My Back to School Essentials
I don't know about you, but the thought of back to school gives me mixed feelings. Especially this year. As a senior I gotta look my best. Top dog for the last time, I think. As someone not going to college this might be the end to my strict classroom career. I have a love hate relationship with school (as most kids do nowadays) but I am excited for this year. I feel that I have more confidence in myself as a person than I have these past few years. I have more of an understanding of my future and who I want to be than most of peers. Sure, I am different and most people don't understand my thinking but hey I am fitting out.
So now after that relatively deep intro, I thought it would be good to share my back to school essentials and what I always feel the need to get before the new year starts. When I was younger going back to school shopping was a big thing. I had to get all the new styles in clothes, the coolest pencils and highlighters, and get the newest and brightest folders, binders, and pencil cases. I mean one: it's a fortune (sorry mom + dad) and second: could I be any less ethically conscience? To be fair that is basically what society has taught us. To get kids to be big consumers by the time they are in kindergarten. Success society!
But now that I have educated myself and learned about money and the value of it, I have completely redirected my wants and needs for school. And I also don't feel the need to spend $200 on a new wardrobe at the beginning of every school year now that I have pretty much stayed the same size since middle school. AND also who wants to have the same exact shirt as every other girl in the school? Not me. That's why I choose to thrift my back to school clothes this year. There is no chance that I will be matching with the mean girls this year :)
So now that we are on the topic, let's talk about thrifting.
Obviously, if you watch my videos or follow me on Instagram, you know I thrift all the time. It's kind of like my little hobby I am constantly perfecting. Since thrifting is so hit or miss, I try to search multiple different stores in a span of a few days for my back to school stuff.
I love Goodwill for finding t-shirts (which is the bulk of my wardrobe). The men's section is where it's at ladies. I mean that oversized old man look is so in and damn it's the comfiest and easiest fashion trend evvva. Thank you for that. My morning routine really appreciates a good 15 second fashionista. You can also find some good jeans sometimes at Goodwill which I usually buy just to cut off and turn into shorts. I typically don't like the cut of most jeans at the bottom but if they are high waisted and fit the booty then I am all about a diy situation.
If you have a serious dress code then this could be a great way to make something suppa cute that no one else has and fits the dress code. When I was in Colorado and thrifted a ton, I found some super cute Levi jeans that had already been cut into mid-thigh shorts and they are super cute. They look really cute with a t-shirt tucked in. Super easy and the principal approves (not that I care, just don't want to get written up thanks).
Goodwill is also a great place to find decent shoes. It's rare but sometimes you can snatch some converse, vans, sandals, or sneakers that are in decent shape.
If you have a Buffalo Exchange near you, I 100% recommend checking it out. They always have bomb shoes and more high end clothing items. Of course you are going to have to pay a little bit more than $1.99 for a shirt there but you will find brands like Free People, Madewell, Nike, Zara, and Brandy Melville. I have found some really great stuff there and it is so fun to go with friends and get your new stuff together!
Other consignment shops and vintage stores are other great places to look if you have the time and a bit of a higher budget. I mean it will always be way cheaper than going to the mall but if you have a really tight budget, Goodwill is your babe ;)
Since I not only live in my leggings, i also need them for school as fitness is a big part of my day (we have gym everyday), I have to be on the lookout for nice fitness wear too. I found a bunch of Lulu Lemon leggings and tanks at the Buffalo Exchange which have saved my life. Of course that is quite a rarity to find such nice clothes so it will take some effort to find the gold.
So of course I love thrifting but it can be really hard to find all of your fashion statements. Don't get me wrong, it is definitely possible but sometimes your girl just needs a new pair of shoes. So of course vegan only shoes are key. This year I ordered a pair of white vans as a simple, versatile, and casual shoe that goes with everything. I got a pair last year and basically wore them every day. By the end of the school year, I had two holes in each shoe from my toes. So I definitely got my use out of those. Here are some other vegan shoes that I love:
I also wear my vegan Birkenstock sandals almost year round. Socks and sandals are such a bop and that is my go to in the winter/fall other than the vans. They are so easy to wear and go with pretty much anything. Not to mention they are so comfy.
If you want the birk look but don't have the funds or want to shop from a more ethical company, I really like this Australian company called Freedom Moses. They are basically a super cool birkenstock style shoe made out of natural and recycled rubber material. They come in so many different patterns and colors to go with every outfit and they all cost an average of $40 for adult sizes.
Some of my only non thrifted back to school clothing is active wear and athleisure. I mean that is basically the comfiest and easiest outfit to put on at 6am. If I am unable to find something specific (aka a sports bra, nice pair of leggins, etc) at a thrift store, then I will get some stuff from Girlfriend Collective. I love all of their styles and everything is made out of recycled materials! (heck yes to that!) Here are some of my faves:
I also LOVE Outdoor Voices for athleisure as well. THey have a ton of super cute styles and colors for every season. A heck of a lot more money than shopping at Goodwill but worth it if you are looking for something new and really good quality.
Next is jewelry. Never have been a big jewelry fan until about this year. I have been digging the bracelets look and the layered necklaces. So I ordered a few simple jewelry pieces from Brandy Melville. They have super inexpensive items (their shipping is kind of ridiculous but whatever) that go with everything and are made fairly well for the price. Obviously Brandy isn't the most ethical brand in the world. There are ethical jewelry brands but you are going to have to pay a lot more. I have a few items from YCL Jewels that I love. Just again, way more expensive.
School supplies are hard because you can't by lined paper at Goodwill but I have found that they do sell some office supplies like calculators, pencil boxes, binders, rulers, etc. However I have accumulated so much stuff over the 12 years I have been in school that I don't need much of anything in terms of supplies. My school has a recycling program so if I need some paper, binders, folders, etc I can always check that out and get what I need. But with the times changing, we may not be needing paper and pencils all that much in schools which I guess is a plus for mother earth :)
Backpacks have always been my favorite thing to shop for! I haven't needed a new one for a long time but the one I have been using is a bit too big for what I am going to be needing this year. So this year I was on the hunt at the Goodwill for a decent backpack. And lone and behold, I found one. A brand new L.L. Bean backpack! Just what I needed! Perfect size for all my crap lol. I also have a Kanken backpack that I may switch over to later in the year. Both are perfect canvases for my pins. That is basically the whole purpose of a backpack though isn't it?
Lunch at school is basically the only thing to look forward to in the day, other than leaving. It's is the only half hour to socialize and be with people you can somewhat tolerate. At my school you have the option to either buy lunch or pack (You can probably guess what I have done my whole life lol). I find packing my lunch to be super rewarding. I am able to basically pack whatever I want and actually get excited to open my lunch and see that I have tofu coconut curry or soup, or homemade fat balls! Love that.
I pack all my lunches myself the night before and it always seems to workout just fine. It is usually leftovers of some kind that don't have to be reheated. I sometimes pack soup or chilli in a thermos but that is the most effort I put forth. Thanks to meal prepping I have really gotten a hang of it so it is easy and takes very little time out of my night.
Of course your girl is super anal about never having any waste when eating her lunch at school so I pack in a reusable lunch bag, use containers and jars, and always have a water bottle with me throughout the day (thank goodness my school has multiple bottle refill stations). I bring a cloth napkin and my wooden utensils as well. #zerowastestudent
In this day in age doing all schoolwork on paper is not really a viable option. One, it is just a lot of work for both the students and the teachers but also it is so wasteful! I mean we do recycle paper and stuff but it just seems ridiculous for our teachers to print out papers for each student just to write our names on and then throw away basically. So to combat that wastefulness, I use my computer when I can. I have had my laptop for quite some time and it is a complete game changer not just for starting a blog or business but also for school. Taking notes, participating in online discussions with the class, making powerpoints, quizlet, checking grades, etc.
Some kind of headphones or earbuds are key too. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't listen to music during school hours. It has become such a routine. Below I have my favorites:
As I said before, there isn't a day that goes by where I don't listen to one of my playlists. Pretty much a playlist for every activity or time of day on my Spotify. I got you covered if you need to focus on your homework, or you need a pick me up after a high school breakup.
Alright. So now you know what I do to prepare myself for the new routine. Here's to my last year.
Note to self Jane: SAVOR IT. High school isn't forever and senior will go by in the blink of an eye. It may not be your favorite way to spend your time, but it is an experience that should be at least somewhat memorable. Don't waste these next 182 days Jane, please. For your future self :)