Back-to-school season was my favorite time of year growing up. While waving goodbye to those long, sun-filled summer days was sad, there were countless reasons why resuming my role as a student brought about excitement. It meant seeing all of my friends again, showing off my new binder, and going back-to-school shopping at the mall for new clothes – specifically, for that very special first day outfit.
I loved being a college student too and I have nostalgia for comparing class schedules with friends and even getting lost on campus trying to find my new classrooms. I miss learning, which I think many of you can heavily relate to. Quite literally moving your life into a new place each fall was also a thrill and walking down the hall or across campus to hang out with friends was SO easy.
Now that the calendar says we are post-Labor Day (where has the time gone?), I’m in full-nostalgia mode and wanting to manufacture the same feelings from back-to-school season. This time as a grown-up, even though on my most got-my-act together days I’m not certain that I meet the definition of one. So instead of going to Target to buy new folders and a TI-89 calculator, I’m inviting you to re-invent back-to-school excitement as an adult with me in these seven ways. Queue happy dance!
1. Give Yourself a Home Office Makeover
Remember lockers? Me too. Mine had a mirror, air freshener, and pictures of my friends hanging in it. My locker was decorated and functional and your home office or desk should accomplish the same things. Take some time to make this space your own by first decluttering and adding framed photos, flowers, or new stationery. The more inviting the better!
2. Plan Your Outfits for the Next Week
Each school year, I started my organization game strong and planned my outfits ahead of time. Eventually I would forget to do this or forget to care about it, but what matters is that I tried – A for that. I recommend we all take the challenge of planning our outfits for one week just to remember how enjoyable and hilarious it is. Type B’s, this will be especially fun for you and way better than fumbling through clothes at the bottom of your closet.
3. Have a Saved by the Bell or Boy Meets World Marathon
For me, Saved by the Bell captures high school drama, pranks, and life lessons learned in the classroom. So does Boy Meets World featuring Corey, Topanga, and Mr. Feeny. Plan a day with your friends to marathon your favorite high school TV show – and why not throw in some Hot Pockets?
4. Friendship is In the Air
One of the most exciting things about going back to school is meeting new people. It’s a lot easier to do when you are in such close proximity to people your age who are just as eager to make new friends, but it warrants being more intentional as an adult. You may have joined new clubs or started classes with fresh faces back in the day, so what’s stopping you from doing those things now? Adulting can be lonely sometimes, especially if you live in a big city like Washington, D.C. So be a good friend to someone. You never know when you’ll need one!
5. Get Fresh Learning Material
While it’s nice to be done with tests and being forced to study subjects you know you’ll never need to remember in the future, *cough* geometry, I get nostalgia for learning new things. Again, I think you need to be intentional about getting your feet wet with trying your hand at a new hobby or signing up for a class to learn about coding because you think it will help you advance your career. No one is forcing you to learn any more, so make a list of your interests and check out what’s happening in your town. See if a nearby university or local library offers free classes, lectures, or resources. If you aren’t clear about your direction, I’d recommend attending an event at your closest Creative Mornings chapter. Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.
6. Get a New Outfit
Back-to-school clothes shopping is part of the hype and tradition of things! Your inbox has probably let you know there are a ton of sales going on right now, so treat yourself to a new look. It will refresh a corner of your wardrobe and make you feel ready for the impending fall season.
7. Celebrate Summer’s Last Hurrah
Grab some friends, marshmallows, and grilling food for an end of the season party with a campfire. If you have a pool – even better! Every year, I host or attend many of these types of gatherings with a big group of family and friends. One last summer shenanigan is what we all need in our lives before entirely switching to fall mode. Here’s a great blackberry pie recipe that I highly recommend!