School Supply Shopping

August 21, 2016
Michelle Greenfield

As I walk down the sacred halls of Target, I am reminded of my favorite time of year—school supply shopping. I remember getting the list of supplies in elementary school: four tissue boxes, a pack of highlighters, colored pencils, scissors … I always tried to get the best deals, searching through the weekly ads every Sunday morning when they were posted. However, when I got to college, I realized the same type of school supply shopping was just not going to cut it anymore. No teacher was telling me how best I should attack his or her class. I had to discover for myself what was going to work best for me. Was it the binder? The folder? Or just cramming papers into my backpack (This final option has never worked for me.)

As corny as it sounds, this idea of school supply shopping is very much like the college process itself. No one is there to tell you how you should spend your time or what you should buy. For most people, it’s the first opportunity to live on your own, decide what you want to eat, what clubs you want to attend, what time you want to go to sleep. Everything is trial and error. And while you might try something for a few weeks, you may realize that it’s not what you want continue. That’s totally okay. College, especially the beginning of college, is all about trying new things and seeing what sticks.

So the best advice I can give you is to go on a shopping trip. Put a bunch of items in your cart, both new and old, and see what works best for you. And I’ll be honest, I brought binders all the way from Arizona, because that’s what I had always used. But after a few days of using them, I went to the U-Store and bought folders, because that’s what worked betterr for me in college.