The arrival of August usually reminds all of us students that summer is coming to a close and that the sometimes celebrated, sometimes dreaded, return to school is upon us. This year, however, reentry into our typical school routines was much more uncertain. Some students have delayed starts. Others are stuck in their rooms in digital classrooms. Some schools are allowing students back to campus, but many are employing an adjusted weekly schedule that alternates between online and on campus learning.
I am lucky enough to have gone back to school in person full-time, and I thought I might give some observations and advice on my first day back for others who might be feeling the same mix of excitement, and trepidation that I felt.
How Should You Dress?
First off, trying to find a first day look was 100 times more stressful than usual. Sure, I had seen a handful of my friends over the summer, but as for the rest of the student body, it had been 6 months since they had last seen me in person.
How do you dress for that? I had such a difficult time trying to piece together something that was fancy, but not too fancy, made a statement, but was nothing too drastic, and on top of all that was flattering. After hours of frustration and frantic facetime calls, I found that what I wanted to wear was simple, comfortable, and me.
My advice for finding a post-quarantine first day outfit is just be you! Wear what you are comfortable with, and if you want to be fancy, do it! Casual? That’s fine too! What I remember most was not what people wore, but how happy we all were to be together again.
Patience is always good to practice, but especially during this new situation. Teachers are still trying to navigate zoom, and obviously, there is definitely a learning curve as we all try to adjust to the “new normal”. Cut teachers some slack as they try to figure out zoom and classroom spacing, and don’t stress too much if you don’t have all of your classes with your best friends. Arrive on campus with patience and a positive, friendly attitude, and you should be fine.
Try Your Best
As uncertain as the future is, I am hopeful that this year will be another great one. Returning to school can always be stressful, and reentry after a six month summer amidst a pandemic definitely does not help.
Try your best to relax. If you are super stressed about social things, don’t worry; the social scene was actually the most normal part of reentry. Safety is crucial this semester as well, so don’t be afraid to ask someone to adjust their mask or take a few steps back if they are too close. I recommend bringing your own bottle of hand sanitizer and wipes, pack an extra mask or two, and bring your own water bottle from home with plenty of water to get you through your day. Try your best to be flexible, be positive, and stay safe!