Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Down by the Schoolyard

I know the greater part of the U.S. has been in school for coming on a month, but for me and 40,000 other students at the University of Washington, today is our first day (if we're getting hung-up on technicalities, I actually don't start until tomorrow as I don't have class Wednesdays). But regardless, it's time to buckle down for fall academia, and being on campus with other students has me nostalgic for first days of school that meant a little bit more than they do in college.

Here's how to have a little "first day of school" in your life year round, at any age (even if you aren't in school anymore).

1. Go to a large party of a close friend, where you'll know more than one person, but no more than five. Wear a completely new outfit, and make sure to mingle with both new friends and old. The adrenaline of meeting new people is a lot like the first day jitters we experienced in grade school, the addition of close friends add the comfort level we had in knowing we just had to get to third period to see a familiar face.

2. Make plans to go to lunch with a friend you haven't seen in months. First day of school lunch periods are always a frenzy of catching up with friends didn't get the chance to see often or at all over summer break. Going to lunch and catching up with a friend you may have briefly lost contact with allows you to reconnect in the same way, just in a less noisy setting and over sushi instead of pb&j.

3. Take a "first day/school photo". Every first day of school, even throughout high school, my mom insisted my brother and I pose for a first day photo at the front door, backpacks strapped on, bright smiles on our faces. Sometimes, she'd even make us pretend like we were going out the door to school. A few days later, we'd be forced to smile once again in the school gymnasium for our yearbook photos. The night before these school photos would be agonizing as I tried to select the perfect out fit to convey the "transformation" I'd had over the summer. But the pride in feeling like I looked my best as I posed for the camera was unbeatable. Wake up one morning, put on an outfit that makes you feel stellar, and take a photo of yourself (or have a family member or friend take one). Put it in one of those cheeky first day of school frames and give it to your mom.

4. Pick one song, or several and hit play on your iPod as soon as you wake up. When I was younger I used to select the perfect wake-up song to get ready to on my first day of school. Select one song, or compile a playlist of tunes that inspire you to have a great day full of lots of great dancing. 

What I'd like to wake up to:

5. Give yourself a personal project to be completed the following Monday. School, high school especially, was all about quick approaching deadlines for me. If there's a project you've been meaning to finish, make your deadline the following Monday (that way you have the weekend). If there isn't something you've been meaning to work on, write a personal journal entry, or create something artistic by the following Monday. The best part of deadlines is the satisfaction you feel after completing something.

Really, the first day of school is like any other day, just with a little more excitement, and a little more stress.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the comment! I wish I had photos of my first day of school each year. I think I only have a kindergaten photo! It seems so long ago now that I'm in my second semester of grad school :)

    Good luck on your first day!



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