As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, this has been a year of big changes. After years of slave labor in the corporate world, I will be going to graduate school as a full time student.

As a kid, I didn’t care one way or another about school - it was just something you had to do. Some days it was fun and other days it was hell. But there was one thing I thoroughly enjoyed about school, and that was back-to-school shopping. This didn’t involve clothes. My school—like most schools in India—had a uniform. The shopping consisted of books, stationery, sometimes a lunchbox, and every once in a few years, a new raincoat for the monsoon. There’s no monsoon here in LA of course, although on several occasions lately the heat has tricked me into thinking otherwise. Anyway, I won’t be buying any raincoats anytime soon. However, there was another item that always made back-to-school shopping exciting. It was the backpack - or “schoolbag,” as we called it then. In the absence of the ability to choose what clothes to wear, the schoolbag was the one visible expression of one’s point of view and taste.

As graduate school draws near, I have been looking for a bag that I can use for class. Something that would not only fit everything I’ll need to carry, but also feel academic and put me in the right frame of mind. And I was thrilled to find this perfect one at Zara for just $30!

My favorite thing about this bag are the preppy double pockets with the push-button clasps reminiscent of schoolbags. It also has a fairly large bottom to easily fit a bunch of books, papers and stationery.

While I am a little nervous about graduate school, every time I look at this bag, I get excited about all the possibilities it’s going to bring. Most of all, it makes me excited about the intellectual freedom to explore and express ideas in a way that the corporate world simply doesn’t allow. I can’t wait!