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What's Your Back-to-School Crisis?

The first day of school is brutal. Wide-eyed freshmen blunder around the halls in abject terror. Everyone's locker either won't open or won't lock. The only person enthusiastic about being back is the AP Bio teacher, who spent his summer desperately giving Fs to everything that wandered past his front lawn. If all this baffling chaos makes you want to curl up in a ball and write emo poetry, well, don't, because life is too short for anybody to write emo poetry. Just take a deep breath and tell me what the problem is (or was, when you were a student).

  1. Academic Pressure The Situation: Your extremely high expectations make the entire school year a movie montage of heavy books, all-nighters, and furrowed brows. Last year, you took twice as many AP courses as you're allowed to by re-registering with a fake moustache and Scottish accent. You'll spend the next 180 days busy as a bee, but, like, one of those relentless killer bees that never rests and doesn't go to any bee dances. The Solution: Relax. Yes, college admissions officers like to see lots of tough classes on your transcript, but they're unlikely to admit you if you are not alive. At least, find an educational blog, so if you need to write a research proposal, read about it https://buyessayclub.com/blog/research-proposal-example/, relax againg, and then do all the things you have to do. School should be challenging, but Jeopardy-challenging, not Math Aneurysm Heart Failure-challenging.

  2. Academic... Hardness The Situation: You're not overreaching; school's just hard. Your brain is great at lots of things, but not all these foreign languages and foreign sciences and space-math from the future. You're preparing yourself for another year of teachers frowning and sighing at you like you just peed on the rug, because you have no idea what X equals, again. The Solution: Take everything a day at a time. It's the first day back, and you made it here without being mauled by a bear, so things could be worse, right? You also haven't failed anything yet, and you're not going to, because you are reading a website about books. You are smart and capable, or you'd be breaking into the zoo or something.

  3. Social Anxiety Situation 1: You're going back to school, where you've always been about as comfortable as a guy stuck in a room full of angry, angry bees. You expect another year of periodic bullying and stinging, bee-like insults. (Look, I just saw a movie about bees, okay?) Situation 2: You're new to high school, but you've heard the rumors. People will instantly know you're a freshman. They'll engage in all the classic freshman hazing—knocking your books out of your hands, saying "hey, freshman" in a snarky tone, beating you mercilessly with lead pipes. The Solution: Look, terrible jerks are going to keep being terrible; it's like oxygen to them. All you can really do about it is not care. This isn't just us talking; actual philosophers agreed on this when they weren't busy lounging around and doing nothing. Of course, a lot of them were miserable, so maybe you're better off just smiling and hugging everybody to be sure you don't end up looking like Grumpy McHatred here.

  4. Uh... It's School And It Awful The Situation: You've looked at these other entries going "Academic wha? Social who? It's just a stupid building where nothing is fun!" Last week you were sleeping until noon, and now some monotone guy wearing a tie is all "Blah blah blah, here's the thing about polynomials!" The Solution: Okay, school is awful. You'll get no argument from me. But force yourself to put up with just a few short years of this, and make the most out of it. Otherwise, you are statistically more likely to be eaten by sharks. Science has proven it.

Which one are you?

July 22, 2019

1 Comment


:) Thank you; this made me laugh.

I am none of these. I am the nerd who loved school so much that I am still there at age 50. I am the nerd who thinks it's fun to create curriculum. I am the nerd who says, "Well, that class went awful," and then thinks of it like a puzzle and a challenge to get the next class back on track.

So I'll add one more solution to all of your fine examples of coping strategies: Take a deep breath, and know that your teachers WANT you to succeed. (Okay, maybe not that AP Bio teacher you mentioned, but most of us. ...I hope.) Your teachers want to know that they are making a difference in your life. Because of course the thing that they are teaching you -- whatever it is -- they know for certain is the most important piece of information you will ever receive, and someday it most certainly will save your life. We all truly believe that, deep down. We want you to go out there and conquer the world!

So come see us if you get stuck, okay? We'll make the time for you.

And then later in life, send us a quick e-mail when you win that Nobel prize or Oscar or Pulitzer or "Employee of the Week" and know that we believed in you all along.

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