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Modern Neoschool Must-Haves

by purplepeggie


As autumn approaches, bringing with it the maple-scented promise of hot Candy Pumpkin Lattes, Halloween Jubjubs lining leaf-strewn streets, and Extra Plaid Scarves shielding against the chilly Neopian air, one thing is for certain: the month of Gathering is upon us. For many Neopian pet owners, this month holds a particularly important event to prepare for: the return to Neoschool!

     However, while gathering pumpkins and tiger squash is as easy as Meaty Gnorbu Pie, preparing young Neopets to make the transition back to school is far less straightforward. In Year Five, it was enough to throw a Blue Blumaroo Pencil and a Cloud Notebook in a backpack and send little Spot running off to school. Now, owners all over Neopia are scratching their heads as their Neopets reject once-coveted Space Faerie Notebooks and Fyora Elegant Backpacks, preferring more modern, "cool" school supplies. But what does that even mean?

     Fear not! Neopia's most tuned-in-to-the-youth, "hip" owners — specifically, just me, but who's counting? — have assembled to save your time, Neopoints, and patience. Never again will your Neopets come home crying because the popular pets made fun of their Baabackpack. Gone are the days of convincing your Neopets to go to school, or worse, stay in school, as a result of the lack of the right school supplies. The list below is all you need to set your Neopet up for scholastic success... in style!

     1. Altador Cup School Backpack

     First things first: what is your Neopet using to carry their supplies to school? When you, an old-school Neopian, think about the perfect backpack, words like "sturdy", "affordable", and "spacious" may come to mind. This is where I tell you — forget everything you think you know. Rather than thinking of a backpack as a utilitarian means of transporting notebooks, shift your mindset to that of the modern Neopet: a backpack sends a message. A backpack tells the world what a Neopet is about, whether they're a punk strapped to a Drackonack Backpack or a princess toting a little Pink Kadoatie Backpack. You might have no idea what your pet is "about" because they're going through a phase where they slam the door to their bedroom as soon as they come home and won't tell you a single thing about how their day was. I have the solution for you: the Altador Cup School Backpack! While it may be on the flimsier side, it serves its most essential function: to convey that your Neopet is "hip" with the modern sports scene. And because every team is represented on this generic backpack, you won't have to worry about spending more Neopoints when your pet decides they've outgrown Faerieland and support the Haunted Woods now. Just point to the tiny square of darkness and tell them you've got them covered!

     2. Elegant Yooyuball Fountain Pen

     You might be asking yourself, do Neopets even use pens in Neoschool anymore? Yes and no. While the frightening transition from handwriting to clacking away at keyboards and tapping on tiny cellular Neo-phones is well on its way, pencils and pens are still used in schools... for now. Instead of wasting your hard-earned Neopoints on a pack of Basic Pencils that will be chewed to bits by the end of the month, I urge you to think about the future. When Neoschools finally shift away from the lovely art of handwriting, what will your Neopet have to show for it? It's our job to invest in our pets. That's why, instead of a cheap Red Techo Pen, I recommend purchasing an Elegant Yooyuball Fountain Pen. It may be 250,000 Neopoints now, but when it becomes a rare antique item in the not-so-distant future, who knows how many millions it will be worth? With smart investments, there may be no need to send your pet to Neoschool at all!

     3. Skeith Back to School Glasses

     Has your Neopet been struggling in their classes and bringing home a blank notebook every afternoon? Has tutoring, speaking with their teachers, offering to buy them Baby Aisha Bubble Gum Ice Cream Cones, threatening to take away their Altador Cup Video Game, and simply pleading with them to try harder not worked? The solution may be simpler than you think. Rather than being unmotivated, your Neopet simply might not be able to see the board. Schedule them for a vision exam at the Neopian Hospital so they can receive the optical support they deserve. Watch Spot ace his next set of exams! (If this has no effect on your Neopet's academic performance, then at least they have a new fashion statement to make them at least... er... look studious...)

     4. Bag-O-Lunch

     Here's another trick question for you, dear reader: what's the best kind of lunchbox to buy your Neopet? Thinking back to your own childhood, you may fondly remember brightly-colored aluminium and plastic featuring the Space Faerie and Swordmaster Talek — and, if you were really lucky, extra side pockets for storing Grunion Fruit Biscuits. However, being "cool" in the present day has little to do with effort. In fact, the less effort you put in, the cooler you are. Make your Neopet smile by tossing their lunch box into the bin and handing them their very own brown Bag-O-Lunch. Bonus points if you re-use it every day and it gets progressively more crumpled and stained. This lovely item positively screams "I don't want to be here, and I don't care" — exactly the message every young Neopet seeks to exude at Neoschool!

     5. Chia Clown T-Shirt

     Now, you may be clutching your pearls and asking, "What is happening to the world? Is earnestly dead?" And to that, I say... now you're getting it! Depth and sincerity of feeling are completely passé; irony and sarcasm are the only ways to hint at your true feelings in social settings. Instead of dressing your student in starched shirts and freshly shined shoes in order to convey their intent to learn, consider purchasing this Chia Clown T-shirt. After consultation with several eager young minds, I can confidently say that the best way for your Neopet to make a good first impression is to don a confusing, yet strangely ominous t-shirt. Paired with Yellow Flower Print Shorts and Edible Smelly Gym Socks, they're sure to be the apple of their teacher's eye!

     6. Pencil Crossbow

     Though many owners are loath to admit it, Neoschool is not always the safest place for our innocent babies. When Spot comes home from school hungry because bullies stole their lunch money, what can you do to help? Like any reasonable owner, you might suggest that Spot "tell the bully how their actions are making you feel". That used to work back in the day, didn't it? It's almost unthinkable, but being vulnerable about your feelings is no longer the most effective way to deal with schoolyard bullies. If open communication isn't working, invest in an appropriate defence strategy — or, if you want to be two steps ahead, an offence strategy. This Pencil Crossbow can be assembled from ordinary pencils in minutes and can fling a freshly sharpened Purple Chomby Pencil across a classroom in the blink of an eye. Soon, Spot will be the one coming home with other Neopets' lunch money! ... wait, what?

     7. Colourful Noise Cancelling Headphones

     Perhaps your Neopet's academic struggles don't stem from faulty vision, uncool clothing, or being a bully (I mean, ahem, being bullied). Yet another characteristic of the modern age to address is the constant sensory overload. With technology at our fingertips, new information pouring into our minds at every turn, pings and dings and clicks and chirps (those are the sounds technology makes, aren't they?) filling our ears, is it even reasonable to expect an excitable young Neopet to be able to focus on a dull textbook about pre-war Meridell? Help them focus with this snazzy pair of Colorful Noise Cancelling Headphones. Note to reader: as much as your Neopet may try to trick you, do not confuse these with Gaming Headphones. Note to reader #2: these headphones may be slightly too effective, and prevent your Neopet from hearing you asking them how their day was, or calling them down to dinner. Never fret! While they may be ignoring you, they're surely dedicating that time to the pursuit of higher education!

     8. Chatty Usuki Flip Phone

     Okay, so maybe trying to isolate your Neopet from external stimulation didn't work. In this case, it is likely that Spot was not suffering from an overload of information, but a debilitating lack of connection with their peers. Did you know that the Neopian Journal of Medicine reports that 12.8% of teenage Neopets are suffering from the NeoBlues as a lack of meaningful social attachments? If your Neopet is locking themselves in their room for hours at a time, rather than going to the Merry-Go-Round at Roo Island, grabbing Mega Splime Smoothies at the Smoothie Store, or whatever else it is that Neopets do together these days, it is your responsibility to facilitate social interactions. However, be smart: with this Chatty Usuki Flip Phone, they'll only be able to make calls and texts — none of that newfangled "smart" Neo-phone nonsense. It's almost guaranteed that your Neopet will jump at this chance to plan study sessions, support their peers, and excel academically!

     9. Old Qasalan Tablet

     If you've been following this guide up to this point, you may have noticed that your Neopet's grades haven't improved at all, and the only difference is that they've developed a taste for modern technology. They're plugged in all day and all night, tuning out the world with their headphones and tuning into Neoschool gossip with their flip phone, but their grades continue to stagnate. What is an owner to do? The solution, obviously, is more technology. Sure, we've given them a means of communicating, but have we given them a meaningful way to access the wealth of information available on the cloud, or the web, or the net, or whatever it's called? Solve this problem by purchasing them their very own tablet. The latest in modern smart technology, the Old Qasalan Tablet represents the cutting edge in touchscreen, immersi — wait, what do you mean, it's not that kind of tablet?

     10. Cheat In Style

     Have you bought every item on this list to no avail? Has Spot changed from a meek, eager little student to an intimidating ruffian on the verge of flunking out of school? There is one last option: give up. I mean, uh, find a new strategy for success! Positivity! There is so much to be learned from Branston the Eyrie through his misadventures in the high-stakes game of Cheat. Rather than seeing it as "cheating", per se, I challenge you to re-imagine this strategy as a "highly effective tool for academic achievement". And, dear reader, I promise that if this doesn't work, then absolutely, positively, nothing else will!

     So there you have it, dear reader! A simple, straightforward guide for giving your Neopet the keys to success in our rapidly changing, modern world. You'll be thanking me when little Spot graduates top of their class. Make sure to cherish these moments, because time goes by quickly at this precious age; Spot will be graduating from school and moving out of your Neo-home in no time at all. (Or at least, I wish they would... I mean, er, I wish they would stay forever! I love being a Neopet owner, I swear...)

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