Today is the beginning of what some people call “madness” in my life. Today is the day that I go back to school. I’ve been working on my Masters Degree for over a year and a half. Even though I technically already started my semester back in August with an online class, I begin taking classes at the school this weekend.

I remember the annual “first day of school” growing up. It was always filled with a bitter sweetness that brought a return to being around my friends, but a return to the life of homework, papers and projects. I remember that my brother and I would have to stand at our back door with our backpacks and the annual “first day of school outfit.” Our parents would take a few pictures to commemorate the occasion. All of the students seemed eager to be back around their friends. There was always a lot to catch up on as friends told each other of how they spent their summers. There was something about the fall that always made life seem to be fresh as you started school.

My life has changed a lot. I’m not having my picture taken as I walk out the door now (although I think my Mom and Dad would love it if I still carried on this tradition). I find myself being a lot more eager to learn than I was growing up. I guess being in a place where you feel like you’re doing an impossible job will make you feel that way. Now I’m having to balance family, job and school. I am in a program that offers classes on Friday nights and Saturdays. This allows me to do what I do full time and still go to school full time. The schedule can be quite rigorous in the beginning, but I know I usually adapt quickly. If nothing else, it makes me cut down on my TV watching and do A LOT of reading.

Even though a lot of has changed, there are still a couple of things that are the same.
The returning students still greet one another and tell stories of the adventures from the summer. And…To me, the fall still brings a freshness to life. I love fall in New England. It should be a great drive to class.