What’s in your bag, SFU?

What’s the coolest thing you’re carrying?


Written and photographed by: Jennifer Low, Peak Associate 

It’s pretty simple. We took a walk around SFU and asked people to tell us about the most interesting thing in their bags. The following piece is adapted from interviews with Charlene Shue, Katie Low, Erica Steward, Alicia Lim, Brandon De Souza, and Christina Lim.


“Student life: More receipts than cash”

I don’t think that I have anything that interesting in my bag.


This is my wallet. It’s [holding] my fortune and [here’s] a receipt, because I got to eat to survive, you know. It’s a Thai food receipt because dining hall’s rice is really salty, so sometimes I go out and buy Asian food, so I can have, like, a taste of home.


This is my blood, sweat and tears. This is my philosophy and accounting [notes]. My two hardest courses are within this notebook. This is my go-to, [required-to-survive] notebook.

Name tag

[This is] my financial accounting name tag. [It is in my bag] because my TA wanted to know our names. [It is fancy and detailed because] I was bored.


My laptop is the most important thing because this thing is expensive and, like, all my notes and social media stuff is here. . . My life is on here. If I don’t have this, I’m doomed for university.


These are my house keys; I live in Richmond, so during rush hour, it can take up to two hours to get [up to SFU].



“My backpack is basically a trash can”

You chose the wrong person to ask. There’s actually nothing interesting, but I never realized how much junk I had in my bag until now. You know what? If you caught me in, like, grade seven, I would have given you really interesting stuff. I had everything in my bag. We could probably go camping for, like, a week, and we would survive with that bag.



Everything is just food, actually food. Do I have garbage in this thing, or did I clear it out? It’s all crushed at the bottom [of my bag]. [I’ve got] chocolate, dark chocolate — dark like my soul. It’s really old and I always planned on eating it, but I just never did, so that probably proves that I am a pretty big procrastinator. I procrastinate eating food. It’s great.

I ate [this protein bar] on the bus [today], and it’s nutritious because BPK is teaching me I have to eat healthy, because if I don’t, I’m going to get cancer or heart disease or something. This is because I cannot eat in the morning. If I eat in the morning, I get sick, so I keep food with me throughout the day so I don’t starve later. I probably have some kind of digestive issues.


This eraser — you know how everyone loses their eraser? This has been with me [since grade 12] and I have written all of my critical exams with this eraser. I have gone through my provincial, my worst nightmare, with this eraser. It’s a high quality eraser we got going on here. [It’s so small that] only my tiny-ass hands can use it.


I had a netbook in grade six and I thought it was the cutest thing ever, but it was slow as hell. It was actually the slowest thing in the world, and then I didn’t have a computer after that. So this is, technically, my first laptop that is my own first computer.

I only bought this specifically for university, and I said I wouldn’t game on it, but I do game on it and that’s really bad. It’s probably the most expensive thing I have. I was only able to afford it because of my scholarship. Otherwise, the laptop I would have gotten would have been much cheaper. I saved $20,000 on tuition, so [I thought], “might as well treat yourself to a nice laptop.” All of my studying is on this laptop so I probably spend, like, eight hours a day on it.

*Note: After the interview, Katie finally ate the year-old expired Kit Kat. “I finally achieved my goal!” she laughed, “This is why people shouldn’t procrastinate!”



“It’s always nice to know the patron saint of travel is in your wallet”

Wallet and Keychain

So this is a little charm I have on my wallet. The charm is of, I believe, Saint Christopher. I think he’s the patron saint of travel. My mom got it for me because, I think, she was going through a rough time, and [she] was like, “everybody needs a saint now,” and I was like “oh, okay.” So she gave me this, and I keep it on my wallet just because whenever I go somewhere, I have my wallet on me. So that way, there’s someone watching over me, or someone making sure I don’t run into trouble or anything. It’s always on my wallet because if I go anywhere, I have everything in my wallet, like my driver’s license, so if I’m driving or busing with my Compass Card or anything, my wallet comes with me.

People don’t usually notice [the charm], but I always notice it, and that way, I can’t lose it, too. [As for] the wallet, I just got [it] for myself for Christmas, because I deserve a Christmas present from me, because I’m amazing LOL.


“When your girlfriend comes to school early just to do your eyebrows #Relationshipgoals”

Eyebrow Kit

This is my eyebrow kit. I had it in my backpack because on Saturday, I had training for Friends of Simon, and that’s at 9 a.m. [. . .] so my boyfriend and I always get here early at around 8 a.m. I was planning to do his eyebrows until our training because his eyebrows are… actually really good and super filled and stuff, but I just clean up the middle part and the underneath part. He really likes the way they look [when I do them for him] and he can’t do them himself, so that is why I need to bring my eyebrow kit to do it for him. We never ended up doing them [this time] because his transit was really bad and I had to wait a long time for him.

It’s blue because that’s my favorite colour, and I got these gold tweezers from Target, when Target used to be here. They had a huge sale so I just bought it, even though I already had tweezers. This [pair is] sharper and it gets the more precise hairs.

I actually don’t use [most of the kit] that my mom got for me. The only thing I really use is the scissors in here. Even though I only use two of the tools, the gold tweezers and the scissors, it’s a nice container to hold it all. It looks really pretty and professional too. I don’t even know what half of these tools are for; it looks like a dissection kit!


“I stole this lock from my brother so others won’t steal from me”

Combination Lock

The object that I pulled out of my bag is a lock, and I use this lock normally when I go to the gym, because I lock up all my valuables such as my clothes and my phone and my wallet. It gives me a sense of security, and it makes me feel comfortable when I’m away from my belongings because I feel like no one’s going to take my stuff, and it gives me a better workout because I don’t always have to keep checking back on my stuff to make sure it’s still there.

I like the colour of it; [it’s] a very nice blue colour. It’s very metallic, and it’s also my girlfriend’s favorite colour. The combination is very easy [to remember]. I actually stole the lock from my brother because he used it for his high school lock. He has other locks though, because it came in a pack of two, and I picked it because of the colour and the easy combo. I started using it around a year ago. Don’t steal my stuff.


“My pen exploded”


I was writing some stuff on my planner in the dark one morning. After I was done, I went to the washroom to wash my face while I was still half-asleep. As I was splashing my face with water, I suddenly realized that the water started turning blue after coming in contact with my face. I was terrified that my face was somehow covered in blue, but when I looked in the mirror, my face looked normal. Then I looked down at my hands and they were covered with blue ink! The pen I had used to write in my planner exploded in my hands without me knowing, and when I put it back in my pencil case, it covered a bunch of other pens in ink too. This is one of the pens that was affected by the ink explosion.