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Back To School: The Many Perspectives On The End Of Summer

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

Back.  To.  School.  Three such simple words on their own, but when strung together they are capable of causing the widest range of emotions. How you react to the phrase, “Back to School” is very much dependent on where you are on the spectrum of life. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

For children, Back to School means buying new clothes and school supplies.  It may mean a scary new adventure in a new school, or it may mean reuniting with pals after the summer break.  Regardless, the phrase is full of the fun and potential of learning new things and new interests to discover. 

For adolescents, Back to School has simply become part of the cycle of life.  It means the end of the long, lazy days of summer, and the beginning of after school activities.  Whether it’s sports, music, dance or theater, the return of the school year means getting back to the hobbies and interests that are just beginning to bud at that age. Oh yeah and it’s about learning stuff in the classroom as well. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

Teenagers look at Back to School as the beginning of the end – or the end of the beginning.  In high school, academics are a little less carefree as the realities of adulthood start to creep in.  For some, it’s all about qualifying into the college of their choice, for others it’s about making sure they have the skills to land a job after graduation – but for all, it means getting ready to say good-bye to the people and places that have become so familiar. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

For those continuing on to college or university, Back to School means back to the dorms, back to all night cram sessions, back to hanging out with friends and back to spending their parents money for “higher” pursuits – and hopefully preparing for better jobs. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

For the teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, janitors – and the many others involved in the education of the next generation – Back to School simply means back to work after a summer’s break. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

Parents may react differently to the phrase Back to School depending on the age of their children.  It may mean the tearful send-off on the momentous first day – or it may mean a party in the backyard now that there is some peace and quiet in the house again.  For those who work from home, it can mean the return of productive hours during the day – or it can simply mean a return to the routine of normal life after a fun filled summer. 

Copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com

For empty nest retirees, Back to School means getting back to having the open roads – and movie theater, and lunchtime restaurants, etc. – to themselves again while children and their parents are busy elsewhere.  It means watching the hustle and bustle of school buses and SUV’s down the street while they enjoy that second cup of coffee in their slippers and robes. 

But the pursuit of knowledge need not be limited to the younger generation.  Life long learners can relish going Back to School to continue to learn and discover new things regardless of age by leveraging technology to study from the comforts of home. 

Wherever you happen to fall on the Back to School continuum, have a great new school year!

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All back to school images copyright Karen Foley via Dreamstime.com.

About The Author

Karen Foley is a professional photographer who enjoys learning and writing. See more of her work at Dreamstime.


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