I keep switching my bag everyday..as in the one I carry around. Either to college, or to hang out with friends. Or to even random outings on my own. But there are a few essentials I always carry in my bag.
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1. Pepper Spray!!! :D (I've terrified people with this knowledge on occasion too!)
2. The book I'm currently reading...and this varies from the latest John Green to some philosophical book I might have gotten my hands on. I read almost all kinds of books (except the ones with gory details on violence...that just freaks me out.)
3. My purse (and that always contains my ID, my debit card, my membership card to a certain beauty parlor, cash to travel, cash to spend on books :P, bills from usually Starkmark and places I've eaten at, a picture of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo, a picture of Bipotarini Ma....and notes that my friends have given me. I always keep those notes safely in a compartment of the purse.)
4. An umbrella (well, usually). No matter what the weather is, I believe in keeping an umbrella handy. Especially when there's some room in my bag.
5. A notebook and a pen. Even if I don't carry a notebook sometimes, I'll always have a pen. No idea why - but I have seen it always comes in handy.
6. My house keys. The most important of the lot. My house is always locked and I don't even want to think what would happen if I accidentally forgot my keys some day. So yes...
These are the things that is usually in my bag...