Students comment on backpacks and what they carry


Credit: Thomas Shockey

9th grader Ashlyn Teal and others waiting for the bell in Mrs. Pankops 4th hour Journalism class. She is carrying her backpack with her KAMSC supplies.

Thomas Shockey, Guest Writer

It is a standard school day: people are going to class or hanging out in the hallways,  and many are tired and want to get home. However students are feeling about their day, there is one constant when it comes to school: the need to be able to carry their supplies. How do they do that? With a backpack. 

Almost everybody at Norrix carries their school supplies in a backpack.

“I have a protractor, a ruler, pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, calculator, planner, more pencils, a phone, staples, a stapler, a compass, 3 goggles, chromebook, notebook, graphing paper, textbook, big folder, another big folder,” freshman Connor Sloan said.

Some people carry things because they take part in classes or programs that require other materials. Others do it because they have something they like to do that has materials they need to carry.

One student, freshman Simon Beougher, has a very heavy backpack. He goes to a STEM program in the morning at the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC). He says it gives him a lot to carry. 

“In biology, there is a lot of homework, and I never throw anything out,” Beougher said. 

He has to carry separate binders for math and biology, in addition to the same supplies as others. These supplies include calculators, notebooks, glue sticks and almost every kid has to carry a 2.6 lb chromebook.

Some people found that the change to chromebooks had lowered what they were carrying. 

Sloan thought what classes were being taken mattered most but another freshman, Rosie Hill, thought the chromebooks made students’ lives easier no matter what.

“If they all are in one place, we don’t have to have a bunch of textbooks because we can have them all on our computer,” Hill said.

Beougher thought the chromebook was useful but did not always use it himself.

“I don’t even have it with me,” Beougher said.

The weight of a backpack is not set in stone. Some student backpacks weigh 26.2 lb while other students carry none. Most students’ backpacks fell somewhere between the two extremes, weighing in between 8 and 15 pounds. 

Some students carry more than they need to. Rosie Hill carries a lot of books in her backpack.

“It’s probably heavier than it needs to be,” Hill said.