If you see someone walking around the halls of Staples High School with a backpack that resembles a giant cube, it’s fair to assume that that person is a freshman. Just last year, I was that hunchbacked frosh that heaved a sigh of relief every time I put down my backpack. But even though my bag may not look like Sasquatch anymore, it’s certainly just as heavy thanks to my textbook.
This year, my entire French class grumbled and groaned when we found out we would have to carry our textbooks around with us. Every year, more and more books disappear, making it impossible to have both a home and class set for every student.
This leaves us with only one option: lug a 3.8-pound textbook – yes, I weighed mine – around on their backs while struggling to run around our notably large school.
Now, 3.8 might seem like a small number to you, but when you’re carrying those pounds on your back, every ounce counts.
According to a study done by The University of California, a typical backpack load places a heavy compression on the discs of the spine and increases the curvature of the lower spine. Those are basically fancy medical terms that mean that a heavy backpack can cause back pain and even scoliosis.
In fact, my last physical revealed that my spine was curved two degrees more than it was the previous year. I have a feeling that textbooks on my back might just have something to do with that.
It’s bad enough that my spine is getting bent out of shape for textbooks, but the worst part is that I don’t even use it in class. I’ve used it maybe three times at the most, but I’ve had to bring it everyday because there’s no way of knowing when I’ll need it.
“My mom is like ‘lighten up your backpack!’ but I’m like ‘I can’t!’ because I have no idea when we’re using the textbook in class,” Maddie Dick ’16 said. She wishes that we were told when we would need them so that we didn’t have to bear them on days when we weren’t even going to use them.
So if a couple years from now you see a girl with straight, black hair and a camel-esque hunchback, say hi. It’s probably me, post-textbooks.