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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

As we near the end of September, with school back in swing, I’ve been thinking about all the things I bought – and didn’t buy – to prepare for this school year. The list for the former is overwhelmingly long. I had to furnish a dorm room in a short amount of time, meaning it wasn’t as easy to source a portion of that secondhand or not buy anything at all. 

However, as I started getting into the routine of doing work for my classes, I noticed how little I bought in terms of actual school supplies and that, despite the extensive lists former teachers would send at the start of each year, it’s very easy to reuse old materials. Technology has a part to play in this, as most work is done online these days, but I want to focus on materials that can be reused and have longevity:

  1. Notebooks: I’ll never forget a past teacher who insisted we needed exactly 100 pages in our notebook because of all the pages we would use, and then we never used more than 20 pages. I do most of my work on my laptop, but there are certain subjects I prefer to take handwritten notes for. It was easy to look through my old pile of notebooks, rip out the few used pages, and make new use of them.
  2. Pens: I’m probably still working through a ten-pack of pens that I bought for my sophomore year of high school. Especially since I don’t write by hand that often, they last me even longer.
  3. Backpack: the backpack I used in high school is still perfectly usable, though I opted to use a tote bag instead. In that regard, I had a wide selection of tote bags to choose from that I already had.
  4. Calculator: While I am unfortunately still taking math at this point in my life, I luckily did not need to shell out the infamously high price of a scientific calculator as I already had one. A quick Google search does show that a secondhand scientific calculator can cost less than half the price of a brand-new one.

As of 2022, inflation caused back-to-school spending for “Families with children in elementary through high school” to rise to a whopping $864. In my opinion, reusing school materials and buying refurbished electronics can help with these expenses, while also preventing the accumulation of unused or partially used items.

Inès Dupupet is the Editor-in-Chief at Lasell University's Her Campus chapter, overseeing the team of copy editors and keeping track of articles. As a junior at Lasell, studying fashion and history, she hopes to become an archivist or librarian. She loves to write, experiment with fashion, play cozy videogames, and spend time with her cat.