Back to life, back to reality. Summer may be in full swing but the fall semester will be here before you know it. It's time to start thinking about back-to-school preparations.

I missed the registration deadline for enrolling into the Master's in Communication Management program at USC Annenberg, but my friend Andrea is about to start her new term. I asked her what the most essential things anyone needs before going back to school.

She told me the best way to show up that first day is prepared. It's the day you make first impressions and set the tone for the rest of the semester. Get ready to get these A's.

Here are the top 5 things you'll need:

1. Planner

Set yourself up for success. A planner is the best way to stay on track with all of your school assignments and that busy social life of yours. Try the bullet journal or the trendy journals from, The best way to ensure you're not juggling too much this fall semester is to write it all down. Keep to-do lists in a single place, organize assignments by date, and jot down your million dollar ideas.

2. Laptop

A laptop is a back-to-school staple, especially when universities all over the country are moving from traditional labs to virtual ones. They provide the wifi, staff support and the software, and you just have to bring the hardware aka your computer. Plus, it makes taking notes in class a lot easier. Apple even offers special prices for Macbooks during the back to school season.

Additional pro-tip: an external hard drive or cloud dropbox account helps free your laptop from memory space.

3. A new outfit

Make the best impression on your peers and your professor by looking clean, refreshed and ready to work. A new outfit may boost your self-esteem to stand out a little more. Boohoo regularly offers 35% off for college students. Other retailers with student discounts can be found on Unidays.

4. Stationary

Research shows that when you take notes with a pen on paper rather than typing them on a laptop, you're more likely to retain the information than when you type notes. Grab notebooks and pens from your campus bookstore or at your local Office Depot.

5. Backpack

You need somewhere to store it all! A good backpack is crucial. An oversized bag can be too heavy and a messenger bag can sometimes put too much pressure on your shoulder. The stm trestle backpack is equipped a special sleeve for your laptop, keys, water bottle and everything else you might need in a lightweight design. It even has an integrated luggage pass for those weekends you spend back at home.

These are the 5 essentials you need to take advantage of the new school year. Is there any other essential you find necessary to take along with you to school? I'd love to hear what it is! Comment below.