Back to School

Perhaps I’m the biggest nerd out there, but I loved going back to school.

Remember it? Your parents, who made a habit of rejecting most of your requests, set aside money to take you shopping for new stuff. At the bare minimum, you were getting a new pair of shoes, a pair of jeans, some killer flannel shirts, and some underwear. Maybe you could sneak in that Tori Amos t-shirt you coveted when they weren’t looking. I don’t know your life. I can only speak from my experience.

And the school supplies! It starts with the choice of lunchbox in elementary school, then evolved into Trapper Keepers and various binders with which to hold notebooks and other necessities. Fresh pencils and pens were the greatest, until you lost them or someone permanently “borrowed” them after the first week. All the brown bag book covers had yet to be doodled on. The future was limitless.

It was also great to come back and see how people had changed over the summer. This was especially great once puberty started and you’d legitimately not recognize some classmates because they’d sprouted peach fuzz and a new nose sometime between June and September.

Watching Facebook explode with pictures of smiling children heading back onto the school bus, it’s hard not to wish adulthood had the same built-in timeline for renewal. We attempt it with New Year’s resolutions. When we start new jobs, we often feel like kids waiting for the yellow chariot to pull up to our driveway, taking us and our Miss Piggy lunchbox off into the great unknown. We shop the end of season sales year-round to try to keep our wardrobes fresh. But it’s hard not to wish for that one big annual transition to make us reevaluate and grow.

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