The school year is drawing nearer. And with its approach comes our desire to buy things we do not need. Perhaps you don’t want to listen to a writer with a cheap soul, but my experience of being repeatedly hoodwinked by UBC makes me an authority on the topic. This list is the definitive text, our own holy grail, on what not to buy during your back to school shopping.
School books: Literally everyone that cares about you has probably told you this before; the UBC bookstore was established to rob you even before you get your Arts degree. Stay ahead of the pack and get your books on UBC Buy and Sell on Facebook, Amazon, or other ways the university doesn’t want you to. You can easily get all your required books for a fraction of the price.
Course packs: I can literally count the times on one hand that I have actually used these in class. Professors sometimes make it mandatory that you get them, but most throw them out after five minutes of lectures. Make sure to listen to what your instructors tell you and follow suit. If they don’t explicitly tell you to get the course pack, ask them. You probably don’t need it.
Herschel bag: Yeah, I know. They’re ultra stylish and bestow upon you the status of 1,000 cool kids, but these babies wear out in about a year, and soon you’ll have to explain to your parents how your new 13-inch Macbook air fell out of the bottom of your $100 backpack.
UBC hoodie/scarf/toque/yacht: I know everyone is trying to get their hands on some school-spirited swag, and the Bookstore seems to have a monopoly on these hoodies that are always “on sale.” Don’t go near it. In fact, avoid the Bookstore like the plague. And if you really feel the need to let your SFU friends know you’re better than them, wait for the Bookstore’s (real) sale toward the end of first and/or second term.
Every single club membership: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to join all the clubs that you find interesting. To be honest, you probably only have enough time to handle two club responsibilities properly. I know these days you need to have joined 20 clubs to make that resume look good, but they all cost like 10 bucks each. And juggling too many responsibilities hurts your academics in the end.
Kitchen appliances (in rez): Mini fridge: good idea. Toaster oven and microwave: not so much. Not only will you never use it, since there will be one in your floor’s common lounge, but your roommate will probably hate you for filling up your closet-sized room with giant electric boxes.
Don’t believe the hype. You will see your mates coming back to residence with bags of new stuff over the next few weeks, but those will be the same guys surviving on oatmeal while you wine and dine finely on cafeteria feature fries and butter chicken pizza.