Carrying the weight of the future on your back

As the school year draws closer to the end, students acknowledge the back breaking work that happens not during classes, but in between them.


Caleb Franzen

With backpacks getting heavier with every paper and textbook received, carrying belongings around is only getting harder. “Being in AP classes adds a huge load to my backpack since I have to carry around multiple big books if I want to study for that class,” Nicolaes said.

On the first day of school, everything starts out light. We go to school with the basic necessities in our backpacks, and get settled in for the long months ahead of us.

“I remember on the first day of school this year, all I brought with me in my backpack was some sheets of paper and a couple pencils and pens,” Alex Nicolaes, sophomore, said. “We weren’t really doing much for that first week so my backpack was really light.”

Of course, the first week of school is arguably one of if not the easiest week of the entire school year. By the second week, notes are being started and the workload begins to pick up. Papers are passed out and it is expected of you to have some sort of binder or holder to keep all the papers you are given. By the end of the quarter, most classes have given out textbooks or books on top of the numerous stacks of papers.

“As the weeks went on, the weight of all my binders, homework assignments, and textbooks started to add up.” Tony Comard, sophomore, said. “I don’t use my locker that much, so whenever I have classes with heavy textbooks, I have to just keep them in my backpack,” he added.  

Being a high school student that does the same thing as him, in not using my locker, I began to notice just how heavy my backpack really was. Everyday before coming to school while making sure I have the right materials for the day, I load in at least two textbooks which adds about 15 pounds to my backpack’s weight. On E days it ends up being even more than that because I have all six classes that day.

Besides just feeling heavy while walking around with it on, it has actually changed me physically. Since there is so much weight in my backpack, I end up hunching forward to even it out which has caused me to have worse and worse posture. Even without a backpack on, I have become so used to hunching my back that I’m slumped forwards anyways, and I’m not the only one.

“Ever since around the middle of the second quarter, my backpack has gotten ridiculously heavy and it’s causing me some back pain,” Michael Sabbaj, junior, said. “My mom even tells me that ever since I’ve been in high school, my posture has gotten worse.”

While I absolutely understand the use of textbooks for math, history and other such classes, I believe that the move towards more online learning would be an effective solution that helps deal with this back breaking problem.