You're Never Too Old for Highlighters! A Back-To-School Shopping Guide For The Non-Student

Just because you're not going back to class doesn't mean you can't buy cute pencils.

Aug 13, 2014 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

This time of year, when my TV screen is flashing with commercials promoting "back-to-school" season, I always feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Even though I had my struggles with the public education system, stocking up on fresh new notebooks and pencil cases always gave me a sense of renewal and a belief in the power of a fresh start.

 

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Me, back when I actually had to go back-to-school shopping.

And while I graduated college in June of 2013, I still believe that certain school supplies can help with organizing my life as a post-grad. Whether it's a day planner full of inviting blank pages or a beautiful pen, new stationery can help me keep my life on track amidst the disappointment of summer ending.

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A corner of my desk nowadays. So many pens and pencils!

So take my advice and stock up on some new goods for your bag and your desk. Because you're never too old for highlighters, glue sticks or stickers. You deserve all the stickers.

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1. Rifle Pair of Safari Notebooks ($10, catbirdnyc.com)

I have a bit of a notebook problem. I am constantly buying fresh ones because I like the feel of the blank pages, and sometimes the covers are just so dang cute I can't help myself. This set of two is perfect. I can't decide which one is my favourite -- the chartreuse and metallic gold striped cover, or the "Royal Tenenbaums"-esque leopard print. They're both fabulous, and since there are two you can keep one next to your bed for jotting down your dreams (something I need to get better at) and one in your purse so you never forget anything at the grocery store ever again.

2. Washi tape, washi tape and more washi tape! (Various prices)

I'm kind of a freak when it comes to washi tape. I use it for everything from tacking up postcards and reminder notes, to colour coding different pages in my planner or making sticky-tab bookmarks. These days, you can find washi tape at most craft stores and even in the little dollar checkout section at Target, but I love browsing the beautiful colours and prints available on Etsy. Some of my favourite shops are WashiWednesday, shekphoebe, and The Washi Shop.

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One of many travel journals made by BadBooks.

3. Travel Journals ($37.97, BadBooks on Etsy)

I'm obsessed with and inspired by the mixed paper travel journals this shop makes. The books are handmade and one-of-a-kind, with various patterned and coloured pages to scrawl your thoughts on, and little envelopes peppered throughout to store keepsakes in. I can't decide whether I want to buy one or attempt to make one myself. One thing is for sure, these books are incredibly special.

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4. Bookplate Blank Rubber Stamp ($20, thefutureprimitive on Etsy)

If you have a habit of lending out your library to others, avoid confusion by marking all of your books with this handy stamp. That way none of your friends can steal your books and pretend they belong to them. And uh, if they do, maybe stop being friends with them?

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5. poppin. Ballpoint Pen Set ($12, urbanoutfitters.com)

Poppin. is a company that makes a lot of sleek, simple desk accessories in fun colours (this stapler, for example). This set of six pens is no different, and I particularly like this shade since it matches that notebook I mentioned up top. Keep a pen everywhere! How annoying is it when you can't find a pen?

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6. IKEA Välbekant Paper Clips ($3.99, IKEA stores)

How great is it that IKEA is making cute, affordable stationery and gift wrap now? I'm particularly digging these multicolour, multi-shape paper clips that work well for, uh, clipping paper together, but you could also use 'em as page markers too. 

So, have you been stocking up for your own "back-to-school" season? Where do you go for cool stationery? And just for fun, tell me about your fondest back-to-school memories. Do you remember your first day of kindergarten? I remember walking to school and having someone tell me the price tag was still stuck to the bottom of my shoe.