You know, for something that has a lot of hype, nearly universal recognition, and multiple movies based on the concept, the first day of school doesn’t actually matter all that much. I mean, sure, we all think that it does. Who among us hasn’t spent an entire summer thinking about how that one perfect outfit will change the social status of your entire friend group, or how getting the right planner will win over your teachers to the point where they just go ahead and decide to give you A’s for the rest of the year?
But the day itself, in many ways, usually ends up not feeling as important as you thought it might. It’s generally a random, inconsequential blur of class syllabuses, icebreakers, and halfhearted pep rallies that’s over before you know it, leaving you feeling just as exhausted, somehow, as you did on the last day of school the previous year. But it is, to preemptively quote a word that your English teachers will probably be using this year, symbolic. This means that, even if it might not technically matter in the grand scheme of things–or even in the grand scheme of your school year–it does matter because you have decided that it matters and, thus, you have given the first day of school actual meaning.
So, if you’re going to single-handedly add meaning to the first day of school, you might as well do it the right way. Check out these easy tips for having the best day of school ever:
Don't Wear Your Best Outfit On The First DayYes, I know. You've been thinking about your first day outfit for a while. And you can still wear it! It's just that you shouldn't wear it on the first day. Like, think about it--everyone is going to be wearing their best outfits on the first day, meaning that yours will automatically look slightly less cute than it would under normal circumstances; plus, everyone will be so absorbed with themselves on the first day that they'll be less inclined to notice you. This doesn't mean that you should wear, like, a rival school's sweatpants on your first day--first impressions and all that--but if you save your "first day" outfit for later, it'll have a better payoff. (But, of course, if you have a fire 'fit that you simply cannot wait another day to wear, go for it. You can't be patient all the time.) Image source: iStock
Familiarize Yourself With the Dress CodeIt should be noted that this tip is not a dress code endorsement. Dress codes, at least the way most schools uphold them, tend to be sexist, patriarchal, serve as a means of marginalizing women, and generally stand for everything that Gurl is against. It's just something to think about if you don't want to get a detention on your first day--administrators tend to be much more strict at the beginning of the school year than they are later on, so chances of you getting in trouble for daring to wear a tank top are much higher than usual. Image source: iStock
Scope Out The School BeforehandThe administrative office is usally open a few weeks before school starts, so call in and see if you can cop entry to your school a few days before you start. This is super useful, especially if you're new to the school this year, so you can see where your locker and classes are without having to deal with all of the people who will be there on the first day. Image source:iStock
Bring School Supplies, ObviouslyDon't get too many supplies before school starts--most of your teachers will have specific requirements for school supplies that they'll tel you about on the first day--but you shouldn't roll up on the first day totally empty-handed. Get a planner, notebook, pens and pencils. Put them in a bookbag. Bring them to school. It sounds simple, but a lot of people forget to do it. Image source:
...And Actually Use ThemTake notes! It is easy to forget how to do so over the summer, but your teachers will probably be telling you important things and probably (sorry) giving you homework. Image source: iStock
Actually Know What Happened This SummerYou'll have things to talk about with your friends, obviously, but if you're paired up with a rando for some bonding activity, or just want to suck up to your teacher a little bit (no shame in that!), skim a summary of current events. It shouldn't be too hard--with the 2016 Olympics and US election, you've got a lot to work with. Image source: iStock
Have a Go-To Fun FactThe first day of school is, as everyone knows, another way of saying "Icebreaker Day." This means that you be will asked to give a ton of "fun" facts about yourself, usually in conjunction with your favorite movie or something you did this summer. Pro tip? Be prepared. For whatever reason, when I was in school, I would always get blindsided by this question, so, when my turn came, I would just blurt out something like "MY HAIR IS ALREADY GOING GRAY EVEN THOUGH I AM ONLY SIXTEEN AND MY DAD'S NAME IS JIMI HENDRICKS BUT HE DOESN'T SPELL IT LIKE THE ROCKSTAR HAHA," both of which are true, for what it's worth,but are not exactly fun. Image source: iStock
Don't Get Your Hopes Up Too HighYeah, I know. Easier said than done. But while the first day of school is probably what you've spent, like, an entire summer thinking about, if you put a pin a ton of hopes and expectations to it, chances are good that you'll be disappointed. So, prepare for the first day as best you can, but think of it as one building block of many for a (realistically) fantastic year more than a springboard that will dramatically change your future. Image source: iStock
Are you excited for the first day of school? Do you have any good tips? Let us know in the comments!