I moved to the U.S. in the middle of 2nd grade. I was enrolled in a private school from the 2nd grade through the end of the 5th grade. The school was so small that there was only one teacher for each grade and the school probably had about 200 kids total from K-12 grade. So you knew exactly who you would get as your next teacher. I was always gone in the summer so it was exciting to see my school friends again and share stories of what we did that summer. From 6th grade until the end of high school, I was enrolled in a public school in a small town. That first year at the public school was quite a transition for me. I went from a small private school to a public school for 5th and 6th graders that had more kids in those two grades alone than all of the kids in that small private school. After a few months, I made friends and started to enjoy school again. I remember that we always shopped for school supplies and school clothes the week before school started and the only big box store in town was always packed full of back to school shoppers. After not seeing my school friends all summer, I’m usually anxious to see them and catch up and hope that we are in some of the same classes together. Part of the excitement of going back to school is the unknown. Will I like the new science teacher that I have for 3rd period? Will I remember my locker combination? Will I make it to that next class in time? Will the English teacher let us sit wherever we want or will she have assigned seating? Will I at least be assigned to the same lunch period as my friends? I see the excitement and the anticipation that my daughter is going through with starting big school in a couple of weeks and I hope this new milestone is a smooth and fun time for her.
The thing I remember most about going back to school year was just the opportunity to have a fresh start. We moved around quite a bit and so I was always excited, yet anxious, to make some new friends. As I got older, I guess the biggest concern was whether or not a particular teacher would be as bad (or as good!) as their reputation! Probably my most memorable “back to school” was going into 9th grade. We had just moved to what I now consider my hometown (which is really tiny) from Birmingham, Alabama. (which is not as big as Atlanta, but certainly not as tiny as my hometown!) I was so worried about making friends and fitting in because I felt like such a fish out of water. I eventually did make friends, but it was definitely an adjustment period!
What I remember about going back to school is the feeling of excitement! I was always excited to see my friends again, to find out who my teacher(s) would be, to wear my new back-to-school clothes and to use my new notebooks, folders and other school supplies. It was even exciting to see the bus coming up the road and to climb on board for the ride to school!
I remember the back to school shopping. My mom always let me get one special folder or notebook, the kind with a cartoon character or photo on it . I also remember obsessing over the ‘first day of school outfit’. Looking back, I can’t believe some of the things I chose to wear! One year I made my own shorts and vest out of a navy blue fabric covered in white sail boats….I was so proud of that outfit!…probably not one of my best fashion choices.by