The month of August is officially coming to an end which means that “Back To School” season is right around the corner! Unlike most countries, Japan actually begins its school year in April, meaning that September is when most Japanese students are beginning their second semester. It might seem like going back to school for your second semester is a lot less stressful than starting your first, but that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, some might say that it’s even more stressful because Japanese schools typically require students to complete hefty homework assignments during summer break. Like any typical student on vacation, most just want to take advantage of their newfound freedom to relax and forget about anything school related. The downside is that this often turns into a summer-long procrastination spree, resulting in an intense last week where everyone rushes to try to finish up their summer homework on time. If this is the case for you, please rest assured knowing that you’re definitely not alone!
Whether you’re getting ready for your first or second semester of school in Japan, here is a list of Back to School essentials from Daiso (100 yen shop = dollar store) that are sure to help you get back in the flow of things without breaking the bank.
1. Flash Cards
Lots of students in Japan use flashcards to memorize new terminology, or to review notes before a big test. It might seem like an outdated way of studying but it’s known for being pretty effective, not least of all because you need to write the terminology on the flashcards by hand. It’s a way more fun and practical alternative to the boring “flip-through-your-old-notes” method. Plus, it will only set you back 100 yen for a pack of two!
2. Electric Erasers
Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Who needs electric erasers when I already have a perfectly normal one that works fine?”. That might be true, however, I personally have come to realise that electric erasers really are the erasers of the future. As a student who is constantly taking notes by hand, I often find myself making mistakes and having to spend my precious note-taking time erasing them, only to end up rubbing a hole through the page and needing to start all over again. These erasers will save you that anguish and allow you to spend more time note-taking and finishing your work up on time.
3. A4 Zipper File
The more classes you have, the more your papers start to pile up. As a busy student, these loose papers can become a major obstacle that prevents you from getting organized and attaining better grades. With these A4 Zipper files that you can pick up for just 100 yen a pop, you’ll be able to keep all your notes organized and can even colour coordinate them according to your different classes!
4. Notebooks with Vinyl Covers
There is nothing worse than trying to study for a test as you suddenly you realise that you have no idea where you notes are. The best way to avoid this problem is color-coordinated notebooks, and what better place to get them than Daiso. Not only can you find them in a range of nice hues, but you can also be guaranteed that they’re going to last you throughout the entire school year due to their protective vinyl covers!
There are so many other items that I could add to this list but hopefully you found it helpful as a starting point! Weather you’re starting school in Japan or somewhere else, make sure to stop by your local dollar store and see what you can find for cheap!