Whether you’re trudging through the puppy fat stage or moping in teen apathy, one would be correct in saying that childhood is pretty miserable. Kids have enough to deal with trying to avoid cyber bullies and pretend all their clothes are proper labels and not the Penney’s brand (anyone remember the O’Neill’s vs. Dunlop struggle?) The least we could let them do is enjoy their few months of freedom before they return to the depths of oppression.
Unfortunately, their summer is cruelly cut short by the likes of Dunnes Stores and their back to school jingles that herald impending doom. Time to get planning! Get a new school uniform! LOOK AT OUR SHINY SCHOOLBAGS! Calm down, Dunnes, it’s still July. And just how much preparation do parents actually need? Fairly sure they don’t need to plan out ‘lunchbox essentials’ six weeks in advance. These are the same kinds of people that dare to hang up Christmas decorations in August (Brown Thomas, you are pulling the piss) and announce the death knell of summer the second it hits June 21st.
I still get that Sunday evening dread every week, before I remember that I am 24 and that all of my homework is effectively done. Nothing was worse than that knot in the pit of your stomach when you heard the opening credits to Heartbeat and knew that your hours were numbered. So ingrained is this feeling that we’ve had to substitute it for something equally unnerving: The Fear.
Look on the bright side. Amidst all the unbridled mania of getting ‘Cool 4 Skool’, you might finally get to replace your timeworn Pocahontas lunchbox and matching Thermos with a normal one. You also get to go to the cornucopia of stationery that is Eason’s; crisp white paper at every turn and highlighters every colour of the rainbow. It’s Disneyland for your inner geek.
On a larger scale of optimism, you have yet to experience the agony of washing duvets or paying for UPC. You get to see your best friends every day without having to resort to Skype. And you can avail of student discounts without breaking out in a cold sweat. Why is that ticket inspector looking at me like I graduated two years ago?!
There is an atmosphere of solidarity in your suffering when you realise that even your teachers don’t want to be there, so bear a thought for their raging hangovers before you start acting the maggot.
Now, just go to bed wearing your uniform and that’s half the battle for the morning. God speed, little ones!