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The Right Bag for the Job...or Class

Life is short, buy the bag. - Unknown

I really didn’t want a backpack. It just wasn’t my vibe. I associated backpacks with elementary and high school students, or those who went camping at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. And the so-called "stylish" ones? Well, they seemed far too dainty for me. So, on the first day of school, I got all decked out in my favorite dress, heels and the most darling tote bag. It was a structured burlap, with thick white handles, a red stripe down the front with one cute little pocket on the inside.

Cute just didn’t cut it for what I was about to encounter.

What I did not anticipate was the enormous three ring binder that was required in one class, the hefty textbook in another, plus the pens, pencils, sharpener, erasers, mini stapler, water bottle, and various snacks that I needed to get me through my 7:30am-1pm schedule. Apparently, I needed a pack mule, not a cute tote bag.

In a panic I raced to Target to find something that could work on my schoolgirl budget. Let me just say that you should not try to buy a backpack at Target in the month of May when most schools are ending their semesters.

I had two choices, sherpa or schoolkid.

It was either the trekking the Himalayas style backpack with sternum straps, two water bottle holders, and fire, water, and bobcat resistant, or Pokemon themed. Dismayed, I ended up with a durable, yet not ridiculously so, backpack with a laptop sleeve, and three outer pockets. The added bonus was that it was only $12.48. The only caveat? It had daisies all over it. And not the understated kind. Large white ones on a bright red background with dark blue trim. Not exactly the chic tote that I originally had wanted.

But sometimes we have to choose substance over style.

Since then “Daisy” and I have weathered several semesters, hauled extremely heavy computer textbooks, notebooks, journals, headphones, lunch bags, water bottles, and the above mentioned stationery store. She’s performed admirably for me.

My advice here? Really examine your needs. Don’t just assume (like I did) that a small tote would work. Think about textbooks, technology, accessories and whether you need to bring along life items like lunch, workout clothes, etc. Would you like to wear it on both shoulders? A sling? A messenger bag? Do you need wheels to take the pressure off your back and shoulders? Take into consideration how much walking you will be doing. Is the bag durable enough for your lifestyle? Style. Yes, it is important just not the most important. Do you prefer a streamlined profile? The more outside pockets the better? Do you gravitate to certain colors? Darker colors will hide the dirt it collects when you have to sit your bag on the ground next to you at a bus or shuttle stop, or at your lunch table outside. There are also tech bags that allow you to charge devices too. The possibilities are endless!

As of this publication Daisy has retired from duty since I graduated from Estrella Mountain Community College. Going into my fall semester at Arizona State University I upgraded a bit. Still durable, still big enough, just minus the huge red, and blue flowers. Don’t worry about Daisy though, I donated her to a shelter where some lucky guy or gal will be able to take advantage of her many practical gifts. Perhaps she found a nice student who lives in the country, so she has plenty of room to roam.

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