Back-to-school shopping made easy: The ultimate wishlist

From left: Hydro Flask, 18 oz Wide Mouth, $29.95, available at; North Face Tote Pack, $55.00, available at; Beats, Solo3 Wireless Headphones, $199.95, available at

By Eliana Brook, SENIOR, MICDS

A Student’s Guide to Successful Back-to-School Shopping is back in session, and for many students, their backpack becomes a place where papers and pencils are thrown, yet rarely ever seen again. Many students attend their first day of school with one pencil and a few sheets of loose-leaf paper. My job is to keep your backpack from becoming a trash can, and rather, fill it with supplies that will help you succeed for the rest of the year. 

First of all, you will need a backpack, the most crucial part of the back-to-school experience. If you mess it up, your whole year could be ruined. 

If you want a backpack that isn’t going to rip in half when you throw it on the ground or leaves you unable to retrieve a notebook when the zipper gets stuck, I would recommend a North Face one. Although it may be pricey, no matter how much you spill, throw, or drag your backpack, it will last you for at least three years. These backpacks also have pouches for computers built-in, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing an additional computer case when you buy a North Face. 

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Now, we all know how easy it is to throw every paper you get straight into your backpack when you leave class. However, we also know how difficult it is to find that same paper when your teacher asks you to retrieve it and the inside of your backpack looks like it has been hit by a small hurricane. 

Personally, I have tried every method of organization from folders to binders. Folders are too small and hard to keep track of while binders are too bulky and heavy. Lucky for you, I have found the perfect solution. Behold, the Poly 8-Pocket Folder. This looks like a notebook from the outside, but when opened, instead of holding paper, this notebook holds folders. This way, all of your papers can be organized by subject in one place. This method is not bulky, and can be purchased on Amazon for $5.

Now that you have a place to keep your papers, we can get a little bit more creative. School lunch can be unpredictable, and we all know that high school students are always hungry. One day, you can be eating pizza, and the next day meatloaf. Therefore, it is important to keep snacks handy while at school. 

I would recommend devoting a small pouch or section of your backpack to food. This does not mean you have to pack a gourmet meal each day — there are many snacks that can be left in your backpack for a few days. Granola bars, crackers, popcorn, a banana, pretzels, nuts and granola are all great snacks that can fill you up after your least favorite cafeteria lunch.

Staying organized right from the start of school is key. Using a planner is the best way to do that. With a planner, you will never miss a meeting, assignment or project deadline. The best way to stay motivated to use a planner is to find one that makes sense for you, and you enjoy writing in. Some planners are organized by month, while others plan weekly or daily. Decorating or color-coding your planning can make it look nice and ensure that you use your planner daily. 

No one has time to stop every hour during the school day for a drink of water. A water bottle is very important in order to stay hydrated. Carrying around a water bottle to every class can also encourage you to drink more water throughout the day. The brands S’well and Hydroflask are high quality water bottles, available in a wide variety of colors. They will ensure that your drink is cold (or hot) all day long. 

Finally, in order to have a successful school-year, I would highly recommend a pair of quality headphones. No one likes walking through the hallways at school alone. With headphones, walking through the halls can be relaxing, and help to get you ready for your next class. This is a great way to unwind while listening to your favorite songs. 

Depending on your style, there are many different types of good headphones. If you want smaller headphones, I would recommend Apple Airpods. There are several “off brand” cheaper wireless headphone options available online if spending big bucks on easy-to-lose earbuds isn’t something you can afford.  If you want bigger, colorful headphones, I would recommend Beats, which are sold in a variety of colors.  

With these tips and tricks, you will be completely prepared for school. Good luck to everyone in the 2019-2020 school year.