The last few weeks of classes are just one big mash of field trips, popsicles, and late sunsets. And the energy is so high. Freedom is on the horizon and you can taste it.
The last day finally arrives and you'd spend the whole time getting people to sign your yearbook and cleaning out your locker. The halls are filled with empty binders and trashcans full of notes and homework that you don't give two shits about anymore. And then the final bell rings and you take off like the wind into the free world.
Summer. Gorgeous. Hot and sweaty, romantic and sexy, wet and sandy. You have fun. You experiment, you stay out late, you forget whatever worries were plaguing you the previous ten months.
But in the blink of an eye you start to feel it fading. The nights get cooler and the days get shorter and the mornings get that very distinct crisp breeze that you are so tempted to enjoy. You hate to love that breeze. It's bringing what you dread - the doom of reality - but there's something so refreshing about it. Something that makes you walk outside and take that slow, deep, cool breath in, and then let it out in a single relenting huff.
So you start preparing for the inevitable. You pick your classes and set your schedule. You buy new binders and matching colour-coded pens. You spend all your hard-earned summer income on a new wardrobe that you won't even be able to wear until October because it'll be too damn hot. You get excited about seeing everyone again, and meeting your new teachers.
And above all, you promise - nay, VOW - that you will do all your homework on time and study for all your tests and get 90s in everything.
Ultimately there is something so optimistic about that time. Every year you know it will come, and every year you think you'll hate it. Sure, part of you is a little scared, and part of you wishes the easy summer could continue.
But the other part - the larger part - is ready to get back. Ready to find a routine and feel stable again - to allow yourself a fresh start.
I start a new job on Tuesday. It's not totally new. Same job, really, just a new project with a new boss and new content. It's my fresh start. My carte blanche. My opportunity. It won't be perfect. But even still, I believe it will be just what I need.