“Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight!”

Although a quote from Billy Madison may not seem like it fits within the context of the WACAC blog, it’s been running through my head all day.  Today marks my first actual school day as a College Counselor.  I’ve had many realizations today since I am now surrounded by 14 – 18 year olds all day every day.

Realization #1: I need to change where I shop for clothes.  Maybe I’m getting old, but the way some students dress these days is astounding!  Luckily, at our school, we have a strict dress code and consequences for not following the rules.  The issue in my case is not following a dress code, but making sure I don’t wear similar clothing to students.  I’ve often been confused for a college student (or someone even younger) even though I graduated from college over 5 years ago.  During my visits to high schools as an admission counselor, I was either asked what grade my child was in OR I was asked for my hall pass. (How these two seemingly opposite questions would get asked during the same travel season still baffles me.)  The moral of the story is I need to find a way to dress my age, but not too old or too young, professionally but not matronly, and comfortably but not casually.

Realization #2: Avoid leaving the office during passing periods.  I made the mistake today of walking to the restroom during a passing period.  As I swam through a sea of kids trying to figure out where their classes are and reuniting with friends they hadn’t seen all summer, I made a mental note that, if I prefer an easy route to the restroom, front office, or any other important location in school, I better not go during a passing period.  Ever.

Realization #3: It’s ok to carpool.  My husband works near my school and we’ve decided to carpool to work to save on gas, share driving responsibilities, and get some rest in the car.  I like it because I get to nap on the way to work.  I think he just wants to take advantage of the satellite radio in my car.  (What, you thought we did it to spend quality time together?)  It’s been a long time since anyone has driven me to school and dropped me off, so I felt a little awkward today getting out of the car in the midst of high schoolers being dropped off by their parents.  But feeling slightly weird about my carpool situation for a hot minute was quickly erased by the fact that I can now get some work done (i.e. online shopping) during my commute.

I am sure in the coming months I have a lot more to learn or re-remember about how life in a high school setting works, but if today is any indication, it should be mostly smooth sailing because I’m surrounded by passionate educators who teach enthusiastic and compassionate students.  Billy Madison would do well here.

By Meredith Britt