Most unnecessary things SFU will force you to buy

Photo from Peak Archives (Azat Bayandin/The Peak)

Written by Jennifer Low, Peak Associate

Winter break is over, there’s no denying it anymore. It’s time to once again shell out that hard-earned cash for those absolutely useless essential school supplies that profs will be asking students to purchase.

“Required” Textbooks: Why go to the gym when you can lift these.

Cue the collective groan. We all know the struggle of paying $500 or more for books that we will never open and the prof will only refer to once (likely just in the syllabus where they tell us it’s a required reading). Sometimes, you can get away with buying it cheaper online or used. But other times, when the prof assigns a textbook they wrote that’s used by no other class on the planet, you’re forced to accept your fate. You will never know how unnecessary this book is until your course finally ends, and it collects a layer of dust so large that you start confusing it for a second book.

I-clicker: When raising your hand isn’t enough participation.

You’ll use this quiz device for one course and never see it again. This device is a useless piece of plastic students have to desperately try to sell back to someone or other at the end of the semester. After all, who needs clear and detailed lecture notes when the prof can force you to use awkward technology for unsubstantial quizzes? Besides, most of the class is copying the person beside you, being copied off of, or generally just missing the question because they’re finishing a Netflix series on their laptop.

Dictionary / Thesaurus: Have you seriously not heard of Google?

Profs keep referring to these two ancient texts as if we actually carry the physical copies of these books around in our backpacks, ready to pull them out in the case of any misspelling or unusual word in the middle of the lecture. Professors, allow me to give you a piece of advice: That’s what Google is for.

Notebooks for Tutorial: Remember that time you actually thought you needed this?

Once upon a time, I used to have a separate notebook for each tutorial and lecture. But then, I made a paper-saving discovery that my TAs only ever asked me write things down on the first day of class. After that, my notebook became a forgotten, scrunched-up mess at the bottom of my bag that only resurfaced when I was in need of doodling paper or to write an exit slip.  

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