My favorite game to play during lecture is "What are my classmates shopping for today?" Need Supply, Uniqlo, Zara, ASOS, Adidas, and more. I've seen people get on Airbnb to look for a summer closet for rent in San Fran. And of course, there are your requisite lazy upperclassmen ordering toiletries and paper towels from Amazon. Who can blame them? Modern society has taught them to build self–esteem by buying things. And me too, honestly.
My favorite peer–watching experience was in stat class last semester. Week in and week out, I watched the kid who sat in front of me in purchase Supreme sweatshirts on a Monday and try to flip them in the Free and for Sale Facebook group on a Wednesday. Even I can admire dedicated entrepreneurship.
I love to order a nice pine–scented candle here and there, or head over to Supremo to pick up a criminally cheap houseplant. There are endless skincare products on the internet, and I hope to acquire them all one day. There is comfort in giving yourself small physical tokens of affection. Because if you don't do it, who will? I'm by no means justifying conspicuous consumption, polluting the planet via compulsive online shopping, or contributing to a culture of disposability. But I do condone a little self–gifting here and there.
Rough Wednesday? There's a pastry–filled farmers' market outside Cosi. Overslept? Get yourself a saucy foreign mag from Avril 50 instead of showing up late and out of breath. And if you've been reading my other letters, you know how I feel about Bursar–ing moleskines from the Penn bookstore. It might not be the healthiest of habits, but it sure feels good.
This one is for all you classroom shopaholics. I see you. And I salute you.