New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Ranked: School bags

We deserve to be stylish and free from back pain!
Tori Osmond
(Illustration by Tori Osmond)

With how much we carry around campus each day, a good school bag is a necessity. A bag can be anything you want it to be — a fashionable handbag to match your bougie outfit, or even a practical torn-out tote you throw around. However, the perfect bag is both fashionable and practical. So, if you’re a student fed up with your beat up Strand Book Store tote bag, here is your sign to reevaluate your go-to bag.

5. Laptop Sleeves

Sometimes traveling light is not always the best option. Because these bags are only designed to fit computers and occasionally an iPad. These bag substitutes lack the compartments necessary to accommodate other supplies like pens, notebooks, or folders. They also aren’t practical if you have a class that doesn’t allow you to use electronic devices. Moreover, there is no use in enduring the arm fatigue that results from carrying a laptop around all day. If you desperately want that bicep workout, 404 Fitness exists for a reason. 

4. Messenger Bags

On the surface, messenger bags seem appealing. Their interior compartments make items easily accessible and they make any outfit look business casual, so you’ll feel like the head of a top consulting firm.

In reality, these bags are nothing but a bother. They aren’t very prominent on campus — and there’s a reason why. The massive bags appear to constantly weigh down the wearer, leading them to struggle with basic tasks. Additionally, the asymmetrical design of messenger bags will inevitably lead to shoulder strain and discomfort in the long run.

There’s no need to endure ceaseless discomfort when there are more dependable and accommodating two-strap alternatives. You might as well stick with the trusty backpack which offers better back and shoulder support. 

3. Canvas tote bags

These particular bags are popular among students since textbooks and other resources are online nowadays. While they are a lightweight and affordable alternative to the conventional backpack, the singular opening of the bags leaves much to be desired. Also totes can be used for more than just school as they are a good handbag alternative. Students need to keep track of and easily access their keys, credit cards, NYU ID and other small essential items while living in a busy city; I would much rather opt for a concealed compartment bag. Classes can be stressful enough on their own — don’t be the person left behind in Bobst Library because you spent 10 minutes rummaging through your cluttered bag for your ID.

2. Designer tote bags

Whether it’s authentic or a Canal Street knockoff, these popular bags undeniably bring a stylish flair to one’s outfit and have smaller zipper compartments on the inside, making them a step above canvas tote bags. Unfortunately, similar to canvas totes, designer bags don’t offer a defense against pickpockets. My friends and I constantly gawk at Louis Vuitton or Goyard bags displayed around on campus. Therefore, these bags can regularly attract unwanted attention from strangers. If you crave some style or merely want to indulge in the envy of your friends, then by all means, go for it — just exercise caution.

1. Laptop Backpacks

Backpacks with laptop sleeves are dominating the campus scene, and their popularity is well deserved. Whether you opt for SWISSGEAR or High Sierra, these heavy-duty bags always come with unique features — such as charging ports — making your life much easier. Among all the laptop backpacks I’ve seen on campus, my favorites are usually from athletic apparel brands like Nike and Adidas. Not only are they easily available at Costco for an enticing price, but they also exude a sleek aesthetic that can complement any outfit. Since these bags are designed for athletes and are comfortable, they’re the ideal choice for the average NYU student who gets in at least 10,000 steps daily walking around campus.

Contact Sneha Tripathy at [email protected].

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  • P

    PradipSep 29, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    A nice and thoughtful article!
    Keep up your furor scribendi..