pair your ultimate study buddy.
  • #3 Aromatherapy diffuser: Catch a whiff of that? It's the soothing scents of oils like lavender and sandalwood, which help you relax when your stress levels go through the dorm roof.
  • #4 Desk plants: Talking to your potted companions and spending time in green spaces have been shown to lower cortisol levels, which contribute to a more relaxed and balanced state of mind.
  • #5 Blue-light-blocking glasses: Screen-time fatigue is a thing. And there's something you can do about it. Blue-light-blocking glasses help reduce eye strain, headaches, and sleepless nights. 
  • #6 Stress-relief toys: Squishy, fidgety, sandy, moldable things are a perfect addition to your dorm room desk. You're never too old to play your anxiety and stress away. 
  • #7 Yoga mat or meditation cushion: Go from textbooks to tranquility by having one or both of these wellness props around. Both offer soft places to land when you need to reduce stress, focus, and find some headspace. 
  • #8 Big-ass water bottle: Staying hydrated is the ultimate study hack as a big gulp of H2O helps fuel your brain for optimal cognitive function.
  • #9 Planner: An hour of planning can save you ten hours of doing. (Thank you for the wise words, Dale Carnegie). 
  • #10 Adjustable standing desk: Getting off your bum can increase blood flow and oxygen circulation to the brain, promoting better focus, concentration, alertness, and more effective studying.