What We Miss Most About Going Back to School

We’re all grownups now, and our school days are far behind us (farther for some of us than for others). It’s good to be an adult (mostly), but we still get a certain nostalgic twinge when September rolls around. School buses are out on the roads again, and kids of all ages are wandering around with backpacks and brand-new outfits. It’s back-to-school time, and a little piece of each of us wishes we were going back, too.

Here are some of the things we miss the most:

  • New school supplies. At the top of many people’s lists is the annual school supply shopping spree. The products themselves were usually nothing fancy (notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.), but there was something so satisfying about having brand-new tools for a new year – especially when you found a binder with an absolutely awesome design.
  • Catching up after summer break. After three months apart, it was good to see everyone again. Before you were of driving age, getting together with friends was not always a simple matter (especially in the days before the internet), particularly when there were family vacations and summer jobs to contend with. So seeing your best buddies on that first day of school was always great. There was also the anticipation of seeing how that cute guy or girl from last year was looking. People could change a lot over a summer!
  • Deciding what electives to take. Yes, you had English and math and other required courses. But you still had the freedom to choose an elective or two. This was where you could branch out and learn about something you were really interested in – or at least just break up your heavy course load with something a little…lighter. Psychology? Culinary arts? Cinema studies? It was up to you.
  • The excitement of finding out who was in your classes. Who doesn’t remember comparing schedules with your friends to see how many courses you were going to be in together? The joy when you found out you had the same lunch AND the same history class? And then walking in to the classroom on that first day and spying several folks you’d kind of forgotten about – but were still very glad to see? We remember like it was yesterday.
  • A fresh start. Basically, going back to school each year was like starting over. While you were building on the year before, you also had new teachers, locker, classes, knowledge, and sometimes even a new look. Some enterprising students reinvented themselves. Others were just determined to get better grades. And others decided that this was the year that they were finally going to try out for a school play. Having the opportunity for a fresh start was a great feeling.


What do you remember most fondly about going back to school?