back to school in style

Back to school time. For me, it’s always been a love/hate relationship. I loved the idea of seeing friends after summer break. However there was always a deep seated fear that maybe I was in the wrong class or didn’t somehow belong there. Talk about crazy low self esteem. I’m so glad those days are over.

heading down memory lane

I remember lots of things that happened while I was in school, but remembering back to school is more difficult. As a teenager, mom would send me and sis to the mall with a budget for school clothes. Any excuse to shop was a good one. Now it seems silly to buy fall clothes when it is still +90 degrees outside.

me circa 1985
me circa 1985

Sweltering in a new sweater, I would make an appearance. Nothing would stop the back to school fashion procession. By Friday, I was back in shorts and a tee shirt. The fashion parade had ended and the reality of summer took over.

let’s be more specific

Bits and pieces of memories past create a nice montage. They are fragments of life, but nothing remarkable. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s the really good back to school story happened.  

After owning and operating a bridal store for nearly 15 years, closing it was bittersweet. I loved what I did, but it was time to begin a new chapter. It was the opportunity I had been waiting for. I would devote the next few years to school.

The problem was, I always worked. Couldn’t I just take a year off and go to the gym everyday and play in the sunshine (or snow in the winter)?? School would still be there when I was done. It seemed completely reasonable to me at the time.

no chance of that

Reasonable in my own mind wasn’t going to work with anyone else. I passive aggressively avoided the subject (shocking isn’t it?) and somehow missed the registration deadline. Woot!  DARN!! Oh well. Guess I would have to go to the gym everyday after all. 

Drat! My husband didn’t buy that for a minute. He said there was nothing to do but crash the classroom and hopefully get admitted through the back end. What what what??

Did my ears deceive me. I was the person who cringed going into a class I was enrolled in. The idea of boldly strolling through the door and taking a seat terrified me. Maybe someone would figure out I didn’t belong there.

All my pent up teenage angst was overwhelming my senses. Fight or flight. Blah blah blah. There was no getting out of it.


The first day of school arrives. Unlike in my early years, I didn’t have anything new to wear. Actually, I wanted to fade into the background as much as possible. I was no longer the awkward young girl. What the heck was I afraid of?

My husband believed there was a 50% chance I would actually crash the class. Just to ensure the odds stayed in my favor, he decided t escort me to class.

You read it correctly! Not to school but into the classroom. He practically led me by the hand and into an open seat, then plopped down next to me. Could he have just pinned a note to my shirt? Maybe it would have been less obvious.

The reality is that it was a lovely gesture I still treasure today. He knew how scared I was to get uncomfortable and jump right in. After the class ended, he sent me up to the teacher in order to find out how to add the class.

The professor was more than helpful, and before I knew it, I was signed up for 3 classes. That was my first semester back. Next time I had a full load and never looked back. Long story short, I finished a degree in about 2.5 years then went on to complete an MBA.

not so worried about fashion
not so worried about fashion

your turn

What if any back to school memories do you have? Like me, were you a slave to fashion, or like my kids, did you show up in shorts and a tee like a normal kid in the summer? Did anyone ever have to hold your hand as you entered a classroom for the very first time? Share your best back to school memories.



This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s weekly writing prompt 1.) Share a back to school memory

9 thoughts on “back to school in style

  1. thelatchkeymom says:

    I honestly don’t have specific memories – isn’t that sad? The only thing I can conjure up if the feelings I had on the first day of high school. I felt grown up, sacred and excited. All at once!


  2. dyannedillon says:

    That’s a great story, Miriam! How sweet of your husband to walk you to class and then stay with you (so you didn’t bolt). I remember my first day of kindergarten. I wrote a post about it once upon a time ago, probably for a Writer’s Workshop 🙂


  3. MJ says:

    I have only respect for you. I know how difficult and hard it is to go back to school after years of not being in school. I actually did quite the same thing about 4 years ago when I did my professional accreditation, although mine wasn’t really a real school per se because I did my studies via distance learning. It was hard. But it is really a great feeling once you finish because it is SUCH an accomplishment. My husband was also very supportive.


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