Back-to-School: Let’s Panic.

Katie Cespedes, Staff Writer

Wake up before the sun. Six hours and fifty-one minutes of intellectual exertion. Practice, work. Maybe a nap if you’re one of the lucky ones. Dinner. Hours of homework that you never fully complete. Study for that test that will be failed anyway. Then, finally, head meets pillow, eyes close and a less-than-ideal amount of sleep is achieved. Eyes open. Repeat.

Going back to school entails more than purchasing new school supplies, trying to find that perfect outfit to exhibit to fellow peers and to show everyone that despite the horrors they’ve seen in the past, you have the capacity to look somewhat decent. In these fleeting moments of excitement, a fire of hope is lit for the new school year ahead, but just as fast as the flames ignite, a bucket of water spills and stifles it. This water is stress, an emotion that undisputably ruins everything. The thing is, we all see this impending dark cloud moving towards us at the beginning of September and it terrifies us. So we panic. We don’t get enough sleep. We skip lunch because that essay needs to be written. We rushingly write quadratic equations before the first bell or search our brain for the word “through” in Spanish even though we’re sitting in AP English. We reassure ourselves that everything is fine, that we are feeling completely stable, and that despite the seven tests we have to take today, we are fine. It’s fine.

Everything is fine because low test grades are signs that we’re trying, not failing. Forgetting the answer to a question asked in class or stumbling in an oral presentation won’t matter tomorrow, next week, or even a year from then. Missing one homework assignment isn’t the end of the world and crumbling under the weight of all the tasks that need to be done and chapters that need to be read does not mean we are incompetent or weak, but proves that we’re only human. And although back to school panic feels as if it will last forever, it doesn’t. And one day, years from now, we’ll look back at our disheveled selves trapped in the ridiculous mania that is school, and laugh. Laugh because while it seems like we’re stuck here forever, we’re not. This panic is only temporary.

The fact of the matter is that we all just want to be okay, and if that’s not possible, then at least okayish. Because when you’re in high school, okayish is all anyone can ask for.