I have not been back to school since 2011, the year my university career ended. I was an impressively average student raking in B's.
Every year around this time, the air changes. It gets cooler, there's a new excitement and a large demographic of Vancouver heads back to school. I'm not one of those people and am forever grateful that those years are behind me. For those who are going back to school, I fear for you. I would not want to be in school in 2016. I can't comprehend trying to pay attention to a professor giving a lecture to 300 others while there are online articles to read, movies to be streamed, Snapchat stories to be made, and clothes to be worn. We all must pay our dues.
Back to school is a fascinating concept. I remember going to the mall with my mom at the end of August each year to do my back to school shopping. It consisted of some hastily picked out pants and shoes because what I wanted and/or liked was not something my mother was going to spend her money on. This has undoubtedly shaped the way I feel about fashion. The ritual sadly ended when I reached high school - a time where a little guidance in "what not to wear" would have come in handy. As much as navigating my way through hallways of lockers was a new concept, so was knowing pedal pushers and platforms from Le Chateau did not fly. I was left to fend for myself, and the rest is history. These days, the culture of "back to school" has hit an all time high. According to the National Retail Federation (whatever that is), families will be spending more on clothing than electronics and school supplies come September. Evidently this back to school shopping is not going anyway, and it only proves to grow stronger.
I very vividly remember one of my favourite first day outfits. I entered grade 5 in a plaid maroon skirt hitting mid-thigh, a matching knit turtleneck, black tights and a pair of fantastic shoes (I don't even know if they have a name), with hooks for the laces. I believe this outfit might have been inspired by a Clueless does Little House On The Prairie. I had a leather backpack to go with it that likely broke a couple weeks later. I had a thing with breaking backpacks to my mother's chagrin.
This fall marks 5 years since my last first day at school. I may not be one of the select few picking out electives and cute new pens, but I am among the many who see the fall and the back to school season as a second chance. The way I see it, now is the time to use what I've learned the first eight months of the year and apply it with marathon gumption to the final four months of 2016. A last chance to get it right. For me, this means slowing down a little bit and focusing more on what matters. Less on acquiring and more on honing. I feel myself changing and growing up, coming into my own - which is the most "adult" I've ever felt thus far.
To all of you heading back to class, good luck - to all heading back to being a responsible adult , good luck too!