June 28, 2017

Back-to-School: PebblePost Intern Spotlight

Back to School Shopping

Compiled by PebblePost intern, Jack Donlon

To gain more insight into this year’s back-to-school trends, we asked our PebblePost interns to tell us first-hand what’s on their shopping lists this summer. Here’s everything you need to know, directly from the students themselves! Find out what matters most to them, and learn how they plan to spend their money as they prepare to head back to schools all across the country.

Evan Skalski

School: Loyola College Maryland
Year: Junior
Class: Class of 2019
Position: Customer Success Intern

When I begin my back-to-school shopping, I will begin with the necessities.  Binders, folders, apartment appliances, groceries, and textbooks will be first on my list. I plan to spend around $400. My parents usually volunteer to pay for my school-related things while I try to pay for whatever I can.  I’m also going to have to consider the fact that I am going abroad for my spring semester. I will probably purchase all of those necessities abroad or online when I am abroad.

I plan to start shopping in late August/early September. For my fall semester, I am living in an 8-person townhouse, so on top of school supplies, I will have to purchase things for my apartment like kitchenware, decorations and anything else I need to live comfortably. I am living with 7 other people, so we are going to divide the items equally and bring them in separately.  

I usually purchase my textbooks and last-minute school supplies through my school’s book store the first or second week into classes in case I don’t need them. Most students nowadays take notes on their laptops, but I personally learn better when I handwrite things.

School: Baruch College
Year: Junior
Class: Class of 2019
Position: Customer Success Intern

When I'm getting ready to go back to school, I usually first buy two Five Star brand 5-subject spiral notebooks, one for each semester. I buy notecards, a pack of pens, and a pack of pencils. I also make sure that I'm setting apart at least $350 for textbooks. 

I usually try to rent textbooks, but sometimes they are not available for rent so I must purchase them in-store or online for full price. My parents take care of my textbooks for me, although I try to chip in as much as I can. I buy these supplies right before my semester starts, and I tend to go in-store for everything except the textbooks. I do plenty of research so that I can find the most affordable options. I don't wait for sales or coupons because I usually buy these supplies pretty last minute.

School: Binghamton University
Year: Sophomore
Class: Class of 2020
Position: Sales Intern

This year, my back-to-school shopping list will contain clothes, a new bag, and a Keurig, but I will mostly use my freshman year leftovers. Everyone buys nice clothes for college but spends 90% of college life in sweatpants or gym shorts, so comfy clothes are definitely a better investment. 

I plan to spend around $500— (my dad just got promoted, so hopefully he’ll chip in…). I will buy everything at the end of the summer, about 2 weeks before school starts. In my experience, some classes will make you buy $200 programs online in order to do homework, so the solution is to get the free trial and finish all of the homework in the trial period. The trial period will be a lot of work, but then you have no homework in that class for the rest of the semester and you also basically saved $200.

School: Pace University
Year: Junior
Class: Class of 2019
Position: Sales Intern

My back-to-school shopping list for this year will consist of clothes that I can sit in 3+ hour lectures for without being uncomfortable, such as comfortable jeans/pants, light sweaters that can fit easily into my bag, and comfortable sneakers. I like to buy clothes throughout the year at different times instead of all at once, so this year I only expect to spend around $100. I will be the one making all of these purchases with no help from my parents.  I usually begin making my school purchases at the end of August, a few days before classes start. The first thing I will buy are pants, because for some reason I always tend to have more tops than bottoms. I make most of my purchases online but will shop in-store if the retailer is close to where I live. 

School: UCLA
Year: Junior
Class: Class of 2019
Position: Intern, West Coast 

For my back-to-school shopping list, I want to possibly get a new laptop, still up in the air. I need to get typical household things like shower items, and products I am low on. I don't typically do any back-to-school clothing shopping, but maybe a new pair of shoes and jeans. I need to get a new backpack and laptop case as well. I don't buy school supplies because I can reuse everything from previous years and most things are done on my laptop.

I hope not to spend over $2,000 if I do purchase a new laptop. If I don't get a laptop, I'm estimating to only spend $300. I will pay for everything myself, and my parents will not pitch in.  I will most likely buy everything one or two weeks before I head back to school. So, the last week of August through to the first week of September. 

The first thing I will buy will hopefully be my laptop. That will determine how much I spend on other things. I will buy in-store, but I will do my research online before going in and purchasing the products. I usually do not wait for any sales, coupons, offers, or promotions. I try not to spend a lot on back-to-school shopping just because I know things will come up during the school year that are more urgent/important that I will need to buy. As for my laptop, this will be a big purchase for me so I will be doing a lot of research before I make my final decision! 

School: University of Arizona
Year: Senior
Class: Class of 2018
Position: Office Mgmt/Marketing Intern

When the back-to-school shopping season begins, I first plan out and make a list of everything I need, whether it be clothing, apartment furniture or appliances, school supplies, textbooks, and all other necessities for the upcoming school year and semesters. 

Since I go to school so far away from home (New Jersey to Arizona), I usually buy all of my things only a few days before school begins because I buy most of it either online, or in-stores in Arizona.  The things I buy online are usually the things that I do not need right away, things like apartment decorations or clothes. The things I buy in-store are usually the things that I should have with me on my first day of classes such as notebooks, textbooks, backpack, etc. With regards to spending, my parents usually help me out with all of my school supplies and housing necessities. They usually like me to pay for the things I don’t need (but want), such as clothing and shoes.

The first thing I will buy is a planner, simply because I like to lay out my whole semester and write down due dates and test days so I am fully organized and prepared. I never go out and look for sales or coupons, but my mother will usually provide me with a few coupons from magazines or a coupon book in order to ease the spending on the things I need.


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