This year I’m not going back to school. It dawned on me the first time when my Dad said, “This is the first year you won’t be buying school supplies, huh?” It dawned on me the second time when my friend Katrina oddly said something along the same lines a week later. Then there was the third time. The time I was on Facebook and every other post was about my friends heading back to my alma mater. Some were complaining, some were excited, and most were posting pictures of packing and my beautiful campus. Needless to say, I got a little choked up. And I was one of those seniors (and juniors and sophomores and freshmen) that always felt so ready to leave. But now, as my first September sans clean notebooks and ballpoint pens hits, I find myself looking around at the many transitions I’m facing and long for the comfort of the dorms and professors giving far too much reading. So what do I do?
I make a list. My own kind of “back to school” list. The essentials I need to help me in my first fall without classes. It’s actually my real life freshman year. And these are the things that are going to help me get through it:
- A new journal. Real life is happening all around me and instead of longing for a fresh notebook to write pages and pages of notes on the Romantic period, this year I will be writing pages and pages about my transition period.
- Bubble bath/Bath salts. I just picked some up the other day. You know what college didn’t have? Baths. Just all showers all the time. It’s time to soak and forget all my troubles at the end of the night.
- Real life textbooks. I still love learning and there’s so much I couldn’t focus on while I was at school. My essentials for this fall are: Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey (cuz, ya know, I’m getting married in 44 days), my Bible, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child.
- TV shows about women out in the real world. I never tire of New Girl reruns, now that I’m growing up I’m starting to relate more to Lorelai on Gilmore Girls, and Ally McBeal is calling my name in my Netflix queue.
- Skype. An essential for my sanity. I can Skype with my best friend off at Grad School, the other who is finishing up at Gustavus, and then talk to my fiancé for the rest of the night. The people I love are never more than a phone call away. Lovely.
- Movies. Duh. Did you think I wouldn't post without them? My fall essentials this year will be anything on TCM (I didn’t have it at school, and I love me some Robert Osborne), the ever-cheesy Post Grad, and You’ve Got Mail because of “bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.”
I encourage you to make your own back to school list of what is going to keep you sane this fall, whether you are headed back to the high school halls, dorms, or your desk at work. The fall sort of screams new opportunity, doesn’t it?