Backpacks weigh on CHS students

Let’s face it: most of us go through the school day with sore shoulders. Why? Well, students today bring many things to school daily: laptops, binders, notebooks, pencil cases and charging cables. All of these items are stored in the backpacks we carry every day.

Even in the modern day, where many schools are making their transition from paper to online assignments, the load that many students bear each day has not been lessened.

I personally struggle to haul my backpack around on a daily basis, and it seems that I’m not the only one.

In a Jagwire survey of 25 students, 92 percent said that they were weighed down daily by their heavy backpacks, and the majority of that 92 percent said that they carried a lot more than they thought was required.

Most of those surveyed carried a laptop, notebook or binder for each class and textbooks on occasion. I carry so much — including two binders, a three-subject notebook, a laptop, a regular notebook and separate textbook, a notebook for an online class, a pencil case, chargers, an umbrella and my wallet — that my backpack weighs more than 10 lbs.

This issue of backpack weight at Carrboro’s seems to be related to a lack of locker use, as 92 percent of those surveyed also said that they did not have a locker. Of the two people who said that they had a locker, only one of them said that they used it.

The reason for that is likely the same as it is for me; I don’t have the time to visit my locker between classes, and it’s much more convenient to carry all my things around with me.

It seems we care more about the convenience of having everything with us more than having less weighing down our shoulders. This is most likely a result of the amount of time students are given to travel between each of their classes, as three minutes is not enough time to visit a locker and make it to class.

There is also the option of storing your stuff for afternoon classes in lockers and visiting it at lunch to retrieve them while putting away morning class material. Yet there’s a problem in that too since you’d have to retrieve things at the end of the day as well.

If you’re like me and you have to catch a bus, then you too probably likely feel that it would be a pain to visit a locker and try to get all your things as quick as possible.

I’d say the best solution to avoiding the death of my shoulders is to get a lighter load, but how?

A good option is to buy lighter supplies. So ditch that fancy binder and opt for some expandable pocket files and notebooks with lighter paper. Choose only three to four pens to bring to school, and discard any documents you won’t need in the future.

Avoid bringing large chargers for laptops and such if your laptop can survive on low-battery mode, or don’t bring a laptop at all, since CHS often provides them in classes for students.

You should re-organize your backpack often as well, though being a little more minimalistic will also help save you time in that process of reorganization. It doesn’t seem like teachers will stop making you carry all those multi-subject notebooks and binders any time soon, so us students have to take action ourselves.

Illustration by Ryx Zan