Editorial: Semester opening, bookstore woes

It’s that time of year again. Winter break is over, classes are starting and it’s no longer “the most wonderful time of the year.” Especially in the bookstore.

Little by little, tensions are rising as students attempt to fill their backpacks (i.e., shoulder bags, knapsacks, Vera Bradley or Coach bags, whatever the case) with wallet-burning class necessities. If the class isn’t a business or engineering class requiring triple-digit priced textbooks, it’s most likely a liberal arts class demanding 14 literature books and a thesaurus.

The snake-like check-out line wraps completely around the bookstore, ending with the scanning of unreasonably priced books and a total cost that severely drains any Wildcard balance.

The book section is arranged alphabetically according to course name and number, which is helpful in finding books. And the people working in the section couldn’t be more pleasant. But bookstore personnel can only do so much when books simply are not on the shelves, despite their presence on the syllabi. Certain books are on back-order, are sold out, or need to be purchased at a local bookstore in order to get the assignments done on time.

Some students try to avoid the long line on the left side of the bookstore, thinking they are bucking the system. Yet on the right side of the bookstore are those students who have only done half their shopping, slowly perusing each and every aisle that the line twists through. And if they suddenly realize that their binder sheets or Greek letters are not conveniently where the line is looping, they will pull the traditional leave-your-basket-in-line trick to scurry around, mastering a Supermarket Sweep-like race to find all their supplies.

Freshman year, this process is one of the most nerve-racking, mind-boggling experiences. Yet as the years pass, the process becomes almost laughable. Students find ways to get hand-me-down books from upperclassmen, have them shipped from local bookstores, or even taking the particular book out week after week from the library.

It’s an aggravating way to kick off a new semester, but it needs to be done. Some way or another, students who are interested in keeping up with their work and having the proper resources are going to need to face the “dreaded” bookstore.

Luckily we have the five percent discount to save a few extra dollars and to ease our disgruntled minds. So what if the discount only shaves off about seven pages worth of the textbook?