Welp, it’s official. My alma mater has started fall classes and I am not in attendance. This is the first fall semester that I won’t be attending in 17 YEARS. And that’s 17 out of 22, not taking pre-K into account. School is all I know, so now I suppose I know nothing. The comfort of my regular autumnal traditions has left a spiritual vacancy. What do we do with vacancies, my fellow free-agents? We fill them, else our spirit-motels go out of business. So here are my adulty revamps on the regular Back-To-School rituals. Recent
post-grad-ers, join me in saving September.
Remember this commercial?
It’s my father’s favorite commercial. As in, favorite of all time. I know, right? Feel the love. But that trip to Office Max really was one of the most fun things to do pre-semester. Your trapper keeper selection could define your persona for the next eight months! School was an excuse for a mini-shopping spree, and just the kind that an organizational Type-A chick like me adores. But think back and remember those lists of “required supplies.” The mandate of blue and black ink pens. Those stupid three ring binders that tore up all of your worksheets and required a 3-hole-punch insert that took up way too much room. Now you’re an adult! You can get whatever freaking office supplies that you want! And you need them, you’re a working girl/dude/human! Get yourself some REAL pens. Rollerballs that glide multi-colored ink like a knife through coconut oil. Last year, I bought a large package of 70’s themed Sharpies. Did I need them? Yes! Emotionally, I needed them. You’re a working adult, go buy some damn pretty markers and fancy-ass notebooks that your parentals never would’ve let you destroy in Middle School. You are worth it.
The other side of Back-To-School Shopping, and arguably more beloved, was the parent-funded closet overhaul! Unfortunately, as a recent grad trying to be more self-sufficient, this is harder to recreate. But remember, you are now the boss of you! Instead of revamping your closet, you can revamp your physical appearance! For less that $100 you can get a tattoo! For less that $20 you can get a box of quality hair dye! Did you have a jonesing for purple tresses in middle school but your mom said, “Absolutely not”? Not that that’s what crippled my expression of self in 7th grade or anything. Now you can have whatever technicolor dream-hair you desire. Choose the budget-friendly body-morphing alternative that will last you 30 days to the rest of your life.
Pack Yourself A Lunch
Reasons that this is an awesome idea:
- You can eat it whenever and wherever you want: Outside, at 3 a.m., in a house, with a mouse, whatever! Lunch is a state of mind, meerkats. Actually, it might be a good idea to pack a lunch before a night out on the drunk town. What a thing to look forward to, amiright?
- Nostalgia-Rich Treats: PB & J will never go out of style. I could eat one every day. Similarly, pudding cups and apple sauce are wonderful. Our elementary through middle (through high) school palates were on point, people. We should try to get that discerning taste back into our lives.
- Grown-Up Treats: I’m talking grown-up juice boxes! WINE IN A CARTON! You can put beer in your box lunch now, dude. You’re an adult! Just maybe keep the alcohols at home if this is a lunch for the workplace. That probs wouldn’t fly with The Man.
- Cosmic Brownies: Some would argue that these belong under NRT, but I think they’ve earned their own place, don’t you? Honorable message to Oatmeal Creme Pies, those things are boss. In fact, you can make a whole lunch out of just Cosmic Brownies and Oatmeal Creme Pies. Eight-year-old you would die from jealousy.
I don’t know about you all, but I have many a fond memory of waking up way early in elementary school, and naturally at that, to watch cartoons on Nickelodeon. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters and Spongebob were great, but Hey Arnold! was king in nuestra casa. Unfortunately, kids cartoons SUCK these days, but fortunately, Internet TV is God. Recreate those early morning toon-fests by revisiting Rocket Power and As Told By Ginger! If waking up early is hard to do, why not stay up all night and watch through the morning? (Packed lunches are advised) It’s not like we didn’t learn how to rock the all-nighter back when we were still students. Use your skills practically, folks.
Pizza Party Sleepover
Pizza and slumber parties were the pillars of childhood hangouts. And most of my super emotional grown-up-girl-bonding hangouts in college too, actually. One of the saddest things about not going back to campus this fall is the lack of friend time, the lack of frivolity and feelings-talk. The lack of the “play hard.” Well chump, look around you. I can pretty much guarantee that wherever you are, there are at least a handful of totally amazing humans who are totally down to eat pizza, paint each other’s fingernails, and talk about the babes that are sending them notes asking the big question: check yes or no. Luckily for you, you no longer have to ask parental permission and plan such gatherings weeks in advance. Well, maybe you do have to ask permission, because you’re living at home, but now everyone is way too old to want to stay up all night so no one’s parents will get mad and make your dad sit outside the room where you’re all “sleeping,” so that you literally can’t talk without getting yelled at until he’s pretty sure that you’re “asleep,” but really you’re totally not, you’re just some BAMoFos in the colloquial, non-literal sense of the expression.
A happy Back-To-School Season to all, and to all a good night.