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A Pocket Guide To The Contents Of My Pockets

Sit back and relax as Liana Naidu tells you exactly what pockets are good for!

Like many women, I am frequently frustrated by the lack of pockets in my clothing. But have you ever found yourself at a loss on how to utilise your pocket space on the rare occasions that it does exist?

At my high school, students were required to wear a blazer as part of the uniform, and while some complained about it, I was incredibly grateful for the blazer’s five pockets, and took full advantage of them. I filled those pockets with every item I could possibly need, inadvertently building the reputation of the friend with all the supplies. For instance, one day a friend asked me for a screwdriver completely out of the blue. While I didn’t have one with me, it wouldn’t have been that out of character for me if I had.

Looking back, everything I chose to keep with me was, in some way, a reflection of the needs, ambitions and priorities of the girl I was in high school. So, I figured I would take you on a guided tour of the contents of those blazer pockets and provide my rankings and recommendations for how you might want to stock your own limited pocket space.

An incomplete inventory of my high school blazer pockets:

• Pens and other stationary – 9/10: It’s always good to have a pen in your pocket or several. I also tended to carry different colours as well as a pencil and highlighter.

• Lolly stash – 4/10: This wasn’t a packet of lollies, but rather a collection of assorted individual lollies I had collected over months and stashed in a Ziploc bag in case of an emergency. This was perfect for when I, or a friend, was having a bad day and in need of something sweet. Would I recommend lollies? Yes. Would I recommend storing them like that? Definitely not.

• Scrap paper – 9/10: You never know when you’ll need to urgently write something important down.

• Handwritten notes and reminders – 8/10: So, I think I may have had a minor hoarding issue because I virtually never threw any scraps of paper away. I would use the backs of handouts and old assignments to write down schedules and to-do lists, densely packing every available space with ink.

• Pads – 9/10: Definitely important. Even if you don’t need one, a friend probably will.

• Receipts – 2/10: Although none of these receipts were important, I kept them. This inevitably ended with me discovering a stack of faded records of my life whenever I emptied my blazer pockets at the end of the term.

• Spare blazer fabric – 3/10: This came with the blazer, and so I left it there in case I ever needed to mend the blazer. Unsurprisingly, this never happened.

• Sheet music/lyrics – 7/10: As a result of doing some extra-curricular music over the years, I was constantly shoving sheet music haphazardly into my pockets or bringing annotated lyrics to rehearsal with me. Although it took up considerable space, I highly recommend making room in your pockets for your hobbies and interests.

• Calculator – 7/10: While I didn’t carry this constantly, as it was quite bulky, I highly recommend carrying the tools needed to quickly solve problems with you at all times.

• Student ID Card – 6/10: My student ID permanently resided in the breast pocket of my blazer, and while I rarely needed it, good-natured mockery of our school photos provided me and my friends with endless entertainment.

• A few coins worth of change – 7/10: Whenever I received change from the canteen, I would store it in my pockets until I had enough to treat myself to a Maccas run.

• UN Charter – 8/10: This is probably the most unusual item in this inventory. On a school excursion, I was handed a copy of The Charter of the UN, which then stayed in my blazer for several years. While I was mostly keeping it so I could tell people I had the UN Charter in my pocket, I also think it serves as a good symbol for constantly having a reminder of your rights, and everyone else’s, with you.

• Keepsakes from friends – 10/10: As cliché as it is, holding tightly to solid friendships, particularly when things feel unstable, is crucial. I was lucky enough to have incredible friends in high school, so it’s no surprise that the notes, drawings, and souvenirs we gave each other had a way of staying with me for a long time.

And there you have it, some humble suggestions for how you might take advantage of your pocket space directly from my teenage self. Whether or not you found anything useful, thank you for indulging me in a journey through my high school memories.

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