The Daily Aztec

A thank you note to my backpack

by Olivia Litsey, Assistant Arts & Lifestyle Editor

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I bought my backpack before the fall of my freshman year. Like a sturdy mule carrying a migrant through an unforgiving desert land, my backpack has loyally supported me into my sixth semester at San Diego State. This bag has slumped against the same chairs, tables and floors as I have during this arduous college experience.

So, as I watch it begin to fall apart from the inside out, I’d like to take a moment to channel my inner Jimmy Fallon and express my sincere gratitude toward the bag that has been by my side, or more accurately hung from my shoulders, for all this time.

Thank you, backpack, for bearing the brunt of my exhaustion, frustration and relief as I forcefully fling you onto my bed at the end of the day. I don’t mean it.

Thank you, backpack, for being black and not showing how dirty I’m sure you truly are.

Thank you, backpack, for withstanding the days on which, in a frenzied state, I overstuff you with snacks, textbooks and a few too many highlighters before leaving for campus.

Thank you, backpack, for giving me backaches when that day is over so I am reminded to stop being such an over-packing moron.

Thank you, backpack, for your opaqueness and therefore your ability to hide the ridiculous mess inside of you. Unfortunately, what lies beyond your zipper is the physical manifestation of the mess that is my brain.

Thank you, backpack, for being a leak-proof pool instead of a gushing waterfall. Upon the multiple occasions my water bottle has chosen to explode inside of you, my classmates had no idea. You gave me the blessing of discovering the disaster alone in the bathroom and the opportunity to stabilize the situation until I could get home and dry you with a blow dryer. Although my notebooks and folders have been marred with what are now crinkly, water-warped corners, I only use those spots for doodling anyway.

Thank you, backpack, for harboring all the bobby pins and hair ties I thought I’d lost and presenting them to me like little rewards on the couple of days per semester I choose to clean you out.

Thank you, backpack, for fitting conveniently in my lap during class. You’re perfect for times when I’m either feeling lost and in need of something to hug for encouragement or loopy with tiredness and in need of a prop to fool the professor into thinking I still have the energy to hold my head up.

Thank you, backpack, for being a decent rain shield when I forget my umbrella.

Thank you, backpack, for blocking the visible corner of the non-food friendly library cubicles so the library guard, or whatever he is, doesn’t scold me while I try to finish my gyro bowl and my essay simultaneously.

Thank you, backpack, for being another layer of warmth on cold days when my jacket isn’t doing a sufficient job.

Thank you, backpack, for being another layer of warmth on hot days when you hasten the appearance of sweat marks on the back of my tank top. Just kidding, I actually hate you for that, but moving on…

Thank you, backpack, for being a pal and helping me to look distracted when I’m walking in the vicinity of a Greenpeace canvasser. Your design allows for an easy front-swing motion so I can start digging through you like I’m looking for something important instead of getting stuck in the conversation they will inevitably try to start with me. You the real MVP.

Thank you, backpack, for having those extra bits of adjustable strap I can hold on to and fidget with when I’m on my way to an exam and I have too much nervous energy.

When it comes down to it, I know you’re not a unique piece of equipment.  I see other students toting identical versions of you around campus regularly.  Yet, I couldn’t imagine braving campus with any of them but you and your unwavering companionship. The day may soon come when we part ways — you off to the dump in the back of a garbage truck, and me off to campus with a newer, better version of you.  Just know I will never forget you.

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