No More Back-to-School Supplies!

Hey, folks! 🙂

This week, I will be starting a new segment on what I consider a “Back-to-School” series. For those of you about to return to school (or already back in school), I will dedicate one post everyday this week (Monday through Friday) to a school-related topic, whether it’s on surviving college, my personal experiences in high school, or simply the U.S. education system.

Without further ado, let’s get to our topic for today! 😀

Ah, back-to-school supplies…

…really, I find it kind of ridiculous that shops have already been advertising back-to-school items since the beginning of July, if not the end of June, when we had just gotten out of school! From the aisles and aisles of colorfully-bounded notebooks to newly-cut number 2 pencils to the fresh-pressed “hip and trendy” clothes on the racks, it feels as if we are perpetually stuck in school 24/7, all year-round. It’s as if summer had never really happened! 😦

My sentiments exactly. Poor kid!

Back-to-school shopping has been an indelible memory in my childhood. From the time I started elementary school up until my last year of college, I would go with my family to places like Target or Costco to purchase new items for the school year. I can’t forget the countless times that we bought packs and packs of notebooks (one for each subject), the boxes and boxes of number 2 pencils (Ticonderoga® was my preferred brand, although I know it really made no difference), and later on, protractors and graphing calculators for advanced math.

…and don’t get me started on textbooks. Okay, so they were pretty much free during my elementary through high school years (thank the school for free education, woohoo!). But once I hit college, textbooks weren’t free anymore. Even worse, they costed a fortune. Unless you were rich or had plenty of scholarship money, you would probably go bankrupt just by purchasing books for three classes. Seriously, I’m talking hundreds of dollars for a chemistry textbook, which you only end up using for two classes and that’s it! Selling back almost never is worth it, especially when you only get back a fraction of its original price (I’m talking less than fifty percent). I’ll spare you the rest of my rant on college textbooks, and just direct you to a previous post on the subject: Things I Learned in College: Textbooks.

Not like I dreaded buying back-to-school items: I didn’t look forward to it, but I did like the fact that everything was so new: the spiral-bound notebooks, the un-sharpened pencils, and everything in between. I just found it funny when I compare them to their state at the end of the year: beaten up, torn, covered with dirt and scribbles. Even more funny is that I don’t end up using all of the pages in my notebooks; I kid you not, I always have at least 40 pages left over at the end of the year, of which I end up using up during the next school year (saving paper, saving the environment- that’s where it’s at!). 🙂

So true…

In any case, back-to-school shopping was a huge part of my childhood, as well as for every student in the nation. It’s a tradition, in a way, to do this every year- even becomes a habit!

But now, after having graduated from college…I don’t need to do it anymore! The idea didn’t strike me until towards the end of the school year, when I suddenly realized that not only was that my last year of schooling ever, but also the fact that I didn’t need to buy anymore back-to-school stuff! I felt both relieved and unsettled at the same time: relieved that I didn’t need to shell out dollars and dollars for school supplies and expensive textbooks, and unsettled that I was saying goodbye to a long childhood tradition.

Still, though: no more school, no more purchasing back-to-school items! Well, that is, if I decide to pursue more education in the future (Master’s degree, anyone?). We will see! 🙂

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s “Back-to-School” series post! Until then!


— The Finicky Cynic

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