Kern Family Health banner 25 yrs

Back To School

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

Have a good day and make lots of friends!” my daughter quipped as I started out the door.

“Oh, you’re just a riot,” I shot back as I grabbed my books and papers.  I was heading back to the classroom, a place I haven’t been in 14 years.

To say that I was a little anxious is putting it mildly.  I practically had a full-blown anxiety attack just attempting to buy my books.

“Two hundred and forty-eight dollars just for two books!” I exclaimed, scaring the dogs.  Fortunately, since I have two daughters in college, I knew enough to look online for better deals on the books.  I found a great deal, made the purchase and then promptly started to worry that I had ordered the wrong books.

Then the big day arrived.  The first day of class was upon me and I was a wreck.  Should I bring my books to class?  What if they’re the wrong books and everyone in class notices and thinks I’m an idiot who can’t even get the right books?  What about parking?  How early should I leave work to get a parking place?  What if there are no parking places?  Should I change out of my heels in case I have to walk a couple of miles to get to class?  My stomach was in knots.  Maybe I should have skipped those three cups of coffee I had.

It was time to leave.  I gathered my things, took a deep breath and drove to school.  Things were going pretty well at first; there was plenty of parking and I had a good spot.  Yay!  Look at me!  I have this!  A great parking spot, not too far to walk, plenty of time to find my classroom.  Then I realized I had 20 minutes before class started.  I can’t walk in the classroom 20 minutes early and just sit.  People will think I’m a dork.  Do they still say dork?  What if my classmates notice my book and it’s the wrong one?  My stomach started to clench.

I decided to find a spot in the shade, sit and try to find my happy place.  Then I started to notice my fellow students.  They all looked so young!  They looked even younger than my oldest daughter!  I knew I’d be an older student, but looking at them made me feel positively ancient!  Deep breath…happy place…

The time had arrived.  I had to go to the classroom and sit down.  Where should I sit?  Front or back?  These kids are all wearing cutoffs and t-shirts…do they still use the term “cutoffs?”  Why did I have to pick out a sparkly glitter notebook?  It’s acting like a beacon and everyone is looking at me in my heels thinking, “Whose grandma is that?”  I started to calm down a little when the professor came in carrying the same book I had in front of me.  Look at me!  I have this!

I was practically whistling as I opened the book – until I realized I needed my reading glasses.  I was trying to discreetly fish them out of my purse when I felt a wave of heat that could only mean one thing.  I was having a hot flash.

It is going to be a long quarter.

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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