Why I use a rolling backpack and why you should, too

Natalie '16 and her rolling backpack. Photographer Alli '17.

Natalie ’16 and her rolling backpack. Photographer Alli ’17.

The consistent whirring of the wheels spinning down the halls. The satisfying click-click-click of the handle sliding up out of its socket. The thud of the luggage-sized bag dropping to the ground after being lugged up the stairs. As I head off from Marlborough and into the real world, I will miss the familiar sounds of my rolling backpack.

My parents insisted I start using a rolling backpack in eighth grade in order to protect my back. Although at first hesitant to wheel through the halls, I quickly became enamored with my new bag and have used it through my senior year. All Marlborough girls should use rolling backpacks in order to improve their wellbeing during their Marlborough days and protect their backs for the future.

Using a rolling backpack has lessened my back pain, allowing me to be more focused on the tasks in front of me. Students are already at risk for back pain from hunching over books and staring down at computer screens. Carrying backpacks loaded with textbooks and binders back and forth to school and from class to class adds to the daily toll on our backs. Marlborough girls can significantly reduce the daily load on their backs by rolling their bags through the halls. As students, having sore backs hampers us during the day. At any moment in a given Marlborough classroom, it is likely to see a girl twisting around in her chair to crack her back. It is harder to focus and face challenging tasks when you are feeling back pain. Reducing back pain will improve our well-being as students.

Using a rolling backpack also has long-term health benefits. We are young and motivated, so we may have the willingness to push through the back pain in the present. But the damage we do to our backs could cause us pain in the future. Using rolling backpacks to protect our backs will help ensure that we are spry for years to come.

Rolling backpacks at Marlborough should not just be a middle school phenomenon. As books get heavier and sleep gets shorter in the upper school years, it is more crucial than ever to make the extra effort for our wellbeing by using a rolling backpack. Upper schoolers with rolling backpacks can also serve as role models for younger students, helping the cause.

Yes, anyone in the School can hear me wheeling through the halls from across campus. Yes, I’ve run over a fair number of toes. Yes, using a rolling backpack may seem to be a social taboo. But the rewards have far outweighed any social drawbacks. In fact, my rolling backpack is a talking piece. And if you embrace your wheels, you will roll through the halls with a new pep in your step.

I will not be using a rolling backpack in college, but I am very glad that I used one in high school. I hope you do the same in your years to come.