Back To School JittersDeborah Tarica

For most kids, school started again last week and without fail, I got that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now, it’s been almost a decade since I’ve been a student, but my nerves and inner-angstiness don’t seem to care.  Right as Labor Day comes to an end, I am reminded of all the worries that ran through my head at the beginning of every year. What am I going to wear? Who got boobs over the summer? Which sports will I get picked last in? Which subjects will I struggle with the most? Those are the questions that freaked me out then. So maybe I should try to answer them now.

What am I going to wear?

I wish this question had been answered by now but sadly it continues to plague me. Even in junior high, when I was forced to wear awful school uniforms, I struggled with which coins looked best in my principal approved penny loafers without being showy. Luckily, on any given day I can get by without people noticing my inability to dress myself. I stay very neutral in style and avoid anything that might be considered fashionable (you won’t see me wearing anything military style or boot cut until at least 2013, when I know for sure I can pull them off). It’s when I have to get dressed up and leave my comfort zone of skinny jeans and striped tank tops that the tantrums happen. Why would anyone want to wear dress pants with ill-fitting blouses or matching skirts and tops (usually containing too many ruffles, buttons or fringe)? In my book, Ann Taylor is a genius prankster for making business casual an acceptable look.  I’m feeling a meltdown coming on. Moving on…

Who got boobs over the summer?

Not me, that’s for sure. I kept waiting and waiting and they never came. It seems that all the girls in my grade spent summer vacation in Puberty City and brought back souvenirs in the form of C cups. My family never went to Puberty City. Best we could do was pack up the station wagon and go for a Labor Day road trip to Acneville, with a quick stop in Chubs Town on the way back. I got used to it after a while and accepted myself the way I am. On the plus side, my back is fine, I can go jogging without giving myself a black eye (which I don’t, but I could if I wanted to) and I can opt to not wear a bra anytime I want (also, something I never do, but nice to know I have options). So, until my boobs come (which I still believe they will), I’ll be happy with what I’ve got.

Which sports will I get picked last in?

All of them. You need someone to join your team at pub trivia? I’m your lady. You need someone to sit in on your kickball team? Keep looking my friend; it’s never going to happen. I’m terrible at sports or anything that requires balance and coordination. The closest thing I’ll ever come to running a marathon is watching 26.2 episodes of Golden Girls back to back.

Which subjects will I struggle with the most?

In school, it was subjects like math, science and social studies. But everyone knows that grown-ups never use math and don’t need to know the capital of Estonia. As adults, the subjects we’re supposed to study are politics, current events and pop culture. Maybe it’s my short attention span or the fact that it takes me a bit longer than most to process new information, but just when I am beginning to wrap my head around the story of the day, it’s old news and something bigger has taken over the front-page. I try to pace myself when it comes to blogs, news shows and podcasts and not get in over my head, but it’s tough. If I get distracted for even a second by, let’s say, something like pictures of Miniature Schnauzer pups, there goes that day. I’ve also started feeling more and more like a grandma when it comes to pop culture. When people around me are talking about a new pop song or celebrity gossip, I’m totally lost. I promised myself that that would never happen, but I lied. I guess I’ll never know what a Kreayshawn is.

In attempting to answer these questions, I realize that they will forever remain unanswered. I’ll continue to have meltdowns every time I get dressed for a job interview. I’ll in no way stop wondering if my boobs got lost in the mail. I’ll pretend I didn’t receive the invite when my friends throw together a “fun” day of paintballing. And I’ll never know everything. I’m not going to be heading back to 8th grade again any time soon, but I’ll always feel that twinge of nostalgia and anxiety as summer comes to an end. But maybe that’s a good thing though, if those jitters never completely go away. Just keep me away from all Ann Taylor Lofts, and I’ll be fine.

Photo via http://www.frugalphillymom.com/

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