Confessions of a (Proud) School Nerd

oldschool

August: the month where things are (supposedly) cooling down, a few stores decide to skip Halloween and Thanksgiving and go right to the Christmas decorations, and Calli starts screaming internally even more than usual because the lazy days of Summer are about to be brutally slaughtered by the reality that is school.

In all honesty, even though I don’t like the tear-inducing amount of homework, I usually like returning back to school. It forces me out of the house and I get a little more human interaction than usual, even if it is only smiling at my seat neighbor that I will probably spend the entire semester trying to learn their name. There are always a few professors I’m excited to see again, and it’s good to brush up on my ninja skills to dodge the professors that I would much rather avoid for the rest of my student career. If there’s one thing that will get me excited for the upcoming school year, however, that’s shopping for school supplies.

school clips

When it comes to clothes shopping, I tend to zone out and realize that I’ve looked through five racks of clothing and can’t remember a single thing I’ve browsed except for that hideous jacket that was ridiculously fuzzy and soft to the touch. I hardly ever go grocery shopping because I still live at home, but my limited experience has taught me that it’s not much better. What about shopping for school supplies? Well, hold on to your mechanical pencils and spiral bound notebooks because I could spend days happily browsing the aisles of Staples.

Maybe it’s a good thing that the only Staples store in Cedar closed down; my parents won’t have to file a missing person’s report.

From the time I started elementary to my upcoming Junior year of college, school shopping has been one of my favorite times of the year. I’m about to go into full-on geek mode, so all you cool people should turn back now while you still can, but even the thought of going shopping for new folders or notebooks is enough to get me excited. Planning for, choosing, and organizing school supplies is as addictive to me as earning A’s (and one just needs to look at my transcripts to realize that my obsession is on borderline unhealthy).

I recently bought a new backpack for the year, and I kid you not, tears almost came to my eyes when I unpacked it. Organizing my backpack is the Big Event of the last day of Summer. I could be outside getting one final sunburn in an last-ditch attempt to tan or building my hermit cabin in the mountains, but instead I’m on the living room floor, surrounded by folders and pens and all sorts of strange junk, gleefully writing the names of my classes on them.

The beginning of the school year is the one and only time that I have motivation to stay organized. I always start out really well, with a clean backpack and organized folders, but by the end of the semester I end up just stuffing things into my backpack and storing my assignments in my notebooks because I lost the coordinating folder a long time ago. My chaotic method usually works pretty well for me, but anyone else would be horrified if they were given a glimpse into the tornado-strewn interior of my backpack. Once the organization of my backpack goes downhill, there’s no stopping it. Even the beginning of second semester, when I should be preparing for completely new classes, does little to clear it out.

catpack

Another end-of-Summer ritual of mine involves the one thing that all college students loathe and that no one seems to write a good version of: textbooks. I’ve spent the last week ordering eleven books for school (ah, the joys of being an English major), and although I am absolutely thrilled to dive into titles like Female Quixotism and Essential Haiku (please, oh please note my sarcasm), just seeing new textbooks makes me simultaneously dread and anticipate starting school on the 28th.

The thing with textbooks is, my mind can’t seem to decide if I hate them or love them. Throughout the entire semester, I usually find myself cursing my textbooks because I have to spend 2-3 hours on a chapter per textbook per day, which takes up a lot of my free time and energy. However, when it comes time to send back my rentals, some insane part of me actually feels somewhat sad, like I’d developed a weird attachment to the book. Can Stockholm Syndrome apply to textbooks? Because if it does there’s a good chance that I might have it. Rentals are great, because they save me loads of money and I don’t have to worry about pawning them off on some other poor sucker who needs it, but occasionally I will get the thought that I should buy the books just in case I’ll need them after the class is finished. Despite the inch of dust that has grown on the textbooks I’ve had no choice but to buy, I still have to knock some sense into myself and click the “rent” option almost every time.

Sometimes I think it might be easier if I just hated everything to do with school. My nerdly habits can be costly at times, and if I can manage to cram anymore books or notebooks on my bookshelf, it might just break. Then I’d have to dive into the wonderful world of furniture shopping, and I have a feeling that Search and Rescue would have a lot harder time finding me in Ikea than in Staples.

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