A New Appreciation

It took six months at home for me discover how much I love being back in school.

First-day-of-school

photo by Lucie Flagg

On the first day of school, the sound of the alarm signals the end of summer.

Lucie Flagg, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Your 5:45 AM alarm sounds. You wake up panic-stricken. 

“Where am I?”

“What day is it?”

“Am I late?”

You finally gather yourself and come to terms with the fact that it’s already the first day of school.

“Summer was too short,” you think to yourself. “How is it already time to go back?”

Like most students, I’ve always dreaded the infamous first day of school. It means no more sleeping in until noon. And while seeing your friends and meeting new teachers is exciting, there’s something about that early wake-up call that ruins the day right from the start. 

Our nearly 180-day-long break from the classroom left me missing things about my day that I used to loathe.

This year, however, I find myself with altered, even new, feelings towards school. Our nearly 180-day-long break from the classroom left me missing things about my day that I used to loathe. As I sat at home, taking online classes, I thought of what I would give to walk up the school stairs one more time, all three flights. Such simple behaviors made up my day, but I didn’t realize it until it was already too late.

If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be getting what would amount to a six-month summer, I would have thought you were crazy—or that I was dreaming. And while it all seemed amazing at first, it didn’t take long before I fantasized daily about sitting in class and hanging out with my friends. I even missed the workload at times, which is something I never thought I’d admit. Lying around at home, playing Animal Crossing, and watching Netflix gets repetitive really fast, and yet somehow, going to school every day never did.

I consider myself a goal-oriented being. I thrive in an environment filled with hard-work and successful outcomes. Without the constant influx of due dates and the rigor of high school, I lost touch of myself. I made every attempt to find new hobbies, such as card-making and spontaneous Target runs, to fill my time, and yet at the end of each day, I always felt like there was something missing. 

Without the constant influx of due dates and the rigor of high school, I lost touch of myself.”

I spent the past summer working three different jobs, with the hopes of maintaining that crucial feeling of community. But I quickly realized that school is an entirely different type of social. There is nothing quite like being in the same building with your peers. And yesterday, the first day of the 2020-2021 school year, was proof.  It was invigorating.

As I re-acclimate myself to the flow of the school year, I’m confident that I’ll inevitably backpedal and once again find myself dreading the early wake-up call. I’ll grow tired of tests and homework and the many other annoyances of a typical day in school.  But this time, I’ll think back to all of the nights that I dreamt about being in a classroom, and all of the mornings that I woke up disappointed to not be.

Going into my senior year, I’m lucky to have discovered a new appreciation for school. I hope the same for the rest of the graduating class.  After all, we’ve learned the hard way not to take any of this for granted.