What’s in your bag, TRU?

Invading people's privacy to find out what students carry with them

We set out to discover the hidden lives of TRU students and decided the best way to do this was to find out what people keep in their bags. There was no shortage of interesting people carrying interesting things who had a lot to say about what they were carrying. So, what’s in their bags?

What can’t you live without?

Inside the purse of Bogdana Bakurova, a first-year Marketing student from Ukraine. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

Inside the purse of Bogdana Bakurova, a first-year Marketing student from Ukraine. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

  • Mangoes. I need my mangoes. (Gavin Hayes, post-grad TESL)
  • My coral lip gloss. Number one beauty product for full-on gorgeousness. (Lori Burns, post-grad TESL)
  • I need all of these things! I need pens in case one runs out of ink, I need lipsticks in case I need to change colours, I need my wallet ‘cause it has a little bit of money, I need my phone to call my ride… The mirror I can live without. (Pam Erikson, fourth-year English)
  • My wallet because it has my birth certificate in it and without that I don’t have an identity. I don’t know who I am anymore. (Hayley Wuschke, second-year Human Services)
  • My phone. I’m an international student and my mother is going to think something happened to me if I don’t talk to her every morning. (Nashtha Sharma, first-year Finance (Indian international student))
  • My water bottle because it brings me one of life’s most basic needs any time of the day or night. (Scott Turner, fourth-year English)
  • Probably my keys because without those I can’t escape the school. (Travis Flaherty, fourth-year History)

What has been in there so long that you just can’t get rid of?

  • Nintendo noisemaker. There’s no real reason and it’s annoying as hell. (Suvi Haapala, Architecture (Finnish international student))
  • All the lip gloss. (Alex Severn, first-year Police and Criminal Justice)
  • On one of these keychains, I don’t know what two of the keys are. (Cassie Schneider, sixth-year Human Resources)
  • Too many keys. I am not sure what they all open! (Lori Burns, post-grad TESL)
  • This key, I don’t know what it’s for. It might be from when I lived in Victoria but I’m not really sure. (Pam Erikson, fourth-year English)
  • I need everything in my bag and that is why it’s there. (Justine Kerluck, fourth-year English)

What are you carrying that best describes you?

Inside the bag of Viki Santamaria, a fourth-year Human Resources student. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

Inside the bag of Viki Santamaria, a fourth-year Human Resources student. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

  • Cards Against Humanity because I’ve carried it around in my bag since the beginning of high school in case there’s a group of people. It’s a constant. (Davis Majcher, second-year undeclared)
  • My journal because it’s full of my creative writing and stupid moments in life. No one can read it because it’s so damn unreadable. (Suvi Haapala, Architecture (Finnish international student))
  • Dictionary, because I don’t know English very well so it’s really helpful. (Mai Otani, ESL (Japanese international student))
  • My iPod. I’m very into music. If you listen to the music you can say something about me. (Bogdana Bakurova, first-year Marketing (Ukrainian international student))
  • The lip gloss. When I put it on I‘ve got gorgeousness. (Lori Burns, post-grad TESL)
  • My water bottle because its design shows that it’s from camp (Gardom Lake) which is my career choice and it always reminds me where I’m going. (Scott Turner, fourth-year English)

What should every student carry?

  • A flask. For those very hard days. (Martina Doucet, fourth-year Sociology-Theatre)
  • Printer paper. (Suvi Haapala, Architecture (Finnish international student))
  • Mangoes. Because they are delicious and nutritious. (Gavin Hayes, post-grad TESL)
  • Things to study. ((Mai Otani, ESL (Japanese international student))
  • Headphones to block out the sound of other people’s conversations when you’re trying to study. (Viki Santamaria, fourth-year Human Resources)
  • Snacks so you don’t spend all your money on the terrible, expensive food here. (Cassie Schneider, sixth-year Human Resources)
  • As a nerd, I will say textbooks and whatever you need for studying. (Bogdana Bakurova, first-year Marketing (Ukrainian international student))
  • At least a Leatherman [pocket knife] because you never know when you’re going to need it. (Teagan Lauriente, fourth-year Psychology)
  • I feel like we all love coffee, so a mug. A flask full of Bailey’s for your coffee. (Travis Flaherty, fourth-year History)


What’s the weirdest thing you’re carrying?

  • The mints. They’re the worst but I still have them, ‘cause they’re mints. (Davis Majcher, second-year undeclared)
  • The donut or battery. (Alex Severn, first-year Police and Criminal Justice)
  • A variety of pills for every problem – mine or others’! (Lori Burns, post-grad TESL)
  • Matches. I took them camping with me and never took them out. (Martina Doucet, fourth-year Sociology-Theatre)
  • The Warhead [candy] because I got it at Ruckers but I hate them. (Hayley Wuschke, second-year Human Services)
  • The quarter by itself. (Travis Flaherty, fourth-year History)

What’s in there that just doesn’t need to be?

  • Change purse. I’m like a grandma, I carry a change purse. (Viki Santamaria, fourth-year Human Resources)
  • Most of it. My sunglasses in particular right now. (Teagan Lauriente, fourth-year Psychology)
  • I need all of this! (Jenna Lindley, first-year Psychology)
  • One of my lipsticks I don’t use. I don’t even like the colour. (Nashtha Sharma, first-year Finance (Indian international student))
  • The business card. I’m going to throw that out right now. (Scott Turner, fourth-year English)
  • My toque should be on my head. (Justine Kerluck, fourth-year English)

If the zombie apocalypse started today, how would you use these items to survive?

Here's what Suvi Haapala carries. She's an architecture student from Finland. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

Here’s what Suvi Haapala carries. She’s an architecture student from Finland. (Annie Slizak/The Omega)

  • I would use the three keys on my lanyard as makeshift brass knuckles, fashion my pens into deadly blow darts, and keep entertained while reciting Shakespeare. (Martina Doucet, fourth-year Sociology-Theatre)
  • I would use the mangoes to catch and eat wild animals. I would compose music on the blank sheet music to keep myself sane, and I would then store it in my neck wallet to keep it safe from zombies. I would use the stiff paper of the note cards to make makeshift shurikens to fight off the zombies. (Gavin Hayes, post-grad TESL)
  • I’d spray them with my silver spray to see if they were made of bacteria and collapse. I would stuff tissues in their mouth, cover their head with my scarf, and stab them with my keys. And if that didn’t work, I’d see if they went into anaphylactic shock from the lipstick and hand cream. If that didn’t work, I’d throw my keys or money in the opposite direction to distract them. (Lori Burns, post-grad TESL)
  • This metal pen is pretty sharp. I could probably stab a brain with it. It would probably be pretty gross because I’d have to get very close. (Pam Erikson, fourth-year English)
  • The pen. Stab ‘em with it. I can’t break my laptop. (Jenna Lindley, first-year Psychology)
  • I’m just going to use my phone to call somebody for help and the granola bar for food. (Nashtha Sharma, first-year Finance (Indian international student))
  • I would just throw the bag at them. (Travis Flaherty, fourth-year History)