It’s that time of year again! With course selection times coming up, we are suddenly uprooted from the comforts of summer and thrown into fall semester preparation. One of the things that I have done in the past to calm my September nerves is to go crazy with Back to School shopping.
I know what you’re thinking: who even goes Back to School shopping after the 8th grade?
Answer: me 🙁
The Bookstore makes it so easy with all its September specials and shiny new shipments. It’s no surprise that every year I let my wallet loose and indulge in stationary that I probably won’t touch for a whole year (or ever). It’s embarrassing to admit but one year, I spent $40 on just a planner! The inevitable happened and most days, I ended up using my phone to set reminders.
So this year, I decided to learn from my past mistakes and be very practical about what new things I will buy. I’m proud to announce that I got everything I needed for $19.24 + tax, all at the UofT Bookstore. The bookstore is notorious for being expensive but I found that you can do all your shopping right here at home without stretching your wallet thin.
Allow me to HIGHLIGHT some of the practicalities of Back to School shopping (a little stationary pun there, no big deal).
NUMERO UNO: Chances are, most of your lecture notes will be posted online and especially if you’re in a science major with all those diagrams/pathways, it would be more practical to just print out notes. Buying notebooks hasn’t personally helped me in the past because I used my laptop/school computers/print outs and annotated during a lecture. So this year I ended up just buying a clipboard that I can put my daily lecture notes in to carry around and clean out every night. This was my most expensive purchase but I intend to make it last and I saved tons by cutting out notebooks for the year: $7.99
DOS: INDEX CARDS. If I can emphasize the use of any study tool, it would be flashcard-ing key terms and concepts. Especially in some classes like sociology or biochemistry where memorizing key definitions can really make the course content smooth for you. They’re easy on the wallet too: $0.99
AND FINALLY: Pens and Pencils. So I do most of my writing in pen. In reality, I’ve used pencils only to colour in my Scranton cards during a multiple choice test (and if you’re taking a 1st/2nd year ArtSci course, you will do a LOT of tiny circle colouring). So I bought a pack of 10 ball pens and 5 mechanical pencils for $3.49 and $1.79.
Additionally, I bought tiny sticky notes to mark textbook pages and further enhance my annotation of lecture notes. I also will just use stickies on the inside of my clipboard to remind myself of upcoming tests or assignments (again, really regretting my past planner purchases 🙁 and UTSU gives out free agendas anyway so…sigh.) $1.99 + $1.99
So if you’re overwhelmed with textbook purchases and want to save money this year or if you’re like me and regretting over-indulging in stationary in past years, you might want to plan your stationary shopping ahead before the September rush. Try to also check out the format of your future courses and see whether notebooks would be a good investment or would most of your learning take place on a laptop. It all depends on how you learn and what the course demands are.
I would love to know what has worked for you in the past or what you would change in your organization strategy this year. Let me know in the comments below and happy shopping!