The Tantalising Terror of the Tote Bag

George discusses the most important accessory for any student!

George Bell
16th March 2022
Image: George Bell
The tote bag. A staple of most students' wardrobes that helps support both your looks and your Tesco meal deal. They’ve certainly been rising in popularity in recent years, so let's look at why the tote deserves your vote.

Personally, I have a rather eclectic assortment of tote bags ranging from cursed to very cursed. They are horrifying, and I love each and every one of them. A great addition to the horrific arsenal of graphic tees I have. The bags have numerous times put a smile on someone's face (or maybe a grimace). Tote bags are great at giving insight into a person's interests, passions and beliefs, even if those interests, passions and beliefs happen to be Danny Devito eating beans. 

There is, though, a harsh truth to the tote bag. They are about aesthetics, not practicality. Sure, it may complete the fit, much like the bag when I need something from it. Be it a pen, keys or a book, it is best to schedule in at least 30 minutes to find them. This will give you ample time to drag countless miscellaneous items from within before making the horrible realisation it was in your pocket all along. I’d also touch on how annoying keeping a tote bag on your shoulder is, but the idea keeps slipping my mind.

While carrying stuff in them can be a pain, actually carrying a tote bag is a thing of beauty. Being able to fold one up and shove it in your pocket, or even another tote bag, gives so much flexibility in how you use them. Don't worry about whether you need a bag when going out as you can easily carry a nice light tote bag without taking up too much space on yourself. This also provides great environmental benefits, as you are less likely to be caught out with a bag for little bits and bobs and have to do the walk of shame home with a plastic bag. 

Pretty much all my tote bags have been gifts and thus I have a strong attachment to each of them. They make great gifts because of how personal they can be to you, in ways loud and subtle. However, like my shoulder, it’s a slippery slope. Yes, I am making this joke again. No, I am not sorry. Since showing interest in the tote bag, everyone seems to think I need more. Don't get me wrong, I do, but you should never indulge an addict. Unless the impending nuclear war causes me to grow more, I only have the two shoulders. As such, the increasing number of them is becoming impractical, and I’ll have to start picking favourites (spoilers, it is the Robert Pattinson one). If it continues at this rate, I may have spent more on tote bags than on student loans.

As I write this under the crushing weight of a mountain of tote bags, I can’t help but appreciate them. They are sure to be popular for a while longer and I am both giddy with excitement and awash with existential dread when I consider what kind of horror my next one will be.

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AUTHOR: George Bell
One half film addict, one part computer nerd. All parts Croc lover

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