School Supplies: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Ellie Turchetta ’25 in Features | October 7, 2022

School shopping—one of the most important reasons to go to Target—often gets forgotten until late in the summer; some students will even resort to last minute purchases at the Jigger Shop. Nowadays, with so many options for every single item you need, school shopping can get confusing and overwhelming. Choosing exactly what you want can be a handful: Do you want something on-brand or off-brand? Trendy or functional? What color should represent your items for language classes (red, obviously)? Well, worry no more. Here is your perfect guide to Lawrenceville student supplies.
Probably the most important (and definitely the most noticeable!) part of someone’s school supplies each year is his or her backpack. With so many different brands and equally as many styles, choosing a backpack for the entire year can be daunting. However, it seems as though the popular picks at Lawrenceville have been narrowed down to two: Herschel and Jansport. Maddie McIntyre ’25 recommended Herschel as her number one choice of backpack. She noted that they are generally “really cool...[and] big enough to hold snacks.” Jansport, however, comes at a close second, with increasing demand for the brand’s pretty designs and practicality. 
While there are a wide variety of computers available, from Chromebooks to Dell to Apple, Apple MacBook Pros seem to be the fan favorite. Along with the computer’s superb functionality, McIntyre noted her enjoyment of the touch bar, saying, “A lot of people don’t like it, but I think it’s really cool…all of the emojis show up on it.” Although the computer can sometimes overheat, it seems as though it’s worth the investment for your studies. 
As for storing notes and materials received from class, folders and notebooks seemed to be the easiest solution for everyone. Notebooks are an easy way to access both loose-leaf and organized papers at once. In terms of handouts, McIntyre remarked that Five-Star folders are the way to go. Although they can be expensive, their quality and durability make them worth the buy.  
Another important thing to note about school supplies is how students organize notebooks and folders by color-coding. The colors assigned to each subject differs from person to person.although there was unanimous agreement that science was green, there wasn’t much consensus on the other subjects. Math, English, and language seem to battle for blue, red, and purple, respectively, and history was left whatever colors hadn’t yet been chosen.
Pencils and pens are one of the most difficult on the supplies list to pick out. With so many brands advertising so many different positives, it can be hard to find your match. But Clementine Sutter ’25 likes to stick to the basics. Ticonderoga Number 2 pencils are her go to for any type of notes. Her Midliner highlighters are also a staple in her pencil case. However, her favorite part of her stationery are her Pilot pens. “They’re so inky and perfect,” she noted. “They’re phenomenal. Highly recommend.” 
And last but not least, time for the most important question there is: Are iPads really worth it? The unanimous answer is a resounding no. McIntyre noted, “Everyone else has a laptop, [so] it’s not worth it. I feel like you could take notes, but even [then], you could take them on paper.” 
Sutter, an iPad user herself last year, shared her opinion as well. “If you have one lying around, they’re useful,” she says, “but don’t go out and buy one.” Although they seem to have so much potential, they lose their excitement when one realizes they are mostly just used for OneNote. 
Overall, it appears that when it comes to school supplies, quality and durability wins every shopping dilemma. While the iPad seems to be the only exception to this, the small population of iPad kids on campus will continue to keep debate alive.