A College Student's Thoughts On Shopping With Parents

A College Student's Thoughts On Shopping With Parents

We love shopping, and we love our parents, but sometimes the two don't mix well.

As most university students could probably tell you, there is little time for shopping during the three-month period of classes, homework, and busy-ness that is the standard college semester.

When final exams have come and gone and students return home for holiday breaks, we're all in need of a little retail therapy.

Sure, we probably pick up groceries once every week or two, and walking the aisles of the local grocery store, choosing the best apples and picking between flavors of hummus, can be a relaxing break from schoolwork. But we rarely have time to shop for much more than the essentials during our action-packed college semesters.

Now that we're home with plenty of free time at our disposal, many of us will spend it shopping for gifts for ourselves, as well as countless friends and family members. And naturally, being at home during the holidays, a significant percentage of these trips may happen in the company of our parents.

Parents of college students are some of the most patient, loving, and generous people on the planet. They constantly put up with so much from us, their beloved, almost-grown-up children, who are trying to navigate our new-found independence while still feeling part of our families.

Shopping with parents during the holidays can be a great way to spend some time with them, catch up after a long semester, and just enjoy their company. But on the other hand, it can also be a bit stressful.

Shopping, especially during the rush that happens before every major holiday, really seems to exemplify all of the disagreements that we have with our parents on a regular basis. Sometimes we can't agree on what stores to go to or which ones to avoid.

Even when you want to go to the same places, you struggle to decide where to go first. Maybe your father walks right past the clothing section and gets impatient with you for trying on fifty pairs of jeans, not realizing you've been alternating between two pairs all semester because you haven't had a chance to shop for more.

Or on the flip-side, maybe your foot starts tapping while your mother decides between shades of lipstick since you had an 8 AM class this semester and haven't worried about makeup in months. You wonder why your parents are willing to spend so much on certain products, and they worry that you're wasting what little you made at your summer job on things they don't think you need.

If you're picking out gifts for family that you haven't seen in a while since you've been at school, it seems that they reject every suggestion you offer because "Grandma already has enough lotion" or "your cousin doesn't like trains anymore." Seriously, can we ever be right?

But, as frustrated as you might be at your mom for taking forever or at your dad for second-guessing all of your choices for Christmas gifts, try to remember that you won't always have the opportunity to spend this much time with the folks.

As hard as it might be to imagine now, you could end up moving away for your career, or working right up until the holiday, so there may come a day when all of your shopping happens solo or with friends. Shopping with the parents isn't just about finding the best deals and checking items off of your own to-do list; it's also about spending time with people who have had a huge role in your life, love you, and want you to succeed and be happy.

Next time you hit the stores with your folks, be patient with each other, and enjoy every busy, boring, quirky moment that you have with them. And if they offer to pay, just consider that an added bonus.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Cover Image Credit: Behan / Flickr

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8 Reasons I'll Take In-Store Shopping Over Online Shopping Any Day

In-store shopping shouldn't be disregarded.


Lately, there have been many department stores closing due to the rise of online shopping as opposed to in-store shopping. According to Fox Business, this includes department stores such as Payless, Gymboree, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Dress Barn. The close of so many retail stores has led to more questions as to whether online shopping will become the only method of shopping.

However, just like with reading on a Kindle versus reading an actual book, not everyone prefers shopping online. At least, I don't prefer online shopping, and yes, I have tried shopping online for almost everything.

Here are eight reasons why shopping in the store will always be better than online shopping, no matter what other people have stated.

1. You can try on clothes



This is one of the biggest problems I have with online shopping! You can't try on the clothes before buying them online. Sure, you can try on the clothes you get once they've been shipped. But if you have trouble finding the right size, especially since for women every size in almost any store varies, then it becomes more of a hassle.

Yes, a lot of online shopping sites have a "find the right size" menu where it gives you multiple measurements that match certain sizes. But most of those measurements include waist, hip, stomach sizes, and who has time to measure all of that?

2. You can expect what you're going to get


Becca McHaffie / Unsplash

With in-store shopping, you usually know what you get with buying an item. You know what the item looks like from seeing it in person, or with clothes you've felt the fabric and seen what it looks like in person. With online shopping, you basically don't know for sure what to expect until you receive the item in the mail. There are a lot of sites that may try to scam you where they'll present you with a clothing item that looks nice on the model until you receive it and it looks nothing like what you saw online. At least with in-store shopping, this doesn't happen as often.

3. No shipping expenses


Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

The nice part with in-store shopping is you don't have to spend extra expenses on shipping. Although there are times when online shopping sites offer free shipping, on some sites, it's hard to find free shipping. And on a lot of sites, they will try to offer free shipping only if you buy items that are $50 or more, which means you have to pay for more to receive free shipping.

4. No wait to receive what you buy

Shipped Box

Tyler / Flickr

The great part about in-store shopping is you get the item right away, unless you ask for the item to be ordered in the store. With online shopping, you have to wait for the item to be sent. And although there are some shipping options that allow one-day shipping, you'll sometimes be charged more to receive the item early. With in-store shopping, at least you get the outfit you want or item you need as soon as you pay for it.

5. You can avoid additional shipping hazards


Bench Accounting / Unsplash

There are a lot of other shipping hassles that you have to go through besides waiting for the item to be shipped and the cost of shipping. You also have to worry about the item getting lost in the mail or if you'll receive it at the right address. And sometimes the item can get damaged during transit, which makes you feel like you wasted all of your money on buying the it.

6. You can speak to a sales representative in person

Sales Representative

Blake Wisz / Unsplash

This is especially helpful for buying bras or a dress. With in-store shopping, you can talk to a sales representative and get their opinion before buying the item. Sure, online shopping has someone you can talk to online, but it's not the same since you aren't talking to them in person or trying on the clothes in front of them. With in-store shopping, they can give you advice when you try on the item and offer you alternatives if it doesn't fit, whereas with online shopping, they can only offer you general advice without seeing you try on the item.

7. The option to pay with cash


Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

If you hate paying with a debit card, then you probably would prefer in-store shopping. The problem with online shopping is that you can't pay with cash since you can't exactly transfer real money online except through a debit card. With in-store shopping, you at least always have the option of paying with cash.

8. You miss the experience of shopping in person


freestocks.org / Unsplash

Lastly, what most people don't seem to understand is that with online shopping, you don't get the whole experience with in-store shopping. You don't get to walk through a mall, try on clothes, finger through the fabric, or see clothes or items in person. Instead, you have to sit behind a computer and shop. Though many people may like online shopping because you don't have to go through the hassle of dealing with people or lines in a store, you still miss out on real experiences with shopping.

So many people are already found in their houses behind a computer screen or buried in their phones. We already miss out on real experiences because we're too caught up in the digital world. So why should we do the same with shopping?

As you can see, shopping in person can have its own benefits to it. I'm not saying that online shopping is completely bad where you may not be able to purchase the item in the store. However, I also don't think that in-store shopping should be disregarded for online shopping. Not everyone enjoys shopping online completely, and by getting rid of in-store shopping, we miss out on the many different experiences that come with it.

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