Back to school, yo. And in college you do the back to school shopping yourself and that price can balloon pretty quickly. While you certainly need some things- ramen and beer- there are some things you don’t need that are commonly bought. Spend the money you saved back on ramen and beer.


1: Anything From The School Bookstore

C’mon; are you a Freshman? The School bookstore is convenient, neat, and nice, and you’re paying a premium for all those services. Go on the internet; buy your textbook, rent your textbook, borrow your textbook from your friend; whatever you do, don’t buy it whole-priced, wrapped in plastic, from a smiling clerk who thinks you’re a Freshman now. Move ahead and buy from different sources when you can.


2: Highlighters.

When have you ever used highlighters? They look pretty and represent productivity. Wonderful. Underline your books with good old fashioned pencil and save your eyes the trouble of checking around the bright yellow sentences jumping out of your book. And don’t get me started on the variety packs of highlighters, full of new colors to color code your book as though that’s the thing that can write your essay. If you’re productive enough to want to color code your book you’re set: you’re productive enough not to need to. If, on the other hand, you, like me, would never do that sort of thing, don’t buy the highlighters because you won’t. Get it?


3: A Fancy Backpack

A backpack is made to carry your books. You don’t need it to be strong, you don’t need bonus pockets or camouflage or a holder for your water bottle. The entire backpack holds things: why do you need a bottle-holder? A backpack is simple: it’s something that isn’t a paper bag that can hond your books, packing them, if you will, on your back. That’s it. Nothing complex that can handle camping or whatever. Nothing huge to handle all the books you’re taking- you shouldn’t be taking more than two classes of books at a time, even, just for your back. Leave the fancy backpacks for the fancier students. Get one that works and move on.


4: Anything New in Bulk

If you want to get back to school, and you’re determined to try something, don’t get it in bulk. That includes protein powder, those colored post-its, or a whole set of assignment notebooks; whatever it is, no matter how much you want it, start smaller. Nothing’s more embarrassing than leaving forty bucks of school supply untouched when you’re September ambitions fade.


5: Anything New, Period.

Okay, maybe I’m biased, but don’t get anything new.

If you haven’t used it before, you’re not going to use it now. Sorry. Those binders, that orginization you say you’re always going to do? Not happening. And that’s okay. If you’ve survived this long without it, you’ll keep on surviving. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks, so if you find yourself looking at an impulse buy that’ll change the way you study, ask yourself: do you think you’re going to change anything? If not, then be honest, and save yourself twenty bucks. Otherwise you’ll do things just like you always have, only now you have a few shiny new binders under your bed.