Make sure your handbag has everything you could possibly need.
We have all been there- you have slept through your alarm, it is lashing rain outside and you are running late for your 9am. It can be tough going getting up early for lectures, but packing your bag the night before will make your life so much easier. Here are my top six college handbag essentials:
 

1. Lip balm.

Whether it be Nivea, Carmex or EOS, everyone needs a lip balm in their handbag, especially now that it is getting colder and windier. For extremely chapped lips, try using Blistex Intensive Moisturiser. It doesn’t smell pretty and has an off-white, pasty consistency but it will do dry lips wonders! If you’re fond of a bit of colour on your lips, try a tinted lip balm.
 

2. A spare pen.

Nothing is worse than sitting down in a lecture hall after the struggle of trekking into college only to realise that you have forgotten your pencil case. You then have to awkwardly ask the random stranger next to you for a loan of a pen, and they usually give you their worst, chewed-on, cracked green pen. This results in your notes looking ugly and being quite difficult to decipher because you couldn’t change the ink colour to signal a new point. Save yourself this trauma and have a BIC four-colour pen stowed away in your bag.
 

3. Painkillers.

You never know when a headache might strike. Sometimes you can be sitting in a lecture hall which is stuffy and your lecturer is droning on monotonously, and you feel a pounding headache coming on. Always carry painkillers in your handbag and even if you don’t need them, a friend probably will. They are also good for combatting cramps.
 

4. Mascara and concealer.

The only beauty essentials you need. You can buy an expensive brand’s mini product for a significantly lower price which will fit perfectly into a handbag pocket. I like Benefit’s mini products myself, and sometimes there are three for two offers on them at Boots. If you didn’t have time to apply make-up before you headed to college, you can head to the bathroom mirrors in between lectures and put on a bit of concealer to brighten up your complexion and a bit of mascara to perk up your eyes. Combine with your lip balm and you have a subtle make-up look!
 

5. Hand sanitiser.

There is nothing worse than pressing the soap dispenser in a bathroom and only air being pushed into your hand. You then have to spend the rest of the day feeling like your hands are dirty. I bring hand sanitiser everywhere and it is so convenient, especially when I inevitably spill tea or coffee over my hands during lunch.

 

6. Chewing gum.

If you are prone to clenching your jaw when you concentrate, trying chewing gum during lectures or while studying in the library. Usually you can get a big tub of Wrigley’s Extra for €2 when it’s on offer in Dunnes or Tesco, and this is far better value than buying the little ten packs. If you rattle the tub, expect a swarm of friends to arrive, all asking for a piece.