As much as I am grateful that my school days are over, I admit that I miss certain aspects about the start of a new school year that made the start of September appealing. These are a few things that don’t really translate over to adulthood, but will always be fresh in my mind when i reflect back all of my ‘first week of school’ experiences.
Brand New Backpack– As a catholic school student, there was very little individuality allowed. We all wore the same uniform, couldn’t paint our nails, or color hair (at least through grades 1-8). But we had full digression when it came to book bag styles. Ironically, in the one area that we were able to ‘express ourselves’ and ‘be our own person’, the student body usually conformed. All of the girls had Lisa Frank backpacks during elementary school, and then switched to either a baby blue or baby pink Jansport bag. The boys had sports or video game themed bags throughout all of grade school. But God help the poor child whose mother insisted on a rolling backpack. His or her entire school year was all down hill from there.
Crisp Copybooks- Looking back now, it amazes me how much stamina my wrists had to write notes for eight hours straight. Now my hand cramps just from signing office birthday cards. Nothing compares to the sound of the binding of a marble copybook being cracked as you open it for the first time. All the pages are indent-free, with corners nice and round. Of course in a matter of days they will be dog-eared with margins full of doodles. But for a brief moment it’s a blank book of pages full of promises that better note taking will happen. Example number 1 of the eternal optimism of youth!
A Chance for Reinvention– From 1-8 grade, I went to school with the same 132 neighborhood kids give or take a few transfer students each year. For some reason, each August I had this belief that the new year would be an opportunity to reinvent myself. Somehow over the eight week summer vacation, my classmates would forget all of their preconceived notions of me and my newfound self make a grand entrance. The day before each new school year, I would size myself up in the mirror and try out new smiles. ‘Yes,’ I’d think to myself as I fluffed my new hair freshly cut from Hair Cuttery. ‘This would be the year where I’ll be one of the cool kids, not the idiot who threw up in social studies last year” I’d promised myself. Of course this grand, pre-pubescent self-proclaimed makeover never came about, but the sheer amount of optimism rallied each year was admirable. Maybe if we’d been allowed to wear makeup, or I had learned to use a flat iron earlier in life the plan would of been more successful but I give myself childhood self a solid A for effort. But then I wouldn’t have had time to devote to The Sims and Harry Potter before puberty- and that would of changed my entire being!