Summertime Sadness (Sorta)
Well it’s that time of the year again. Near the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall. Take a trip to your local Target or Walmart and you’ll see signs that Summer is nearly over. And I’m not speaking metaphorically – you will literally see signs marking sections that are specific to “Back to School” items.
For all you parents out there “Back to School” is the start of the daily routine of dropping the kids off and picking them up several hours later and possibly attending PTA meetings every few weeks – just another list of things to add into your already busy schedule. But if you are a kid or even a young teenager, school is most likely at the center of what you do. It forms the basis of your social life, teaches things you may or may not find useful in the future, and hopefully opens your mind up to the possibilities around you. We’ve all been there and whether you love it or you hate it, school forms the basis of our formative years. For those of us lucky enough to have the motivation and means to pursue a higher education, schooling becomes even more important. In college almost everything you do will involve school and I’m not just referring to studies and homework. The people you hang out with will more than likely be classmates, roommates, or people in your dorm. You may find yourself working one or two jobs at a time to pay off those pesky student loans, to keep up with housing payments, to afford school books, or even to buy groceries. Basically school becomes your main focus (hopefully) and for good reason: it’s a springboard to future career tracks as well as a realm of various possibilities even if you think that the material you are learning is “useless”.
If you’ve managed to read this far without getting bored, you’re probably wondering what that rant had to do with “back to school” stuff. Well the answer is simple: Since schooling is so important (as previously indicated), it makes sense to be prepared from Day One. All of the items on this list are oriented to college students, with a focus on practical, inexpensive, and light weight items.
The first thing that you need obviously is something to hold your books, supplies, and if you have one, a laptop. A rugged yet lightweight backpack is ideal and if you’ve got a tight budget, I’d recommend the Classic JanSport backpack. It’s really the basic backpack that both looks the part for a college student and is durable enough to last the year.
So backpack, check. Now for items useful in classes, you’re obviously going to need something to take notes with and on. Mead Spiral Notebooks are great to take to class because they don’t take up space in your bag and because they can serve as both your notebook and your source of lined paper for written assignments or essays. If you’re not the person that likes to keep different notebooks for different classes, then you can keep all your notes together in one big Binder. All your assignments and notes will be organized and available in one place. Of course if you don’t buy a spiral notebook, you will need to stock up on a lot of college ruled paper. As for writing tools, I prefer G2 ballpoint pens simply because they are relatively inexpensive and are very smooth to write with. I would however advise buying a few cases of these pens as they may get lost or broken frequently. If you need a pencil, say for some sort of math class, I would recommend buying Mechanical BiC Pencils in bulk. These pencils are very convenient as you don’t need to sharpen them, they’re almost always ready to use, and they use number 2 pencil lead (the type that most scan-tron tests need).
These are of course just the basics of what a college student will need for classes, but other than course-specific books or materials like calculators, they really are the only items that every class requires.
Speaking of books, many college students complain about how expensive their textbooks are at the college bookstore. Well in case you don’t know, Amazon has a special offer for college students that sign up for student memberships, with discounted shipping and other great benefits to help you save some money. For some text books, they even have a “rent” option that allows you to order a book for the semester at only a fraction of the normal cost.
While summer is coming to an end and you are making all your preparations for the coming Fall season, don’t forget to enjoy yourself the last few weeks of vacation. After all, Summer’s not over just yet.