Locker, Car, or Backpack?

How students manage school materials throughout the day


Car keys dangle from the door handle of a sedan, much like Anna Cameron (11)’s car, where she stores her stuff during the school day. “If I stay organized and know exactly what I need that day, I never really need to carry much around all the time. If I stay organized and know exactly what I need that day, I never really need to carry much around all the time,” said Cameron about the advantages of using her car as a storage space for all her school materials. Photo by House of Joy Photos (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Elyse Sommer

Everyone knows the feeling of a heavy bag, the pinch of binders and textbooks nestled in the crook of an arm, the clutter that happens in the backseat after throwing spare papers there.  It’s a given, considering the fact that high school requires a lot of materials to succeed (big notebooks, vocab cards, hefty books, etc) that students have to carry, but can we all agree on the best place to keep those materials?  

Madi de Vries (10) argues for the merit of using backpacks as the primary source of storage.

“It’s easier to carry everything in my bag,” said de Vries.  De Vries has a locker that she uses to “leave a binder… if I don’t need it for homework.”  

Another sophomore, Morgan Dyer (10), disputes this. “[School materials] are a pain to carry and I don’t have a car,” Dyer said. Dyer’s locker isn’t close to any of her classes and according to her, “makes it so I have to plan ahead and know exactly when I’m going to have time to get there and get my stuff.”

It seems that backpacks and lockers are the go-to for high school students to carry all of their books, yet that doesn’t fairly represent the resources of all high school students.

Upperclassmen are old enough to own cars and the many that do use them for more than just driving to and from school.  “It’s better for me because it’s my own car. I have the keys to it so I can lock up everything knowing that I’m the only person who can enter. Yes a locker does have a lock but it holds you accountable to also keep the locker intact and no damage,” said Anna Cameron (12) about the nature of using her car to hold her school materials during the day.  The parking lots fill up during the day, with students who intend to park having to pay a $25 fee for each semester of the school year that they park, but their proximity and accessibility mean an easier school day for students like Cameron.

Which one is the best or most convenient? De Vries sticks by her trusty backpack, claiming, “When everything is in a backpack, everything is easily accessible assuring that nothing is left behind or out of place. A backpack is the best avenue since you can fit everything, at least for an A or B day, which allows me to have all my binders and supplies conveniently with me at all times.”  Dyer thinks that her locker is still the best place for all her stuff, “Yes [a locker is better] because I can be more organized.” Cameron defends her position on the use of her car, stating, “I feel like using my car doesn’t make it harder or easier it’s just more convenient for me. It also gives me an excuse to be able to walk outside on a nice day instead of staying in school all day.”  

No matter where you keep your stuff, you have something in common with all your peers; you’re all weighed down by tons of schoolbooks, pens and pencils, textbooks, and more. Next time you see someone kneeling to pick up spilled papers or struggling to get their bag on their shoulder, be kind and lend a hand.