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The Great Debate: Backpacks vs. Satchels

Most people don’t put much thought into what means they use to carry their school supplies; to others, this decision is more than a matter of function. For them, backpacks constitute a fundamental statement about oneself. Backpacks and satchels both allow easy access to things, and can be an interesting addition to someone’s everyday look.

The case for backpacks is very simple. For most, the decision never really crosses their mind.

“I wear a backpack instead of a satchel, because it’s easier to carry around,” junior Zach Burke said. “I can fit all of my things in it. It allows me to be more organized and efficient with my school supplies. I feel like satchels are harder to use when you have a lot of things to carry.”

Several other students agreed with Burke’s thoughts.

“The backpack’s design helps me get to my things easier. My personal favorite is the Swiss Army backpack, because they are so durable,” sophomore Ian Atwater said. “Satchels only have one strap. This makes it harder on your shoulder, while the backpack’s design evens the weight out between both shoulders.”

This begs the question as to why certain students wear a satchel. While some say it’s style, others seem to think there is a stereotype that comes with the satchel. Some seem to think that students who wear satchels are often smarter and more academically-inclined.

“When I see someone with a satchel, I immediately think that person is smart,” Burke said.

“The only two kids I know that wear satchels are Drake Rebman and I, and I would say we are pretty smart kids,” junior Grant Lander said.

More of these “academically-inclined students” feel that satchels keep their schoolwork more organized.

“I guess it stems from kids who use satchels feeling that it’s easier to get to things, which could mean that they are more academically oriented,” junior Wolf Wheeler said.

Still, others don’t have much of an opinion on the matter.

“I feel like wearing a satchel is just a different way of going about it. I think that wearing a backpack is smarter, because it doesn’t hurt your shoulder as much,” Atwater said.

While it is debatable if satchels make students smarter, students who wear satchels to school see many upsides to doing so.

“I wear a satchel to look different. I felt like it was just too generic to wear a Nike Elite backpack, because I would just look like another Rockhurst jock,” junior Colin Safley said. “I switched from a satchel to a backpack this year. I really don’t think it made a difference in how easy it was to use. Given the lack of hard copy books in my bag, I can use either one very easily.”

Safley carries a satchel mainly a stylistic decision; however, Wheeler feels it is more of a decision that helps him get to his materials easier.

“I feel it is easier to get to, and it helps me keep my things organized,” he said.

The decision is really more of a personal preference that varies from student to student. After all, everyone has his own ways of carrying around school materials.

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