The Five Stages of The First Day of School

It’s September now. This means three things: 1) Shops and restaurants begin to sell pumpkin-flavored everything. For all I know, McDonald’s could start selling pumpkin Big Macs and pumpkin Egg McMuffins this year. 2) The Halloween shops open earlier than they should. 3) A few months of daydreaming, ice cream, sunburn, and not having to think about finals have come to an end. Like it or not, that’s how it works. Almost as soon as the summer begins, you’re suddenly immersed in the world of essays, lab reports, unwanted social contact, and sleep deprivation. Then you find yourself going through these five distinct stages. (Disclaimer: This article was not written by a licensed psychologist; it was merely written for entertainment purposes, and should not be used as a template for your own back-to-school journey.)

1.Denial 

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It’s the morning of the first day of school. You were having these cool dreams about George Clooney driving through your neighborhood in an ice cream truck, and about being in a Victorian Mansion built on the border of two countries–you’re in America when you sit in the living room and Canada when you go into the kitchen. Then, the alarm clock decides to express its displeasure at your ridiculous dreams. For the first three seconds of the day, you seriously think you’re still dreaming. You think you’re having one of those “false awakening” dreams.

2.Anger

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As you brush your teeth, you wonder why you ever signed up for your classes, but you know the answer. The answer is that this is a society where, unless your name is Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg, you have to have a piece of paper proving that you studied away four years of your life in order to get a job. Which pisses you off. How is it that those people became billionaires without a degree, but you can’t? It’s so unfair. SCREW YOU, SOCIETY!

3.Bargaining

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You’re waiting for the bus in the rain. You pray with all of your heart for money to start falling from the sky. Or for scientists to find a money plant. Or for an actual, honest-to-gosh, non-digital Nigerian prince to approach you for help. Anything so that you can head back in the house and stay dry. You promise God that if he gives you want you want, you’ll never curse or kill an insect again.

4.Depression 

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You really thought that the professor would only go over whatever material is on the syllabus for the first day, but she actually starts teaching. This is going to be harder than you thought. You lose morale and wonder how you’ll get through the semester.

5.Acceptance

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Later that day, after your courses, you study the material and realize that it’s actually not that hard. And the people you were forced to interact with all day weren’t that bad. You’re ready for whatever the semester throws at you. Later in the semester, as some students begin to cheese it, you begin to feel a little smug. Before you know it, however, it’s getting close to the end, and you know what that means…

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Stay curious, my friends!

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