Let’s Go Back to No Backpacks

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Issue 1, Volume 113

By Adeline Sauberli 

With the sudden frenzy of going back to school, it seems that we’re all just waiting for the day when every single Stuyvesant student, with far more important things to think about, forgets their backpack at home. To be as exposed as a turtle without a shell on a day with open-note quizzes—the horror! But it doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds. Students, for one, are sure to grow at least two feet taller by the end of seventh period, and no one would be at risk of falling backward on the stairs when a gust of wind comes their way. With such compelling reasons, I propose to the entire student body a Stuy-wide No Backpack Day.

Now, you may also be asking yourself, how is everyone going to be on board with this? How will I hide my cats when I bring them to school? Mr. Whiskers? In plain sight? Well, for one, my answer to most of your questions is fanny packs. Not a fan? Well, No Backpack Day is the new cool, because it means everyone can see your ID picture when your ID card is taped to your hand (for safety). And if you had no choice but to hold a bottle of water in your hand, you might actually drink some water (a statement not yet verified by the FDA).

Consider the convenience of being a bit more like Bob the Builder, with students in all grades roaming the halls with their entire 12-pack Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils tucked securely behind their ears. The whole student body would transform overnight into marathon runner-lookalikes with mini water bottles strapped at various points along their torsos (they do get tiring to hold after a while). Another adjustment is to keep tricks up our sleeves (in the form of Metrocards and, if you really want to be bold, cafeteria lunch). This minimalist system crucially presents an actual use for Post-its (which will be the bulk of your note taking set-up on No Backpack Day). Any notes you had taken in the last class could, for the sake of simplicity, be in the custody of the recycling bin on your way out the door, notes you had scribbled on with your most portable writing utensil (inexplicably a crayon) should you grow tired of having pencils behind your ears.

There are some workarounds for those of us who are really attached to the idea of having something to carry your stuff in—laundry baskets are a completely sustainable and low-effort way to carry around all your textbooks. Being on the lookout for a sturdy branch from the seventh floor plants that you can then tie a cloth to hold your binder in is also a guarantee for success.

Still not convinced? Hold a picture in your mind of what it’s like to stand on a crowded escalator, completely unable to walk ahead. Now, imagine everyone was free of backpacks. All these unburdened students return to the glory of their kindergarten days: running around in smocks with assorted trinkets in their pockets, taking on stairs two at a time, and carrying only a bag of Cheerios in their hands. Think of the possibilities! We could finally have a reason to build a series of conveyor belts to transport our belongings around the school, or even start our very own postal service. Anything to prevent one more day of heavy and disheartening backpacks.

I rest my case, and on No Backpack Day, I’ll lay my backpack to rest as well.