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Back to School is Expensive! — an article on the Smart Living Network
August 29, 2011 at 2:57 PMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Back to School is Expensive!


I had the opportunity to glimpse a "Must Have" list for the back to school! There were a total of 23 items on the list and I'm pretty sure that not one of them was actually necessary for being a good student. From my experiences in college, I remember that a pencil and a pad of paper were really the only requirements needed to get the information from class.

Now, technology is advancing and finding its way into the modern day classroom, there is no doubt about that. Unfortunately, some of the tech presented in this list had more to do with "unwinding" after studying and less to do with facilitating some type of education. Noise cancelling headphones, a free music server, a 3 stage vacuum type contraption for dorm floors, an app that tracks lost equipment, Netflix membership, charge case for Iphone, a Keurig coffeemaker, a new digital camera, a clock powered by water, a solar powered backpack, designer laptop cases, iHome docking system, motion activated closet light, a lazy student recording app, the Kindle eReader and a webcam round out the expensive, completely non-essential items.

There are a few that could apply to the modern classroom though: Dropbox (file recovery system for the occasional crashed hard drive), note taking Ipad applications, a laptop lock that secures your laptop to the desk, the Kno ipad app that offers some cheaper alternatives to actual paperback text books, USB flash drive and a netbook. So, six items out of 23 could actually find application in a modern classroom and only if you are willing to spend the money on them. Seeing as how most apply to a collegiate setting, your parents will probably be spending the money...good luck.

I wonder about the message we are sending to our students. With the consumer oriented nature of this list, I can confidently say that it isn't, "Study Hard."

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  • We spend so much on unwinding and relaxation, when do we ever get wound? College and high school are about education and work. When you get out of school, it's about work. Kids won't learn this if their back-to-school kit includes all leisure items.

    I'm not opposed to tech. An iPad for notes is great. Some sort of digital recording device would make life easier too. Who needs a free music server and Netflix? Need to unwind? A ceiling fan and a bag of rubber fishing worms will do the trick. Get the big ones. Trust me.

  • This is a society where stores feature endcaps with folding card tables, ping pong balls, and red plastic cups under the heading "back to school". Nothing about that list surprises me.

  • Wow, while I was writing the blog I did find myself being incredibly disappointed by the "things" needed to be a student in today's society, but I didn't find myself as frustrated as the two of you. While I agree, obviously, that students don't need much to excel, I disagree with school being only about education and work. Though both of those features play a major role, school is also about socialization and the ability to learn how to interact and survive as a human being.

    During college, the independent interaction with the world is the truly prized learning experience. Getting yourself out of bed and getting to class, scheduling time for fun and work and then making that schedule work, processing the relationships that are formed, all of this is the educational experience, not just study and work.

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