Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 27, Tuesday, July 6, 2010




Carrying in style: campus bags 101

Be it just a couple of copies or an overload of books, your laptop or iPod, there's always a campus bag to suit your need. They are an important accessory and, like all accessories, come in different styles and choices so that you can carry books and other essentials around campus with flair.

Carrying an attitude
You are what you wear! What you carry and how you carry it, speaks for your individuality and style. Before selecting your option, keep in mind your basic needs and definitely the image you want to project. Campus bags come in different shapes and sizes, choose the one that suits you best.

The nerdy
Traditional backpacks are becoming less and less popular everyday. If you want to look sharp, its better to leave these aside. Yet, backpacks are very helpful, spacious and often have a separate compartment for laptops. They come in various sizes, made from different fabrics.

These, however, happen to be the costliest of all types of campus bags; prices vary from Tk 1000 to 3500.

The sporty
An evolutionary outcome of the traditional backpacks are their smaller versions, typically made out of thin polyester fabric, which one can carry by means of strings, used as straps over the shoulders. These are the current bestseller; ideal for taking to the campus. These are light, handy, and easy to carry, also reflecting on your youthful spirit.

The current football fever has also caught on the 'sporty' backpack scene; sports stars enjoying great popularity with Fidel Castro and Che making the cameo appearance. It is truly a medium of self-expression.

These bags usually have a single compartment, hence suitable for carrying only light books. If you are looking for something to carry a heavier laptop, you should simply opt for something else.

The verdict -- a great, stylish bag to carry a few books and copies. Prices are cheap, ranging between Tk 200-400.

The casual
Messenger bags and satchels are definitely in. Don't bother about the names though. These are carried over on one shoulder and hung by the side; others come swinging on the lower back, the straps being wrapped, diagonally around the chest.

Shoulder bags are made of leather, denim and canvas. Leather is of course more formal but you can opt to stick to different fabric, Denim is a good option. These have an easy-going, rugged look. Bags made of tough fabrics are popular as they are enduring.

Meanwhile, you will also find some semi-formal shoulder bags that perfectly go with the campus attire. There are a lot of options to choose from. How much space do you need? Do you require separate compartments? Do you want to have your laptop on campus? How rough will you handle? These questions should be raised before making the purchase. Prices of shoulder bags vary considerably, from Tk 600 - 2000.

What's in a name?
Campus bags are widely available at Bashundhara City and New Market. Beware of bootleg variants of brands such as Gucci, Pierre Cardin and others. But the price easily gives them away. All shops claim to have the 'best quality'. So make sure you play close attention to the details and when satisfied with the quality, bargain an awful lot before finally closing the deal.

If, however, you want a bag from any of the renowned brands check out Soul Dance and Ecstasy.

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Back to school

Believe it or not, it's true; the summer holidays are drawing to a close and your much-coveted blissful sleeping-in days are soon going to be a thing of distant memory. The thoughts flying through your head right now are probably ranging anywhere from thinking about all the back-to-school shopping you need to get done before your child is off to school again and pondering “Where did the vacation go?”

This transition can be a little nerve-wracking for parents and their kids alike but the following measures might just make it a little bit easier.

Get back on a routine
Even though you tried very hard to not let it happen, it happened anyway; your child spent most of his/her holiday waking up late in the afternoon and then spent the rest of the day glued to the television screen. While those may be permissible during the holidays, going back-to-school means you have to obliterate that leniency. Fix a bedtime routine that will allow your kids to feel relaxed and energised in the mornings. Practice the average school morning (waking up at 7 am and maintaining punctuality) a few days before school starts so that s/he can get used to it.

Shop for school supplies
Get your back-to-school shopping done early if you can. This allows you to scout around for the best prices without worrying about stocks running out. Let your child choose his/her own stationeries and other school accessories. The opportunity will not only make your child feel more responsible but a simple thing such as a new nice backpack can make him/her feel more enthusiastic about going back to school.

Chances are that your child has grown a substantial amount over the summer so there might be a need to alter or order new uniforms. Some schools require their uniforms to be made from a certain tailor so getting a head start on that is recommended. You don't want to be told five days before school opens that the order can't be delivered on time or worse, that the tailor has gone on holiday.

Another thing that children outgrow very quickly is their shoe. Therefore, instead of waiting till the last minute to start panicking about your child's growing feet, get him/her measured early on and pick out the shoe as recommended by the school.

It's very important to strictly follow the rules set by the school when it comes to your child's wardrobe. While you have the freedom to adorn your daughter with heels and fancy berets for family parties, this should not apply for school.

When shopping for your child's back-to-school supplies, it's always best to think about quality over quantity. This can be applied to absolutely anything from a new backpack to a convenient pencil case. While this could mean that you spent a bit more cash than you planned, it will certainly pay off replacing the lunchbox every single semester.

Be excited about the upcoming school year
While it is true that your child going back to school means a more hectic schedule for you, it helps to be excited for your child. Like fear and anger, excitement and confidence can also be contagious. This will make your child's transition from watching TV all day to going to school much easier.

…And the journey begins
From the time their little bundles of joy are born, parents tend to envelop them with a protective cocoon. Going from this warm protectiveness into 'the big bad world' can be daunting for your child and yourself alike and so here are a few tips to make this transition a little more bearable.

Prepare your child for school from beforehand. Don't leave the surprise for the day of the event but gently introduce the idea to him/her throughout the holidays. It's very important for you to maintain a positive and excited attitude towards school. Even though you may be experiencing anxiety, it is best not to show this to your child as s/he may catch on.

When shopping for your child's first day of school, bring him/her along with you. Let your child choose his/her own backpack and other school supplies (all within school guidelines!) so that s/he feels more excited about the upcoming event.

If you can, ask the school officials if they can give a quick tour of the school to your child. In this way, s/he can familiarise himself/herself with the surroundings and will know what to expect on the day itself.

Most importantly, be emotionally available for your child. Chances are s/he will be overwhelmed by the transition so take time out and listen to your child and discuss aspects of the new school. Spend time each day talking to your child about what happened in school and give your child positive feedback about his or her new experiences. Be sure to shower him/her with praises over his/her behaviour or schoolwork.

Remember that it is completely normal for your child to experience anxiety issues but more often than not, it goes away within a few days or weeks. Assure your child that you are there with him/her every step of the way and give him/her the emotional support s/he needs.

By Mahareen Khalid



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star