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School ushers student spenders

The shopper scurries through the never-ending aisles, looking for the perfect outfit for the first day of school. She browses through what feels like billions of beautiful blouses. Finally, she found the right ensemble.

According to a recent article in USA Today, Costly college prerequisite: Decorate dorm, $17.6 billion are expected to be spent on back-to-school shopping for students in kindergarten through college this year.

Senior Ani Paparigian is one student who contributes to this figure. As a child, Paparigian tagged along with her mother while running errands. To make shopping more entertaining she created a game called ?treasure hunting.?

Each prospective toy that her mom might buy her was considered a treasure. Paparigian has always enjoyed shopping at thrift stores to find new school clothes.

?I go to thrift stores every weekend and usually go to the mall once a month,? Paparigian said. ?I like to browse through the clothes and I get inspired by the mannequins. I try to find similar outfits at the thrift store because it?s a lot cheaper.?

While many girls, like Paparigian, spend time selecting their outfit and primping before school, others focus on different priorities. Larissa Hensley, ?09, does not enjoy shopping for long periods of time because she gets tired.

?I go shopping about three times a year,? Hensley said. ?I think it?s a waste of time when you have to try on a bunch of stuff. I like to shop for shirts and shoes and I prefer out-of-town shopping.?

Shopping is a huge recreational activity for people of all ages, teens especially. Many teenagers love to shop because it is a social activity and is a way to express their individuality through style. Americans spend more than $82 billion dollars in clothing a year, including online purchases.

?I like to shop online because you can get different clothes than you can get in stores,? Nick Andersen, ?09, said. ?I don?t like to browse through clothes because it?s pointless; I would rather just buy them.?

After graduating, Lisa Bolduc, ?02 alumna, decided to pursue her dream of a career in fashion. Bolduc is now a personal shopper in the women?s department at Macy?s. A personal shopper helps find exactly what a customer wants, whether it be a new professional look or a gift idea.

?I love working as a personal shopper because I don?t feel like it?s a job,? Bolduc said. ?Even though I work at a store that only sells name brands, I am open minded to wearing non name brand clothes and shopping at thrift stores.?

Whether people go bargain hunting or department store shopping, the activity remains a popular pass time for those looking to expand their wardrobe or simply bond with friends.

For more information about shopping, visit Melissa Lichti’s Dec. ’07 article, Thrift stores offer retro style choices.

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