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Backpacks are as Varied as the Students that Carry Them

Backpacks are as Varied as the Students that Carry Them

What was once a means of transporting books from class to class has now become an in-depth decision and a fashion statement.

Think about it. There are many important factors that go into buying a backpack. For instance, the backpack should at least get the student through the year without breaking, it should be the right color, size, and of course, the right style. Even the simplest of backpacks have a thought process behind them.

Take a look around the school library. Scattered all over the ground are simple, solid-colored Jansport, Northface, and Eastsport backpacks, yet the decision process behind purchasing the bag is not so simple.

For example, Alex Elias ’15, who has a green Eastsport backpack, really had to consider what would work best for his first year at Staples. So, he choose a bag that is both efficient and has a lot of pockets to hold all of his materials.

“With this backpack I have easy access to anything I use in class.”

Yet, if you are a girl, you know purchasing a backpack is not just about efficiency. If you want to look “fly” in the hallways, as Caroline Smith ’12 explains, it’s important to have a backpack that can match any outfit.

“I made sure to get a solid color because it goes with everything I wear,” said Smith, who carries a maroon Northface backpack that she purchased at Eastern Mountain Sports. “I also got it because it’s a soothing color and it doesn’t show dirt.”

Then, of course, there are the students who went for a funkier style this year.
“Heroes in Training” are the words stamped right on the front of Colleen McCarthy ’12’s  Toy Story bag, which only cost $10 dollars at Walmart.

“It looks sweet, and I love feeling like a little kid even though it’s filled with college apps, work from AP classes, and the other stressful things that come with senior year,” McCarthy said.

Another student who chose to show off her goofy side through her backpack choice is Erin Gandelman ’14, who has a $52 Shark backpack from

“People just come up behind me or tap me on the shoulder and put their hands in the jaw part and make it look like they’re getting eaten,” Gandelman said.

But, has fashion overrode efficiency?

One student, Kumi Goto ’12, who once carried the very popular Hervé Chapelier tote bag, commonly seen hanging off the shoulders of teenage girls at Staples, recently discovered that she was ready for a change. While it was fashionable and medium in size, it ended up causing more pain than compliments.

“I just got frustrated because it’s really heavy to have on one shoulder,” she said.
So, after carrying this bag for four years, she decided that she should switch to a Northface backpack so that she could have an easier time carrying all of her senior work around.

When chemistry teacher Kristen Scott, was in high school, however, there was not much thought process going into the purchase. Backpacks had just one purpose at her high school, and that was to carry school materials.

“We wore our backpacks until they were worn,” said Scott, who also said that most students she knew growing up carried around Jansport backpacks.

So, whether a student prefers a plain, simple backpack, or a goofy Disney movie backpack, one thing is for sure, the students at Staples High School walk the halls in style.

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