Here’s a post I just submitted for next week.


The Brutal Phases of September: From the Eyes of an Undergrad

I would be lying if I told you I don’t suffer from these chaotic, entertaining, painstakingly long phases during the weeks outside of September. Luckily I suppose, my academic emotions are consistently going on fervent rampages against my desire to be calm. And normal. I’m finding there is no way to be both. I’m wondering if it’s possible to even acquire one.

Phase 1: September 1st. Boise is still 100 degrees. No one panic quite yet. This weather still passes for summer. Yes, I can still see your tan line from the lake three days ago, girl sitting two rows in front of me relentlessly checking your Instagram posts from four weeks ago and probably creating a “tbt” post in honor of your reminiscent mindset of sweet, sweet, summertime. At this point, you are most definitely still allowed to wear your Ray Bans and Birkenstocks, (without socks, please, please without socks) and Rainbow Sandals without freezing your tootsies off. You are not allowed to bring your pumpkin spice lattes or tweet about falling leaves though. Hold. It. Up.

Phase 2: September 10. Alright. We have the syllabi for our classes. All 6 of them. We are beginning to wonder why and how we decided taking 19 credits was a good idea, and why the heck do night classes even exist, and why does the kid next to me always smell like Cheetos and breathe so heavily, and ohmygosh how has it only been three minutes in this three hour long class. September 10 is a long day. We persevere through this one. Fanci Freeze gets me through. Season 4 of just about freaking anything gets me through.

Phase 3: September 24: Ok, September I get it. You’re here to stay. You aren’t messing around. You win, alright. The leaves are beginning to change color. We find seats closest to the windows (partly due to the attempt of escape from Cheetos guy, and partly because we enjoy the methodical rhythm between the stillness of the classroom and the breeze sifting through the branches of the trees outside. The shift is happening now. Maybe it isn’t okay to still be talking about going to the lake this weekend. Maybe we should go to the football game and wear boots and faded Levis and bright orange bronco sweatshirts as we cup our warm drinks (or cold ones….freshman) in hand.

Phase 4: September 30. We made it. October is on the horizon. Our flip-flops are tucked away, hopefully along with our RayBans and our Birkenstocks. Seriously, stop putting on socks and then slipping your tootsies right back into those sandals. I’m only looking out for you here. IT IS NOT THE SIXTIES. Sorry, grandma. Our classes don’t seem so daunting. Yes, our three hour night class is still wretched, but we endure. We bring snacks. We’ve nestled into a groove. Our pace is steady and our skin is beginning to thicken. (Thicken in the sense of being able to handle the weather, people. You are all too sensitive.)

Phase 5: You stop looking at the calendar so closely. You stop counting the days and looking back towards summer and what was and what you miss. You begin to see how impressive the mountain ahead of you looks. You begin to believe you are strong enough to climb it. You can’t wait to see the view from the top.

See you up there.



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