Back to School

By Hannah Wallace September 8, 2011

So much stuff going on, getting started, coming together, looking back—feels like the beginning of the school year: changing classes and jumping topics, sports practices and season schedules, everyone reminiscing and summarizing the summer. And I’ve got a paper due already.

The class schedule is hectic and whiplash inducing. Here I am, hunkered down into “Proofing with InDesign (for non-artists),” and bam, phone rings and I’m right in the middle of “Criminal Law: Theories and Ethics of Adjudication.” I grab my coffee and start getting all hyped up for “Creative Writing: You’re Not as Funny as You Think You Are,” and suddenly my “Computer Science 101: Excel basics” project comes back all marked up.

Sports are good. You have to fit them around academics, of course, but that’s why you have practices at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 10:15 p.m. Friday night. And it’s good to get back around the teammates again, having so quickly forgotten how many people you can see in a day-to-day physically stressful environment and still want to hang out with them afterwards. Season’s about to start—the games that “count” for something, whatever that may be. Season is always better than all the pre-season conditioning and anticipation, but it also means taking note of lots of paperwork, getting all my equipment and uniforms in line, and making sure I don’t schedule a study group on game night.

The big way to blow off all this steam? Why, football, of course. Everybody gets together on the weekends to watch the games—it’s a whole event, excellent and stress relieving. (Not that my actual college experience had anything to do with this. Stetson Hatters Football: Undefeated since 1948.) (…’cause we didn’t have a team. Get it?) Put the big game on a pedestal so it overshadows your stresses, and look forward to it all week long.

Still, gotta make sure you stay on track during the week, make it to class on time, keep your grades up, turn in your immediate assignments and keep up with your long-term projects, maybe find a little time in all this to makes some cash to spend on books, or at IHOP. (Well hello, freelance web site writing. Missed you over the summer.)

Well, that did it. Now I’m fondly reliving my college days with this little writing exercise. It’s funny, though, that I don’t always long to revisit college; I have this awe with my past self, that I was able to coordinate all that, keep up with it, not go crazy with so much stuff to do day in and day out. I think, “My god, all that penance you pay for the freedom of adulthood,” with the idea that my schedule was made for me back then, and now, by god, I am my own woman.

Or apparently, these habits continue. Which makes me think I need to throw my backpack on—both shoulders—and search for an old coffee kiosk surrounded by St. Augustine grass and brick buildings, order myself an iced mocha that comes with an icing-like whipped cream and take it back to my room, slide up the old double-hung window and lean back in an old, assembly-line wooden chair, feet on my desk, to feel the cool fall breeze as the caffeine buzz kicks in, and think about all the good things I might still accomplish.


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