Flashback Friday: First Day of School

New clothes. Denim-covered notebooks filled with college-ruled paper. Dull yellow Pee Chee folders bearing images of high school athletes at play. Those items bring to mind memories of the first day of school, one of the best days of the year.

In my world the return to school ranked up there with my birthday and Christmas. While I anticipated summer vacation, the long hot days soon became monotonous.

As September neared, I longed to see my friends again, to find out which teachers I’d have, and to wear those cute new outfits hanging in my closet.

The first day of school marked a new chapter, a fresh page filled with promise. I’d lay in bed the night before too excited to sleep and imagine all the fun awaiting me the next day.

Much of my childhood was spent living in a variety of small towns up and down the state of California, so the schools I attended were fairly small. My father worked for the U.S. Forest Service, which meant we lived on ranger stations at times.

During my seventh and eighth grade years, we lived in a pine-studded forest an hour away from the nearest big city. The town down the road boasted a population of fifty-six. At that time I attended a one-room school for those in first through eighth grades. While I didn’t appreciate the experience at the time, the historical writer in me thinks that’s kinda cool.

Summer is drawing to a close. These days my high school teacher hubby is the one heading off to school. Gwynly reported for work today, and his students will return Monday. We’ve had a good two-month break, but I’m ready for a return to the routine. I won’t be in a classroom, but I intend to learn new things this year as I continue to study craft and as I plan for the release of my debut novel in July.

• • •

Did you anticipate the first day of school or mourn the end of summer vacation?

What first day of school memories stand out for you?


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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13 Responses to Flashback Friday: First Day of School

  1. Wendy says:

    I’m such an outdoors girl, it was a little tough to go back. But I loved college! Because I was outdoors most of the time there. I had mixed feelings going back, but I always remember that squishy feeling in my stomach whenever the bus pulled up for the first time.
    ~ Wendy

  2. Erica Vetsch says:

    I went to public school through fourth grade, then to a very small Christian school 5-12th grades. I looked forward to the start of school, mostly to get to hang out with my friends more.

  3. I dearly loved this post! I think your one-room schoolhouse experience is really cool! I loved the first day of school all the way through high school. I still love new pencils, pens, notebooks whose pages are beckoning to me to write…hugs, kerrie

  4. donnapyle says:

    Thank you for your wonderful setting descriptions that took me right into that beautiful small town with you. The start of a new school year always stirs up treasured memories. Thanks for sharing yours with us!

  5. Alica says:

    While I looked forward to school starting each year I was so nervous I was nauseous. Even my senior year of high school, and I’d gone to that school all four years!

  6. Loree Huebner says:

    Loved going back to school. We actually went back to school in the fall ~ September ~ unlike they do now…in August. Everything was new again.

  7. I used to get really nervous when it was time to return to school each year because I loved having the entire summer off to play and go on vacation with my family, and I didn’t want my summer days to end. And now I don’t want my kids to go back to school yet either. These years my kids’ vacations are only about 2 months long. Gone are the 3-month vacations I had as a kid. I’m anxious to start the new book I promised myself I’d begin when they return to school, however I love the “no schedule” life of the summer when they’re both here with me. I miss them when they’re in school.

  8. bethkvogt says:

    I always eagerly anticipated the start of school. Yes, I loved summer, especially back in the days when they stretched on forever and I wasn’t the one in charge of planning the vacation! But, oh! School shopping … buying new clothes (even uniforms) and supplies: pencils and pens and paper and notebooks. I just took my youngest daughter shopping for her supplies and had a blast. She manned the list, I pushed the cart and we filled the cart (not really) with what she needed.

  9. Keli Gwyn says:

    I’m enjoying the comments and hearing the many reactions to the first day of school. As is often the case, such an experience can be bittersweet. While it’s fun to see friends again, it can be tough to say farewell to the unstructured summer schedule. I know one of the things my teacher hubby likes best about summer is that he doesn’t have to live his life “by the bell.”

  10. I always had major nerves that first day. A good nervous, though!

  11. cynthiaherron says:

    I liked returning to school, too. The first week was always fun and exciting, but after about a month, I was indeed ready for another break.

    This year will be a little different for me. Our oldest will begin his student teaching, and I think I may be hanging up my “sub” hat. I’ve so enjoyed that phase of my life, but right now, I think I have a bigger fish to fry. It’s a good thing. 🙂

  12. Sherrinda says:

    First days always made me nervous. Would I get classes with friends? Would I have to sit in the front? Would I know anyone? I was very shy and then I had to wear a back brace from 8th-10th grade…not cool…and it only compounded my nervousness! lol…I can laugh now. 🙂

  13. Susan Mason says:

    Wow you guys start EARLY! We go back after Labour Day Weekend in September. We get off at the end of June though. Our summer is only half over – thank goodness!

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