That first day of school feeling is wondering who you are going to sit with at lunch, questioning if the teachers on your schedule are difficult or easy, and posing for photos against your will so your parents can post about it on Facebook for all their friends to see. On August 1st of every year, that would have been me. But this year, no alarms were set, no lunches were packed, and no long car rider lines were waited in.
Last year I graduated high school and the feeling of moving on to college has not quite sunk in yet. I look at Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram and see people posting their class schedules and some part of me wishes that I was posting mine, too. I personally do not start class until almost a month after the county I live in does, so it is as if I am living vicariously through those who are present at school now. It might seem strange to miss something that caused years of stress, anxiety, and tears, but from those experiences, I met so many amazing friends and mentors that I do not quite want to move on without.
The organizations I became so heavily involved in have gained new leadership and made new plans at this point. I am no longer a part of them as much as I would like to think I am, and that is hard to accept. When you have devoted the past four years to creating an amazing yearbook or singing in an ensemble it feels almost unnatural to not continue to carry on doing those activities. I know that once I get to college I will find new programs to be a part of, but until then my schedules feels empty. No more after school rehearsals until 4:30 or club rushes in the commons area.
It is not an easy transition going from being a part of a school to becoming a spectator of everything that happens. When talking to someone else who goes to that school, it becomes "their" school rather than "ours". The classes that you took are not filled with the same people and maybe not even taught by the same teacher. The world keeps spinning, life keeps changing.
So, this is for all of you who are having trouble coping with the harsh reality that life is about to get real. If you have friends still in grade school, ask them about their first day. Talk to them about what lunch period they have, if they like their teachers, or if they are new to the school ask them what it was like to be somewhere new. The clubs and organizations you were a part of, keep in touch with the active members or sponsors via social media to see what they do throughout the year. Maybe you could go see a performance or two at the theater. It may seem like a challenge as of now, trust me I know. Yet, good things are on the horizon for us, too. I mean we have been told all our lives that college is the best, right? Deep breaths.Your friends probably miss you as much as you miss them. Text, call, or FaceTime them. They will be happy you reached out.
Today was the day I scrolled through my social media feeds and got to appreciate watching the population of my hometown go back to school. This was the first of many "first days" I will not be a part of, and that is just the way life happens. I have plenty of more "firsts" heading my way in college. I will come to terms with it eventually.