Now that September is here, 3 important things are returning to our lives: football season, hoodies, and school. My little brother is entering the 5th grade this year, and last week I had the opportunity to take him to a few stores for specific school supplies his new teacher requested. His teacher sent home a list that had everything on it from pencils to a USB flash drive. I remember needing a floppy disk when I was in the 5th grade (Jeez, I’m old.) Anyway, during the trip I thought back to my time as an elementary student. I reflected on some of the things I looked forward to as I prepared to go back to school, and the things I dreaded. I came up with 5 things, and I’m sure you all can relate.
1. School Shopping
School shopping was something I definitely looked forward to. It wasn’t the new folders, and binders that got me excited, (I could care less about the supplies I needed to succeed in the classroom) it of course was shopping for new clothes. My mom would take my sisters and I to 3 places for clothes: JC Penney’s,’ Burlington Coat factory, and Sears. Now, these places might not have the fanciest clothing, but whatever they had I made it work. I just wanted to look cool, and I would beg my mom for whatever I could find that would help me make the best impression on the first day. As I look back on some of my old pictures, it’s clear to me now that I really looked like a dork. I just thought I looked cool.
I would always get new shoes before I went back to school too. My mother never bought me Jordan’s or any other super expensive shoes. I never really complained though. As a child, I always thought I looked nice, and I was very appreciative. High school, however, was a totally different story, but I’ll save that for another time.
2. Old classmates
On the first day, I was always excited to see who would be in my class, and ask old classmates what they did over the summer. Classmates would share stories of their time in Florida, New York, trips to family reunions, pool parties, and BBQ’s. More than anything, it was just exciting to see familiar faces in anticipation of what the school year would bring.
There were a few kids in elementary that I couldn’t stand for one reason or another. I was never too excited about seeing them, but overall, I was happy to be there. I had a crush on couple girls in elementary too. They never knew about it, but I was happy to see them as I looked forward to another year of drooling and day dreaming about them.
3. Farewell to sleep
1 thing I’ve always treasured is sleep. After sleeping in every day for 2 months and a half, it’s quite difficult to get back into the routine of getting up at 7 AM for school. I love sleep. I wish I was sleep right now. Like a good woman, sometimes I wish I could hold on to my bed and pillows for hours and never let them go, but I digress. During the first few weeks of school, waking up early was beyond difficult, but it had to be done. Thankfully I still had the weekends, and as an educator today, I still feel the same.
4. Dreaded Homework
The number 1 thing I hated about going back to school (and school in general) is homework. In hindsight, homework helped me to better understand a concept in school at my own pace, but I still feel like it interfered with my TV/video game/outdoor play time at home. Math would always be the most time consuming, because I was terrible at it. I still am. Luckily I had my dad around who is a math wiz. If it wasn’t for him helping me with my math, I’d probably still be in elementary school.
5. New Experiences
Like I mentioned before, I looked forward to the new experiences the school year would bring. I knew that there would be field trips, pizza/holiday parties, field day, gym class, art, funny situations, and stressful times as well. Although the year would be long, I was ready for it. I have memories from elementary that I will never forget, and I feel thankful that I was able to grow in school with a very enriching environment.
I told my little brother today to make sure he enjoys every moment of 5th grade, because his life is going to change once he goes to middle school. The school environment will change, his interest will change, and he’ll find himself becoming more self-conscious about things that didn’t matter a year ago.
Grade school has its many ups and downs, but elementary school is definitely a time I think many people treasure. When my brother reaches my age, I hope he reflects on his time in elementary and feels the same way.