When you were a little kid, your school likely provided you with a back-to-school shopping list. Someone else knew what you’d need and gave you an easy guide. When you approach adulthood, it’s up to you to write that list. You know your major. You know your classes. What items do you need, and how should you shop for them? Follow these top back-to-school shopping tips for college students to take the stress out of the process.
Look at Your Class Schedule
What does your semester look like? Some courses may require specific supplies. If you’re in a dance class, you’ll need the requisite shoes. Likewise, if you’re taking a lab science course, you may need a specific type of notebook to aid in your studies. Make lists for each separate class. There will be some overlap—you’ll always need pens and pencils!—but make sure you pick up the course-specific items, too.
If you’re a college student, you’re probably used to stretching your dollar. While fresh notebooks and pens are a treat for the beginning of the semester, you may not need to buy any. Flip through the notebooks you already have; chances are, they’ve still got plenty of blank pages. Rummage through your desk drawers to rustle up pens, pencils, and highlighters. If your backpack or book bag is still in good condition, use it again. Wait to buy a new bag until your current one begins to wear out.
Reduce Needless Spending
When you shop for textbooks, be wary of the campus store. Brand-new textbooks are expensive! Ask them if they also sell used textbooks. Search out students who have taken your courses before and ask them if they’ve still got their books. There are also dozens of websites that specialize in selling used textbooks.
Enlist a Shopping Buddy
Are your friends taking some of the same classes as you are? When you shop together, you can keep one another on task. You can even pool your resources and buy a few things in bulk, like pencils and paper. The shopping process is much less stressful with a friend or two.
This fall, conquer your back-to-school shopping with confidence. You’re in charge of making that shopping list now, so take stock of what you have and what you need. When you head to the store, remember these top back-to-school shopping tips for college students, and remove stress from the process.