NYU, what’s in your tote?

Backpacks are out, and tote bags are in. Here’s what NYU students are carrying to class.

Jhenesis Hines, Staff Writer

Tote bags are an essential part of New York City culture. They’re used for just about everything: shopping, carrying school supplies, creating an everyday aesthetic — and students aren’t exempt from the trend. WSN asked a few NYU students what they carry in their totes. Here’s what they had to say.

Pierce Whitney, Tisch ’25

Several items strewn across a white sheet including a green journal with a leather cover, a gray laptop, a book titled “Jazz” by Toni Morrison, two bookmarks, a pair of white earphones, two pairs of glasses, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, several coins, nine pens, a container of lip gloss, a brown leather wallet, and a brown leather tote bag.
(Natalia Kempthorne-Curiel for WSN)

I actually bought this bag this summer while studying abroad. What’s in my bag is my MacBook Pro that I use for my classes and for scriptwriting, and I also have a journal that I use for idea generation. I also have a book, “Jazz” by Toni Morrison, which I definitely recommend, and I also carry two bookmarks — one metal and one wooden because I’m a bougie reader. I also have some makeup like mascara, brow gel and lip gloss, just to touch up in the middle of the day. Then I have my headphones for my computer, my wallet, and seven different color pens because I have to color coordinate what I highlight and annotate.

Rakayah McNeely, Tisch, ’26

Several items laid across a gray tabletop including a notebook with Hello Kitty stickers, a pink laptop with Hello Kitty stickers, a smartphone, a pink notebook, a plastic pencil box with three pink pens inside, a pink bottle of hand sanitizer, a Hello Kitty themed hand cream and lip balm set, a pair of wireless headphones, and a Coach wallet.
(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

In my bubblegum pink Telfar, I have a white Five Star notebook, a pink Papier custom-made planner and, of course, my NYU ID card that’s on a pink keychain. I also have my Muji pencil case with my pink pens, along with my contact case and contact solution. I also have my pink and monogram Louis Vuitton wallet, my pink charger, my pink Brita water bottle and my black umbrella. Then I have my Hello Kitty composition notebook, my pink macaron shaped Hello Kitty lip balm, Hello Kitty hand cream, pink hand sanitizer, headphones and Lysol. If you couldn’t tell, pink is my favorite color!

Desmari Miller, Gallatin ’26

Several items laid across a white sheet including a laptop case decorated with flower patterns, an iPad with a green case, a purse with flower patterns, a gray laptop with many stickers, an N.Y.U I.D. card attached to a lanyard, and another lanyard with a tube of lipstick.
(Anna Prenowitz for WSN)

My bag is Victoria’s Secret and I actually got it from my cousin. In my bag I have my iPad, and then I have this book for my Gallatin class, and my binder filled with notes and a picture of my mom. I also have another book for another one of my classes, then a mini bag with my charger and headphones inside of it. Then I have my Hydro Flask, my keys and my wallet — which is my favorite thing ever. Then I just have my NYU ID and a few pencils, and that’s it.

Anneliese Foltz, CAS 25

Several items laid across a gray table top, including a gray laptop, a white phone charger, a leather case for Airpods, a light gray calculator with a case, a red notebook, a pair of glasses, a black notebook, four pens, a pack of chewing gum, several keys with an N.Y.U I.D. card, a small white purse, and a pair of black headphones.
(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

I got my tote bag at Urban Outfitters and it is made out of jean material. In my tote, I have my keys and my NYU ID. I also have a lot of pens and pencils scattered around my bag, as well as my two main notebooks. I use one for drawing in my Italian class, and I use the other for my science-based classes. I also carry my calculator, drawing pencils, more pens and my AirPods. I also carry an extra set of headphones just in case my AirPods die. Then I just have a pack of gum, a random piece of paper and a spare five dollar bill.

Gabby Bates, Tisch 26

Several items laid across a gray table top including a green bag, a light yellow bag, a blue plastic folder, a pair of gray headphones, a purple notebook, a yellow notebook with an “N.Y.U. twenty-twenty six” sticker, a red handbag, a tube of red lip gloss, a portable hard drive, and a silver laptop with stickers.
(Qianshan Weng for WSN)

Every day I carry my cream-colored Telfar with me, and I consider it to be a good tote bag. On the daily, the things that I pack inside include my laptop, two of my notebooks and a folder. I also carry my headphones if I am not wearing them, and since I am a photography major, I carry around my camera. I also carry two pouches inside my bag: one is for pencils and other materials I may use for class, and the other one is for my electronics, including my chargers, portable charger and a hard drive for my camera. I also carry a lot of on-the-go beauty supply items, such as my Fenty lip gloss and lip care. I like to bring glasses wipes with me, an extra reusable bag for groceries, and I always bring my umbrella because you never know when it’s going to rain.

Contact Jhenesis Hines at [email protected].