Incidental Amusements

“Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad I’m not a fool. I’ve got my lunch packed up and my boots tied tight. I hope I don't get in a fight. Back to school.” This song from the classic movie starring Adam Sandler, Billy Madison, has been stuck in my head all week, which could only mean one thing: School has started once again and another summer has come to a close. No more leisure reading, exciting internships or traveling. It is time to get back into the daily grind and work, work, work. Don’t get me wrong; starting school isn’t all that bad. I don't know about you, but for me it was definitely time to return to Geneseo to see some good friends, get back in the swing of things and of course enjoy the freedom of “living on my own.” It’s just as the second week of school comes to a close that I’m noticing those beginning-of-the-year woes rearing their ugly heads again.

Let’s travel back and take the first day of classes as an example. You’re feeling those first-day-of-school butterflies, which even as a junior in college I still feel. You’re a little anxious – not exactly excited or nervous, but maybe both. You pick out your best new fall outfit, but associating school with autumn doesn't seem to work anymore, since school for us begins in August and it’s still a billion degrees outside. But don't feel bad, I continue to forget this every year and attempt to wear some variation of jeans and a sweater.

Then you’re ready to leave your residence hall or apartment extra early to locate your classroom, even though it’s Geneseo and you don’t really need that much time. Now you’re sitting outside in the hall super early, waiting and hoping that a friend, or at the very least an acquaintance, is taking the same class as you. As you’re waiting, you see at least two people with the same exact backpack as you walk by. But I’m probably the only one who notices that last point.

The biggest and most irritating thing of all, however, has to be the myth and the legend that is “Syllabus Week.” We’ve all heard it or at least expected it. We think that the first week will be a nice, slow week that will ease us into the academic year ahead. But we were wrong. From the very first day of classes, the work starts rolling in: pages and pages of reading to be done, papers to be written so soon and homework to be completed.

For some reason, this neck-bracing pace always shocks me. When will I ever learn? When will I finally admit that the beginning-of-school blues are simply unavoidable, no matter how much of nerd I am?