By now, people of all ages, each luckier than I, have headed back to pursue their education in one form or another. Kiddos far and wide have shopped for backpacks and met their teachers, while high school students have received schedules, tried out for teams and auditioned for plays, making way for the most epic year yet. However, the most envy-inducing of all students are the collegians. I wish I could say I was happy for each young adult headed back to their university this fall, but my extreme jealousy and severe nostalgia leave little room for any well-wishing on their behalf. The reasons I wish I were a member of the back to school club are endless, but I’ve managed to condense my longing into seven very important points. Oh college, how I miss thee.
New school supplies
You can buy notebooks and sharpies all year long (believe me, I do), but there is nothing like buying brand new supplies, for brand new classes, in preparation for a brand new semester. If you are a nerd like me, new supplies in unnecessary abundance also led to the joy of color-coding your schedule in your yearly planner. It’s reminiscent of You’ve Got Mail, when Joe Fox expresses his love for the Fall telling Kathleen Kelly, “Don’t you love New York in the Fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
Whether you admit to your inner geek or not, getting back into the swing of things always called for endless Target shopping, a joy amongst tasks. These days, I insist on using sharpies and a planner instead of my iPhone, which I am sure keeps a schedule more efficiently, solely in the name of college habits I won’t let die. If anyone would like to send me a bouquet of sharpened pencils to help with my not going back to school woes, I am always accepting of these types of gifts.
Grab-life-by-the-horns welcome speeches
Maybe you are part of the wide-eyed freshman class or maybe you are making a comeback; either way, welcome speeches and commencement addresses spread like wildfire at the beginning and end of each year. This type of viral inspiration makes you proud that some student, somewhere made your campus bad ass. When you listen to your fellow classmates press on about how these are the glory days, you couldn’t be happier to be in them. You are so ready to take on this year, while the rest of us couldn’t be more jealous of your in-the-moment joy. I mean, who didn’t wish they were enrolled at Georgia Tech after Nicholas Selby boisterously declared that he and his fellow classmates were in a position to achieve the impossible. As the lovely Blaire Bercy stated, he welcomed that freshman class like a BOSS and I certainly longed to be part of the cool crowd, ready to achieve the impossible.
If you haven’t lived in your respective college town all summer long, now is the time you get to go back and reunite with the best of the best. If you are a freshman, you are moving into the dorms which, despite the close quarters and showers that require flip-flops and caddies, will prove to be an amazing experience all it’s own. If you aren’t meeting a brand new set of live-in friends or being welcomed my move-in helpers who have an extreme appreciation for your university, you are excitedly lugging loads of boxes up steep sorority house stairs or preparing your shared apartment with your roomates. I am particularly jealous of the latter, as I would move back in to the Kappa Delta house faster than Miley’s bear suit went viral. Regardless of which type of abode you are preparing to call home, people everywhere are claiming rooms and beds amidst excited welcome back shrieks. I never thought a shared bathroom would be something I would miss, but now that I have to call my bestie after work to tell her about my day instead of plopping down on her bed, I secretly hope I will somehow be magically whisked away for another back-to-school move-in day.
It all begins with welcome week, the seven days where everything is new and everyone is so glad you are there! You can’t walk five steps without someone trying to hand you a flier and the chance to do it all over again, only better this year, is imminent. New friends are always on the horizon, as are opportunities to cram too many only-in-college type activities into your schedule with your tried and true. Syllabus week gives you the chance to soak in all your new classes, scope out the whole new roster of people sitting in your same lectures and map out your plan for social and educational domination. Everything is just so perfectly new, new, new! Of course, this feeling does wear off, normally around the time you are up until four in the morning giving your to-do list the evil eye, but going back to school means you get that New Year’s Day, clean slate feeling more than once a year. Fall is here, but with it came little change for those of us post-college. As collegians everywhere began anew, I continued to go to work in the same building with the same people, none of which were asking me to join their student-led group. I may have to get a part-time job in order to uphold my love of back-to-school newness!
I am a proud alumna of THE Ohio State University so, heading back to campus means the much anticipated start of Buckeye football. There is almost no greater feeling than that of campus on a game day. In those first few weeks, thousands of students filter in, strangers becoming people bonded together by tradition, bringing the university back to life. Your wardrobe switches exclusively to all things scarlet and grey, campus is alive with spirit and every Saturday for the foreseeable future is accounted for; you have plans with 100,000 of your closest friends. Now, whether or not you went to Ohio State, going back to school means big events, school spirit and a type of classmate camaraderie that you just don’t get once you have been handed your diploma. Despite my continual annoyance that I am rarely on campus during these first few magical weeks anymore, I loyally don the scarlet and grey attire in honor my favorite time of year.
Beat the clock
Another beloved Ohio State University pastime, “Beat The Clock” is a favorite Friday activity among Buckeyes old and new. While the name might be specific to my campus, I am certain traditions of a similar nature and different name exist all across the country. As I sit at work on the last day of the week, collegians are pulling up a barstool to do just as the name suggests, grab a beer and beat the clock. Because undergraduates are still in school, their schedules allow them the find their favorite patio with their friends and enjoy the best dollar brews their campus has to offer in the middle of the afternoon. It doesn’t really matter if it is 5 o’clock somewhere. Going back to school means you have the freedom to drink at half past twelve if you so choose, with an entire campus full of people who share the same love of a packed patio, while I sit at work and consider un-friending you on Facebook for posting pictures that flaunt your fun and freedom.
A popular Ohio State song includes the lyrics, “I wanna go back, I gotta go back, to O-HI-O!” These words wholly sum up my feelings come back to school time. I am admittedly jealous of the collegians headed back to campus to reunite with friends, embark on a brand new year and drink at hours no one but themselves must deem acceptable. Much thought has been given to becoming a professor in an effort to minimize the number of years during which I must long to go back to school. Until then, collegians everywhere should know I sit enviously by as they enjoy the ever illustrious Fall semester.
As always, go Bucks!
Feature Image via IMDB.com