Dear Margo, Rita & Curtis,
I’m really nervous about going back to school! Is there anything I can do to make sure my school year goes OK?
The Greer is too Near
Dearest Too-Near Greer,
Thank you so much for thinking of us over the summer! It warms my heart that all of my readers still remember to write!
The other day, I caught my dad singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” so I knew it must be time to drop me off at Deerfield. For those of you who, like me, cried when you saw your first back-to-school commercial, this time of year is trying. For those of you who spent your summer in an academic writing camp—a shocking number these days—there’s really not much difference and you might even be excited to be back. But whether you spent your summer padding your college application by saving dolphins in Belize, or spent it in a beach chair, no one escapes going back to school, and each year comes with new challenges to be tackled.
For Freshmen: You probably have two worries—Am I going to be cool here? and What if my room’s lame? About your room: my room has been crap for three years and I made friends anyway. So, yes, all of those fights you and your mom got in at Bed Bath & Beyond over which desk lamp to get were indeed a waste of time. Now onto being cool—you might have been a big fish in middle school, but Deerfield is a whole new ball game, and in this ball game Deerfield is Michael Jordan, and you are you. Let me assure you that you will embarrass yourself. You will do things that you will look back on a year from now and cringe. But fear not, because the beauty of freshman year is that everyone forgives everyone for freshman year, and sophomore year is nature’s do-over. And P.S.—for those of you who think you didn’t embarrass yourself freshman year, I recommend looking at old Disco pictures to jog your memory.
For Sophomores: Your head is going to inflate with power the second you get on campus. Why, you ask? Because you are older than the freshmen. Just remember this, though, before you start to get cocky and try to cut me in the first-waiting line: all of the embarrassing things you did freshman year are still fresh in everyone’s mind.
For Juniors: What is there really to say about junior year? You will laugh, you will cry . . . actually you will mostly cry, but again, fear not!!! Because I have some advice just for you and 600 other readers. I am about to share my top-secret recipe for staying fabulous during junior year . . .
Rule #1: The less you care, the better you do. This is based on a highly scientific study* I conducted on myself and one other test subject, so yeah, it’s legit.
*Not actually a scientific study. The Scroll takes no responsibility for grades affected as a result of this “study.”
For Seniors: Welcome back from your summer of intense college application preparation. There are three types of senior summers that I have so far identified. See which one you fit.
Type #1: The “Essay-Writing Camp” Summer—
Ah, the grand prix of all college summers commonly chosen by those who are way ahead of the game. The pretense behind this summer is that it is impossible to write an acceptable college essay from your kitchen counter, and therefore you need to fly to Cambridge to do it under the tutelage of a Pulitzer Prize winner. I commend you type #1ers: your essay about reading to blind orphans in the inner city will be way better than mine.
Type #2: The Exotic Summer—
This type of summer is typically undertaken by those who feel that spending June and July lifeguarding will not be differentiating enough in the college process. The type #2ers therefore flee to the Alps/Rainforest/Sahara to backpack through uncharted territory in remote and untouched lands. With any luck they’ll have an essay topic at the end of the experience. I also like to call this the “Vacation in Disguise” summer. No admissions officer can see through this one.
Type #3: The Frantic Summer—
In this case, you wake up one morning and realize you haven’t visited a single college. You and your parents begin desperately piecing together a travel schedule in which you hit three colleges a day and drive during the night. By the end of the frantic summer you have visited so many colleges that you hate them all and decide to take a gap year instead.
The good news is that whatever summer you have had, you will be totally ready for senior year. Unless of course you are me and you haven’t done any of these things. If that is the case, I suggest you find me and we can wipe our tears with our rejection letters together.
Wishing you a very merry start to school,
Margo, Rita & Curtis