School Supplies List for High School: Everything You Need!
Are you just starting high-school and don’t quite know what to expect? Are you a proud baby-mama or baby-daddy and your young one is just starting their freshman year? Is it really possible to get cold feet before going back to high-school, even if you’re not a freshman anymore? For all the cases above, you’ll be glad to know that a school supplies list for high-school is just what you need to make sure you’re prepared.
Check out our printable and email-able lists for specific high school grade levels here 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
But starting such a list is more than just being prepared with the basic desk supplies. If you have everything you need at hand, you can begin to relax and focus on the things that actually matter. So you can pay better attention to teachers, solve or your class assignments fast and maybe even help other people in your class.
But what supplies are actually necessary and which are just going to clutter your backpack? Is it really necessary to buy all that stuff before school begins, or can you get a few even afterward? We’re here to answer all those questions, so read along.
Let’s start with the things that every student must have in their backpack, and which you’ll use on a daily basis. In fact, most of these will be used from day 1.
- Ballpoint pens. These are great for taking notes or for taking essay-type tests, but you also need them for other class assignments or group projects. For instance, some teachers love it when pupils review each other’s assignments, so make sure to get multiple colors, like red or green.
- Colored pencils. There will be tons of projects where these will become useful, or you can underline some of the notes you’re making along the way. If you’re taking Biology, there will be a lot of drawing, and so will for Geometry.
- Large pink eraser. This is not a whim, it’s actually the best type of eraser on the market since it’s latex-free and makes your mistakes disappear without leaving any smudges.
- Loose-leaf notebook paper. That’s because some teachers prefer a special sort of paper and are quite picky about that. So some might need you to have the college-ruled type, meaning you’d better be prepared with that.
- Mechanical pencils. Whatever notes you’re making, pencils are amazing for that because you can easily erase your mistakes. These are great for homework as well as taking notes or making calculations in Math.
- 2 pencils. You’ll be taking some scanner sheets tests, which can’t be read correctly if you’re using another type of pencil.
- Pencil sharpener. All those pencils above have to stay nice and sharp, so you need a pencil sharpener for the job. It’s best to get a manual one so you don’t make any noise during tests, and if it has a shelf to catch the shavings, it’s even better.
- This is mandatory for Math or Physics, but you might need it for other projects as well. Just make sure yours has both the imperial and the metric measurements.
- You need these to take notes, do homework or class activities, and you can get either composition notebooks or spiral bound. However, the second type is better for when you want to rip a sheet of paper without affecting the overall aspect of your notebook.
Once you have all that covered, you need to make sure your stuff is organized well. That will help you move fast and have everything you need at hand.
- Three-ring binders. Get several of these to put different papers you receive from your teachers, along with test sheets or individual worksheets. You need more than one because some teachers will tell you to keep their class sheets in a separate binder.
- Three-hole punch. You’ll need to attach all those sheets of paper in a binder somehow, right? That means you need this three-hole punch thingy, so make sure it can fit in a three-ring binder too.
- Pencil case. It’s best to keep all your pens and pencils in one place to avoid losing them. If this case can fit in your binder, you’ve won the jackpot.
- Binder dividers. As you can see, these binders are sort of like a general tune in this section, and the binder dividers help you keep the papers inside even more organized. That’s why we advise you to get the sort of dividers with pockets, which are wonderful if you have loose papers.
- Folders specially-made for binders. There will be different papers in your class: for classwork, for homework, for group projects and papers your teacher hands you, like study sheets or curriculum requirements. So it’s best to keep these separated inside the binder, in these sort of folders.
- Pocket folders. Finally, not everything is placed in binders. Some papers and assignments must be handed to the teachers, so having pocket folders is great if you’re required to make a portfolio.
- It’s always a great idea to have a calendar or a planer handy, where you can schedule dates for assignments or tests, even if you have a calendar app for that on your phone. But you can always see your calendar, which is a physical reminder of all your tasks.
- Make sure you get a resistant, durable backpack that’s ergonomic and supportive, with a good weight distribution. You’re going to have to carry a lot of stuff with you and some schools don’t allow rolling backpacks, so we’d first advise you to find out what your school’s stance is on that.
- Combination locks. It’s best to get two of these if your school lockers don’t have locks of their own. You’ll need one for your hall locker and one for your gym locker if that’s the case.
These are the things you don’t need right away, but it’s better to have at least some of them handy. We’ll give you the general idea about the most common study aids used, but remember that your teachers might have different requirements too. Besides, take into account your learning style too and select the best items for you.
- Index cards. Get both ruled and un-ruled, depending on the subject you need them for. Apart from helping you remember certain facts better, they’re also great flashcards to practice before a big test.
- If you underline the key phrases or keywords from your notes, chances are you’ll remember the most important fact easier. Besides, you can use that for when you’re reading the material the second time around, so use multiple colors.
- Post-its. You can’t use highlighters on books, so post-its are the next best thing. Besides, you can make mental notes of your own on them.
- You should ask your Math teacher what sort of calculator you need for that class, especially before making a huge investment. Although you might need a graphing calculator, some products have huge retail prices and tons of functions you’re probably not going to use unless you’re going to NASA high-school. Also, if you plan on using your phone calculator, ask your teacher if they’re ok with that.
You’ll probably be taking some Arts and Crafts class, but even if you’re not, you’re still going to be doing quite a lot of projects. That’s why you need:
- Drawing paper. You’ll be drawing all sorts of interesting things on this, aren’t you excited?
- Construction paper. More professional than the usual paper, this is great for technical drawing.
- Glue sticks. For most of these drawings, diagrams or cards, or maybe even origami-like projects, you need glue to finish your project. Glue sticks are the best because they’re clean, easy to use and don’t spill.
- White glue. You’ll also need a bottle of this for some other materials apart from paper, like wood, ceramics, leather or fabric. A 4-ounce bottle should do the trick, don’t get one that’s too big.
- Scotch tape. Mending and putting stuff together is all part of a successful DIY project.
- It’s better to get a mini-stapler than a bigger one. Chances are you’re going to need it rarely, but it’s still good to have one in your backpack.
- Arts and crafts are all about cutting stuff to place on other stuff, to make new and better stuff. So get scissors that actually cut stuff.
- Water-based markers. Unlike alcohol-based markers that are permanent and therefore difficult to wash, these can easily be washed from your hands or clothes.
You’ll need some of the items below for at-home use, while others are simply nice to have. They’re not mandatory, but it’s a good idea to check out this list too:
- Printer paper. Get enough paper because chances are you’ll be printing quite a lot of studies, research or your own projects.
- Ink cartridges. Make sure you have both black and colored cartridges.
- Water bottle. A stainless steel one is better because plastic ones contain BPA, which is a dangerous chemical connected to all sorts of nasty diseases. Besides, it’s more resistant and it looks cooler.
- Poster board. This is amazing for all sorts of visual aid presentations, ensuring you’ll get a higher grade.
- You might need that for Powerpoint presentations, for swapping info with your classmates, or for downloading research materials from your teachers.
- Locker organizer. If you love being organized to the max, this sort of equipment allows you to place shelves in your locker, so you won’t have to keep your stuff piled onto each other. And if you want our advice, diagonal locker dividers look badass and are space-efficient at the same time.
Check out our printable and email-able lists for specific grade levels here 9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
Back to School – Supplies List for High School Wrap Up!
Now that you’re here, you have a complete list of everything you need to start college on the right foot. But that doesn’t mean you’ll need every item on this list, so feel free to cut the items you don’t need off it, then print the final draft and check the items off as you go.
That said, we’re curious about you. How do you feel about starting high-school? Are you nervous or confident? Which items from this list do you think you’ll use the most? Which ones are you sure you won’t need?