I used to love the first day of school. My old school friends will tell you that, when it comes to this stuff, my memory is phenomenal!
I had pause to reflect this weekend. I have very fond memories of my first days of the new school term.
The last day of term was always fantastic – Fun and Drama.
You had the fun of taking games into school. I didn’t have some of the newer ones, but I loved the games that that other kids brought and I could familiarise myself with them – Frustration, Ker-Plunk, Cluedo, Buck-a-Roo, Operation, Spirograph, Etch-A Sketch and Battleships.
Then you experienced the drama of who is going into what class next ‘year’ group’. All you had were two hopes – one. That you would be with your mates. 2 – that the girl you fancied would still be in your class. Going to an all-boys Secondary school messed that one up!!
First day of school was about a fresh, new start. A new beginning. It was always exciting and when you went to bed on the Sunday evening, you couldn’t sleep.
I may have rose coloured specs, but it was always a balmy Sunday evening when I went to Primary school. Dinner then Raspberry Ripple ice cream , canned pears and home-made cake for desert. Then you’d go to be at about 8:00 and woke up every hour until 07:00 due to excitement.
Secondary school came. The only excitement I had was for the first day of what was then called the First year – I think that’s called year 7 now? After that, it went to shit. It was like being transported to a Twilight Zone in comparison to the comfort and relative safety of the primary school that I went to.
The first day of school excitement of secondary school was about feeling more grown up. You had to take money into school for the week – dinner money. £1.25.
We wore shirt jumper and shorts in primary school. For secondary school, I had to wear something tantamount to a suit – White shirt, purple, black and white tie, black trousers and black jacket – and SHOES!
Then you we had to shop for the accessories – Sports bag, though the first year was a briefcase – I had my Dad’s gold coloured attaché, thank you very much. Then you later upgraded to Adidas (Or Winfield, and then you’d get shred by your peers). Didn’t do PE in secondary school. It was called “Games’. Formal sports wear rather than PE in your vest and pants. (Can you imagine girls having to prance around in navy knickers only?)
A proper jersey, shorts, football socks and football boots – moulded Puma! Oh yes!
First day of secondary school was scary – we all heard the stories of having your head flushed down the toilets by big kids for sport! That caused a lot of people a lot of anxiety. I was one of a ‘pair’ so always had back-up!
It was also about new stuff – New exercise books. New text books, if you were lucky, new pencil case box – I promise you, they were cardboard in junior school and wooden in secondary school.
And you got new pencils. You were The Don if you had a Pop-A-Point pencil in junior school. I attended an event at a hotel a couple of years ago and they had them in the event room with the notepads. I had to take one home…and still have it!
In secondary school we graduated to ink pens – fountain pens if you will, with either a plunger mechanism or squeeze bottle. Later to become cartridges. Mothers across the land would despair at ink in shirts!
But shit got real in secondary school. Well, it did in mine. I’m gonna write about that one day soon.
In essence, the first day of school was about new friends. New hope. New horizons and New learning. A lot like life itself – The first of every day can be the same.
Nothing has changed, Except our age!