Friday Fun — Best Part of the Back-to-School Season

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: Whether you’re a student, a parent, or just a bookish geek who always looked forward to the first day of class, we bet you have some favorite things about the back-to-school season. Want to share?


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: Though, as you might expect of a writer, I have an inordinately intense appreciation for new notebooks, pens, and all the other writing accoutrements and office paraphernalia that bedeck the back-to-school season, my favorite part of this ritual is not anything you can buy at Staples. Since I was a little girl, and even now that I am a (mostly) grown writer and someone’s mom, I have loved this time of year for the feeling of nervous excitement it brings. The new school year always feels like a fresh start – a sort of counterpoint to the New Year. Even if you’re not returning to school yourself, or seeing a child off to a new classroom, you can’t help but be caught up in all the anticipation. There are new adventures on the near horizon. Anything might happen. The world is opening up to show you a different side of itself.  This is my favorite part of the back-to-school season – this air of possibility and potential.

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson: My favorite part is the special deals on notebooks! I love new notebooks of all kinds. It’s an addiction in August.

Growing up I always looked forward to going to school and loved the new clothes, particularly new school shoes. I always looked forward to wearing my new shoes. When I got to high school, it was quarterly, and we could attend summers if we wanted — if we took full class loads, we could even graduate a year early. I went all 3 summers, but made sure to not have enough of the required classes done until the final semester – I loved school that much. I still enjoy back-to-school season, even though I have no involvement with it, because of the fond memories I have.

M. Shafer, Photo

M. Shafer, Photo

Deborah Lee Luskin: When my kids were little, I’d administer a spoonful of honey on the first day, to make learning sweet. The kids continued this tradition through college! But after a lifetime of being tethered to the academic calendar, I’ve cut loose, taking a vacation in September, when school’s back in session and the weather is usually quite fine. I’ll be biking Le Petit Train du Nord in Quebec Province this year – and taking a break from my regular posting schedule on Live to Write – Write to Live as well. Look for my next post on September 16th!



Wendy Thomas: I’m not one of those moms who is sad to see her kids go off to school. I know that they will be involved, will learn, and will have fun – what greater gifts could a mom give her kids? In September, I live for the cooler weather that ushers in the start of school-  the leaves starting to turn and the smell of apples – heaven. As Jamie pointed out, there’s such a sense of excitement, of new beginnings in September.

And not going to lie, like so many others, I love the notebooks that are available.

Personally, I look forward to getting back to my writer’s schedule. With all the kids home this summer, it’s been enjoyable, but it’s also meant a lot of driving and attending events. It’s time for all of us to get back into a routine.

Susan Nye: My mother always took my sister and I shopping for a new first day of school dress. I became almost superstitious about it. If the year was to go well, I had to have a new outfit for the first day of school. I was down in Manchester earlier this week and even stopped on the way home for a little shopping. No dresses, just a pair of jeans but it just feels right to start the fall with a new look.

7 thoughts on “Friday Fun — Best Part of the Back-to-School Season

  1. As a primary school teacher in the UK I got an enormous buzz out of collecting things for the Autumn Nature Table. It was so exciting to see the fruits, nuts and leaves displayed. I will always love September and what nature bestows on us x

  2. I was definitely a bookish geek–I loved going back to school. I remember covering my books in brown paper bag with particular fondness. I always felt I was very good at it (it’s all about the folding.)

    I also loved getting an agenda planner–school-issued or store-bought. All that ambition to be better organized and not procrastinate…

  3. I’m in Australia and therefore it is spring, not autumn that is just around the corner. It will be a few months yet before summer holidays even begin. 🙂
    I loved school when I was a kid and right through high school and college. However I also wanted the summer holidays to not end – we only have a 6-week break here, so we have been very envious of you in the U.S.
    I also loved the new books and pencils, and still do. Back-to-school reductions on notebooks and other stationery are just too tempting to resist.

  4. As a kid, I was always happy and anxious to go back to school! Now many years older, and four years past my last child graduating from high school, my attitude and disposition toward the end of the summer has evolved tremendously.

    The first September without a child in school was an eerily weird feeling, since I was accustom to a ritual that became second nature.

    For seventeen years it was normal for me to complete the emergency contact information for two children who attended two different schools. This also marked the beginning of scheduling of children’s activities associated with school, church, and any sport league they participated in.

    This also marked the time of selling Boy Scout popcorn, school fundraiser items to include either candy, pizza, wrapping paper and the scholastic book sales in elementary school. Back to school parent teacher nights, report cards, homework, tutors, parents of school band meetings, Football meetings, PTA meetings and whatever I volunteered for.

    Now as I see the commercials and advertisements about back to school sales, I simply shake my head and realize I have survived those days of purchasing clothing, school supplies, for children, pre-teens and teenagers who did or did not like my fashions sense, and the stress of hoping your child may or may not like their new teacher or friends.

    This was a great time to watch the growth of my children’s and I have photos to prove it and I plan to show them at weddings and to the grand-children because this is proof that they were once young enough to listen and innocent enough to see life with such wonderment.

    I’m now able to appreciate the years of stressful parenting knowing I do not ever have to live through those years again.

    Now, I recall fond memories of my first days of school from elementary through high school and especially college. I still look forward to September as a refreshing start to learning something new, which is why since retiring, I’ve taken many online college classes offered by Coursera

    I’m currently enrolled in an online class titled, “A Brief History of Humankind”, that started Aug. 25, 2014 and I enjoy taking a class, and absorbing the knowledge of something new.

    So there are no “August blues” here, just a smile on my face knowing there is no parent teacher meeting, report cards, or scheduling conflicts to worry about.


  5. I always love going back to school for the back-to-school sales. I’m a bit of an office supplies junkie and it’s always exciting getting spiral notebooks for a quarter each and boxes of papermate pens and ink for my fountain pen. That’s my favorite part, although I also like getting my school planner as well. I always have mixed feelings about going back to school– part excitement, part nerves.

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