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Student Blog: The (Not So) Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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How Back to School Season Holds a Whole New Meaning Now

Student Blog: The (Not So) Most Wonderful Time of the Year The back to school season can bring a variety of mixed emotions for everyone. At a young age, I remember being ecstatic to go shopping for the necessary school materials to have a successful year. Whether it was picking out notebooks in my favorite colors or getting a new backpack with the coolest design, starting a new school year was a joy and something to look forward to like nothing else. That same magic stuck around for most of middle school although for slightly different reasons. Now the focus was on finding out which of my friends were in my class and seeing everyone at lunch to talk about our favorite shows or catch up on events in our lives.

Unfortunately, as time wore on, the idea of going back to school changed completely. High school brought on a new set of worries and expectations which altered the way starting a new academic year was viewed. Although it was still exciting to be back in the classroom, creating memories with my friends or classmates, the pressure of succeeding was ever present as the four years slipped by.

And then, college was here. The first day at an entirely new school away from home was nerve wracking to say the least, but also brought on many more emotions that I never associated with the back to school experience before. Suddenly, I was feeling anxious and antsy about returning to campus each August because it meant another difficult year that would still be full of amazing moments, but would push my mental health to its limits. I love attending college, minus the fact I lost a majority of my time to the pandemic, but it certainly changed what back to school meant.

This year, I'm a senior which means it's my last year in college. That fact is both equally thrilling and terrifying. In less than twelve months, I'll be a college graduate with a degree that will be with me as I'm out in the world working and taking on life without any fear. All of my hard work over the past four years will finally amount to something great. But this is my last first day of school, opening the door for all the big moments that will also be my last. My last move in day, last homecoming, last finals week (which I won't miss), last time spending everyday with the people who mean everything to me.

So the excitement for my last time going back to school ever is tainted with the emotions of uncertainty and nervousness.

And I know for a fact that I'm not the only one feeling this way. Even if you're not a senior like I am, college students seem to understand that what was once a time of the year to look forward to, now means something different. And not in a good way.

The stress every college student has felt even before the pandemic started has only been amplified and with everything always being on the edge of changing due to COVID-19, it's hard to truly look forward to events or life on campus when that could all disappear in a heartbeat again. Add in the endless expectations that come with classes, the insane workload of every semester and still keeping a social life, it's a lot to handle.

So while younger students channel their enthusiasm to return to the classroom, those who are older struggle with preparing for what is undoubtedly going to be a challenging couple of months. Despite all of this, the spirit of going back to school isn't ruined. Many of us, myself included, love the atmosphere of being in class and learning while seeing our friends on a daily basis. The idea has just changed over time, maybe not in the best way, but this time of year still means as much as it did when we were young kids with bright smiles full of eagerness to be in school.

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that with every back to school season comes the opportunity to grow and enjoy life more. While it might not be so "wonderful" anymore, it's still amazing being able to expand your knowledge and make memories that will last a lifetime. This year, even with all the possible overwhelming emotions, embrace the academic year like never before and make the most of it


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From This Author Student Blogger: Breanna Ebisch