The best thing about back-to-school season

Last week I walked by a display of every back-to-school item a kid could want: notebooks and pens, binders and folders, paper clips and push pins, locker mirrors and backpacks. And I got a serious thrill of excitement.

I loved school, but even more, I loved the promise of school. Each August, even though the days were still hot and long and spent at the beach, I'd anticipate the year ahead—my classes and teachers, the books I'd read, which new friends I would make (or unmake!). And all those daydreams always started with comprehensive visions of my back-to-school wardrobe, locker decorations, and notebooks.

I asked the other bloggers to share their own favorite memories of back-to-school season:

The athlete:

  • Totally corny, but (track nerd that I am) my favorite back-to-school thing was being issued my uniform at the start of the cross country season. We had to have nine practices in to get our uniforms, so to have first pick you went to all the practices before school started. Then after the ninth practice a handful of us would go into the uniform closet with our coach and dig through all the boxes for the XXL grey sweats and the purple tights, t-shirts, rain gear, tank tops and short-shorts that weren’t faded. I used to wear my uniform and sweats to school on meet days, so it was important that it was fly. (Deimosa)

The organizers:

  • I love packing up my backpack the night before with all my new notebooks and binders.  It’s probably the only time my bag looks organized all year! (Emily)
  • The best thing about going back to school for me was always the planning and preparation that took place beforehand—and of course, the shopping! I was fortunate enough to go shopping with my mom before the start of every school year for new school supplies and school clothes. Picking out a first day of school outfit was always the hardest part! (Brittany)

The parent:

  • When I was in school, my favorite parts all had to do with the feeling of potential:  as a kid, I loved getting fresh, new supplies. In college, I loved being able to choose my own classes, and my brand-new schedule seemed to hold so much possibility. As a parent, my favorite part is thinking about what my daughter will do this year. I love when she talks about a new subject or sings a new song that I didn’t know she knew! (Julia)

The birthday girl:

  • We are September babies in my family (all within the same first week and a half of September) which always coincided with our first week of school. We celebrate birthdays in a big way, so back to school always meant birthday hype for my whole family. My sister and I would usually get clothes and school supplies as presents, which I now realize was a smart but sly move on my parents part… (Megan)

And of course, the shoppers (and Trapper Keeper lovers):

  • Back to school shopping  for a new Trapper Keeper was always thrilling. And once I was in older grades where I had a locker, I loved picking out the magnet container with a mirror on it (to apply my lip smackers, of course!). (Alex)
  • Mine was always shopping for school supplies. I loved getting a fresh new notebook and folder for each class, along with pens, pencils and erasers. I have such fond memories of my Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. Also, since I always took multiple art classes that always meant new ART supplies too! I also loved getting my textbooks and bringing them home for my dad to wrap in brown paper bags. I would draw all over them all year. (Gina)
  • The best thing about the back-to-school season, without a doubt, is supply shopping! I love stocking up on new notebooks, pens, folders, highlighters, and post-its. Supply shopping was an essential back-to-school to do – even if I had supplies left over from the year before. There was something therapeutic for me about school supply shopping, it was like the new blank page of my notebook represented a fresh start and it always made me feel like I could conquer the school year. (Nicole)
  • It was all about buying the new school supplies – especially in grammar school where you bought your supplies around your favorite cartoon or TV show. I was rocking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in first grade. As I got older it was wrapping your textbooks with brown construction paper – a fresh canvas to doodle on when you were board during class – I mean, busy studying. (Mike)

Of course, back-to-school season comes with its challenges, too. For resources, check out our PreK-8th grade back-to-school guide. If you're an educator, visit our Teachers site for lots of great ideas.

Happy back-to-school season!