There’s nothing like a pencil case full of brand new pens and pencils, or when you walk onto campus with your just-unboxed bright white, scuff-free Adidas Superstar sneaker.

Back to school items do a lot more than meet practical needs; they also serve as pick-me-ups as we drag ourselves out of school breaks into the rigor of school. Here are some items that have brought much joy to their owners.

Illustrations by Daniel Jurek (’21)

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Lauren Uchimura (’19): “Why Shakespeare? Because his characters are human! Every single one of them is human in the sense that they feel real. Shakespeare’s characters have all sorts of personalities and pasts, and that makes it easy for modern audiences to relate to them.”

Unicorn Pencil Case

Johanna Seng (’21): “I bought it because it was calling my name.”

Hydroflask Bottle

Zadie Young (’21): “Staying hydrated is important. Because I drink a lot of water, I need a big bottle. I feel as if it encourages me to drink more.”

Mechanical Pencils and Erasers from Japan

Lance Tasaka (’20): “They were cool mementos from my trip to Japan during the summer.”