Black Friday shopping is not what it used to be
Some would like to argue that shopping is the best cardio, and what better way to work off two, sometimes three, plates of turkey and a couple slices of pumpkin pie? Black Friday is a national trend that starts sooner and sooner every year. Some USF Bulls are tired of it while others still set their alarms for the wee hours of Friday morning.
Brittney Paul, a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences, had a childhood full of Black Friday adventures, early mornings set to the tune of determination with a goal in sight. Reflecting back on her past Black Friday experiences, one particular early morning stuck out in Paul’s mind.
“As a kid there was a sense of excitement waking up super early, like at 2 or 3 a.m., and heading out to stores before they opened and rushing inside to find the deals,” Paul said. “I particularly remember when I was in the 8th grade, my stepdad gave me $300 for Black Friday that year. My mom and I planned out the night before where we were going and what for.
“There were three missions: get a new TV, get me a new laptop and my mother’s miscellaneous items. Nothing really beat standing out in line with other people going for the same goal: Get everything on sale.”
Meanwhile, Paul just doesn’t get the same feeling from the big event like she used to. The satisfaction of waking up early and scooping up the deals is gone for her.
“Black Friday shopping now isn’t the same as Black Friday shopping when I was a kid,” Paul said. “Black Friday now is more so Black Thursday or even Black Wednesday.
“Nowadays there isn’t that same sense of urgency since, for one, everyone shops online and a lot of the sales cut right into Thanksgiving dinner, which shouldn’t be the case. Two years ago my mom and I stopped going Black Friday shopping, it was a sad thing to see it end but it’s supposed to be Black Friday not Black Thursday.”
Another disappointed Bull finds herself missing the golden days of Black Friday shopping.
“Black Friday was more exciting when I was younger,” said Estephany Polo-Bravo,a senior majoring in integrative animal biology. “My mom would take me to wait in line and I would try to get her to buy me a doughnut after. I liked the idea of getting new stuff and being around people. Plus staying up past bedtime was pretty cool!”
But now Polo-Bravo doesn’t feel the same need to bother with the outrageous new timeframes of Black Friday.
“Nowadays, it starts so early,” Polo-Bravo said. “You barely get to finish Thanksgiving dinner and everyone is out. The sales don’t look as appealing and I don’t see the point in getting all this random stuff just because it’s cheap. I avoid it now at all costs.”
Despite the reduced enjoyment, some haven’t let go of their Black Friday traditions. Olivia Stea, a sophomore majoring in political science, still holds onto her yearly family outings.
“I think Black Friday shopping is really excessive and even dangerous because of those stories you hear of people getting stomped to death at Walmart and stuff like that,” Stea said. “These days we do the same traditions, but we do much more online shopping.”
For Stea, Black Friday is a chance to get away from the hot weather and see the deals of the year.
“Every Thanksgiving, we go to my aunt’s house in Philadelphia so we always went Black Friday shopping with my cousins,” Stea said. “Instead of traditional Black Friday shopping at a regular mall, we kind of went to the outlets near her house and then also went to a department store near her called Bon Ton. Every year when we go to those outlets, we get hot apple cider and look at the gingerbread houses — it’s really cool plus I get to enjoy some colder weather and escape from Florida.”