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Tips for Teens - Back to SchoolFor some students the school year has already started, and for others it’s looming only weeks away. School is on the forefront of everybody’s mind – including stores with products to sell. Advertisements are playing on the television, posted on buses, and sponsored on all social media. Wherever you look, there seems to be an ad promoting back to school sales.

Many people shop for what they think they need for their classes before being told what they will need for that specific class. They do this because they want to make sure to hit the sales before everything is sold out, often resulting in buying more than they need. Typically, teachers have their own required list of items for their class that they distribute along with the syllabus within the first week of school. By postponing your shopping trip by a week, you can make sure to get only what you need. Of course, there are some items you can buy before the school year starts, as they apply to all classes.

Here is a list of generic items that don’t need to be written down by a teacher for you to know you’ll need them. It’s always good to have a list to make sure you don’t forget anything:

  • Backpack – Jansport is a great brand that will last the entire school year, and even longer! Some students opt for a drawstring backpack or a purse for their school year. Both are viable options, but usually wear out mid-year.
  • College-ruled filler paper – You can’t go wrong with having filler paper in a folder or a binder. With college-ruled, you have more space for notes which will make your paper last longer.
  • Graph paper – If you’re going into a Geometry class, this is almost always a necessity.
  • Pencils – It’s better to have number 2 pencils that need to be sharpened rather than mechanical pencils. Almost all classrooms have a pencil sharpener, but finding 0.7 lead in a classroom can simulate trying to find treasure.
  • Pens – Many English teachers require a blue or black pen for writing essays.
  • Notebooks – These are tricky, since some teachers require spiral bound, while others want composition notebooks. Spiral bound notebooks can always be used for filler paper if needed, but it’s best to wait to buy composition notebooks until your teacher tells you that those are the style they require.

Note: I would recommend NOT buying a calculator; they’re expensive, and some school libraries will loan you the calculator you’ll need for the year. For those going into Algebra 1 or below, a normal Scientific Calculator will do just fine, whereas Geometry and above will require a Graphing Calculator. It’s part of the education standards for students in Geometry and above to know how to use a Graphing Calculator, so try to get to your library as soon as possible and find out if you can check-out the calculator you need!

By keeping an eye on the advertisements and the coupons that are sent through the mail, you can definitely find great sales for the school year!

Sierra Kaul
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union