The First Day of School

Posted on August 23, 2010

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No matter how old you get, the first day of school always feels the same. You get up far too early, and yet you’re not pissed off about it as you reach to turn off your alarm clock. You’re extra thorough in the shower, shaving your legs even if you’re going to be wearing pants that day, and scrubbing extra hard the crevices your normally ignore. You don’t cut corners; you want to start everything off perfectly. Even if you don’t admit it, you’ve been planning your outfit in your mind for at least the last week, carefully picking around your newest and most fashionable clothes so they’ll be clean and still have the tags on them as you get dressed on the first day. You carefully sculpt a facade of nonchalance over your brand new clothes and perfectly styled hair; you don’t want to make it look like you tried too hard. The night before, you cut and folded your schedule as small as possible, so you can sneak a look at it from your pocket without anyone else seeing that you don’t know where you’re going. Packing your pristine new binder and new pack of pens into your old backpack smells the same as it does every year, ever since your first first day of school. You try to push the anxiety out of your stomach as you wait outside your classroom for the previous class to end, so you can shuffle in and sit for ten minutes, because you’re there far too early, while you try to decide how you would sit if you were as confident as you’re trying to look, decide whether and how to make smalltalk with the person next to you, in each and every class, every year.

Although, this was the first year my professor felt it necessary, while going over the syllabus, to announce, “Ok guys, I know this class is at eight on Monday morning, but please try to show up to class sober. This means you have to plan ahead, and maybe start drinking a little earlier on Sunday night.”

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