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School anxiety returns even after graduation - Justin Boron

August has arrived. With it comes the scramble for school supplies, the hullabaloo of tax-free weekends, and understandably the dismay of students who have to return to the grind of five to six classes a day broken up by a lunch period barely long enough to strike up a conversation.

The school day moves at a gruelingly slow pace. To me it's like an extended version of when someone you know on the street stops you and forces you to have a conversation with them. You keep trying to get away and cut the person's sentence off with an earnest nod. But it doesn't work. A school day is the same, except this conversation, in which teachers and administrations force you to listen to them, lasts six hours and it can never really be dodged.

It's strange how the feelings that one associates with change in seasons while growing up stick around into adulthood. I used to loathe August. Even back when school started at the end of the month, it still was a disappointing time.

Just the weeks leading up to the month were torment. Around July 15 it would hit me that in a few days the entire mood of the three-month break would shift. By the last week in July, the vacation has transformed from a care-free walk through the day into mornings where you wake up with a terrible apprehension in your stomach.

I used to try to ignore it. But when August hits, the reminders are unavoidable. Students face an onslaught of television advertising and promotions at the grocery and shopping malls, and all of it points to the fact that very soon, the agony will begin. There was always that two days before the first day of school when I felt a little excited just to see old friends and whatever else would be new. But I think those feelings were more of a last-ditch attempt at total denial. In the end, I always trudged through August and lost probably a third of my summer break.

Although my school days are pretty much numbered and I work through the summer now, a nervous twinge still creeps into my stomach at this time of year. When a commercial comes on television promoting a back-to-school sale, I still cringe for some reason.

Well, at least I have the comfort of knowing that I will always have to work now. Thankfully, there are no breaks for me to look forward to.

Justin Boron is the government reporter for the News Daily. His column appears Monday. He can be reached at 770-478-5753 or jboron@news-daily.com .