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Shopping is fun. You get new things you’re excited about, you feel good, and you have something cool to show your friends with a classic “haul”.  What could go wrong?

Well… a lot. Especially if you’re a shopaholic, like me. 

Over the summer, I did a lot of soul-searching and a lot of self-discovery. With that, I discovered that I use shopping as a coping mechanism for my problems. Got in a fight with my brother? Shop. Got a bad score on a test? Shop. Just had a bad day? Shop. It seemingly solved it all. I felt satisfied buying something new after having unsatisfying things happening during the day. 

That is valid and all. We are all entitled to shop and to buy things that we like. But my problem was that I kept shopping. More and more. In the most dramatic comparison, it was like an addiction. I couldn’t just buy one thing and be satisfied, I had to buy two things and then three and then four. The list went on until honestly at times, nothing I bought had lasting satisfaction to me. The availability of material items was supposed to be my escape and now, it had no effect on me. The phrase “retail-therapy” was no longer a reality and so, I researched more into why I felt this way. 

Here is what I found out. Shopaholics can form due to many reasons: poor self-esteem, approval-seeking, emotional problems, poor impulse control, and being materialistic. If you see yourself in one of these reasons, I definitely recommend you check out this article and research further. 

For me, I found that I was using the stress of emotional problems and my desire to have people think my fashion was “cool” as an excuse to shop. However, the more I used shopping as an outlet, the more money that left my account, the less I felt better, and the more I ignored my problems. 

So, as one should, I began to check myself before I purchased things. By asking questions like, ‘Do I need this?’, ‘Why do I want this?’, ‘Am I 100% going to use/wear this?’. Having this honest inner dialogue with myself has saved me from many purchases and has caused me to reflect more on my emotions, rather than on what dress to buy. It’s a work in progress, surely, and of course, it’s a very privileged problem to have – but that does not make it any less real or important to be aware of. 

As I go through my senior year, I am working on spending money on experiences rather than materials and spending time on working through my emotions with loved ones rather than on my computer browsing shops. So, I encourage you, if you have this problem, maybe its time to take a deeper look at your motivations for shopping.

Savannah Hobbie is a senior Politics & International Affairs and Communications double major at Furman University. She hopes to attend law school after college. Aside from Her Campus, she is on the executive boards for both Panhellenic Council and the Chi Omega sorority at Furman. She is a mentor for Ladies of Distinction and is an orientation leader. She also has two internships serving as a social media manager. Her passions include self-care, writing about vulnerable topics, beauty, spreading love, and hyping people up!
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