Sitting in class, a new outfit on that is clearly way too fall for the still summer weather, new notebooks in tow and a fresh new haircut. For 20 years this has been my day after labour day. Instead, today I am left with a mid-twenties crisis at the age of 22. How do you switch from being a student in the classroom to being a student in the workforce?
While I have to admit, the lack of back to school shopping has left me in a shopping induced a coma, my credit card balance is thanking me. Yet the joy of hearing the pen hit the dotted line is one I will miss greatly today. I will also miss the excruciating line up at the bookstore that left me with joint problems in my arms for all of frosh week (novels may not weigh a lot, but 40 do!) I will also miss trying to be fierce in my student photo. I will miss scrambling to find someone, anyone I know in my lecture hall, as well as the first day of introductions and ice breakers. Not to mention how eager I was to complete all of my readings in the first month of school that tapered off to non-existent reading in March. This may all be an identity crisis, or it may be a fear of slowly stepping away towards the unknown – either, or – it just isn’t the same at work today.
Technically I am still a student for the next 3 weeks. My internship will soon be over, however I will not be sitting in a classroom any time soon. I am now looking for coping strategies so that I do not wind up in a lecture hall on a random campus analysing Charles Dickens “Great Expectations” from 2nd year Maturation Literature.
The workplace just doesn’t give you the same school vibe. There are no pep rallies, pub nights, breaks between clients or places to curl up on the floor. There are no stickers for a job well done or forced handwriting, no time for reading, or naps and definitely no sweat pants allowed. My wardrobe now consists of pencil skirts and blouses, dress pants, high heels and designer purses. My brothers post-pubescent yet still child-like friends go off to school today – and this granny is feeling old (and they don’t let me forget it).
So while I shed a single, and I do mean single tear, over the past 2 decades I have spent at a desk with a seat attached to it, I look forward to being a student of life now (philosophical I know). After all, I definitely don’t miss the all nighter papers and the clencher – I can still crush on the hot boys of Gossip Girl without being the creepy woman who robs craddles.