I used to secretly love back to school time when I was a kid. Now that I’m an adult, I can finally admit that I was (and still am) a dork, and reveled in getting new school pens, notebooks and highlighters. While all the other kids were relishing their last few days of summer, I couldn’t wait to start the academic ball rolling again.
Even though I’ve been out of school for some time now, the end of August still fills me with excitement. Perhaps it’s the familiar cool, dry air that snaps me back to picture day, and getting my locker assignment. Whatever it is, I’m always slightly jealous of the kids who get to shop for Trapper Keepers (they still sell those right?), and first day of school outfits.
However, I’ve found there are ways to share in the back to school hullabaloo, even if you don’t have kids yet (me). While you may never get to experience the first-day-back jitters again, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the perks that go along with the return to school days.
1. Back to school sales
No, these aren’t just for the teens and preteens. Back to school sales hit pretty much every department store, because they know that everyone is looking for the perfect first day outfit. I’ll be looking for the perfect pair of ankle boots and tights to autumn-ize my summer wardrobe.
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2. Movies get better
I don’t know about you, but I always find the movies that come out over the summer to be less good overall than the rest of the year. I feel like they’re all lightweight action/comedy/thriller/romance movies, because they’re geared more towards the younger audiences who have the summers off. Once classes start up again however, movies immediately bounce back up to Oscar-worthy.
3. The weather is perfect
The biggest reason that autumn is my favorite time of year is the weather. Cool, but not cold, dry, and crystal clear — it feels like there’s an electricity in the air that brings everything back into focus.
4. Bookstores smell amazing
Okay, back to me being dorky. I always loved the smell of new books that were coming into bookstores in time for back to school. The second I step into a bookstore in late August, I get a rush of nostalgia, and suddenly remember all of my notes from Art History again.
5. Pumpkin spice lattes
Let me paint you a picture. Saturday morning, pumpkin spice latte, park bench, crunchy leaves and chilly morning mist. Pumpkin flavoring is the cherry on top of back to school time for me.
6. Back to school energy is catching
All the nerves/frustration/excitement the kids exude when they head back to class must be contagious, because I’m practically buzzing when they do. That energy pushes my productivity into overdrive, as if I’m trying to compete with them in a weird way. If you let it, it may do the same for you.
7. Kids stop taking over everything
Okay, so this is a bit curmudgeonly of me, but it’s just wonderful when all the coffee shops and department stores and bodegas and public parks aren’t teeming with kids anymore. Sure, there are still babies and toddlers around, but they take up far less room than the hundred teens playing basketball, screaming and taking selfies all over the place. Their academic imprisonment is my freedom.