My daughter went back to school – starting the 8th (!!!) grade – this week, and we did not buy school supplies this year.
Let me back up a little and give you a little backstory about why this is a big deal to me. When I was a kid, I hated school. I lived for the weekends, summer vacation, basically any break where I didn’t have to be at school. So I’m sure you can imagine the end of summer back to school dread I would go through every year. The only thing that made it even slightly bearable, possibly even a little exciting, was: Back to school shopping. Specifically, back to school SUPPLIES shopping.
See, I love stationary and office supplies so much that if someone gave me pens and highlighters as a gift, I would very likely be overjoyed. I swear my fiancé could take me to Staples and call it a date and I would be Perfectly Happy (in fact, he has, and it was amazing.) Just the idea of browsing for stationary makes me smile with joy.
So why didn’t we buy school supplies this year? For a few reasons actually. The main reason being that it didn’t seem practical to buy a whole bunch of brand new stuff only to have it end up sitting in a backpack unused if we experience another wave of Covid related shut downs and the kids start learning from home again, which I am anticipating happening even though people tell me I’m being paranoid. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Time will tell.
Another, much smaller reason is that we had so much perfectly good stuff left over from previous years that it felt wasteful to buy something new when we had the older stuff just sitting unused. Ideally we would have donated the left over stuff from previous years, but I know a lot of places stopped accepting donations and to be honest I have no idea which ones have opened back up again.
There were other reasons ranging from not being entirely sure what supplies were even required this year anyways, and not wanting to waste money on things that she didn’t actually need, but the end result is the same, we just didn’t go school supply shopping this year.
This isn’t to say that we won’t go school supply shopping at a later date, we just decided to hold off on doing it now and reevaluate after she has been back in school for awhile.
Do I regret this choice? A little bit. For one, with so much unknown going on in the world and surrounding back to school in general, hindsight has made me realize that back to school shopping might have been a fun thing to do to make it a little more exciting, and to make things seem normal. I did discuss the issue with my daughter and she agreed it made more sense to wait a little bit, so I’m not concerned that she might be secretly offended, but I do second-guess myself sometimes and I have definitely wondered if I made the right choice.
Also I just really love stationary so in a way, I robbed myself of a fun shopping trip. Who does that?
On the other hand, I am a little bit happy we chose to do it this way. For one, when we do end up going shopping, my daughter will have a better idea of what she actually needs. Also, we won’t be trying to find those things she needs surrounded by a bunch of other frantic back to school shoppers which will hopefully make the entire experience a little calmer than it might have been otherwise.
Ultimately, I feel like this was the best choice for us at this time. Which is really all I’m aiming for at this point anyways.