First Day of the Academic Year



The second Tuesday of September. Who else didn’t look forward to this day every year? It was the day most schools reopened for the new academic year. Oh the freshness of it all!

If there was any day my sister and I loved to get to school very early, it was this day. I remember one day in our excitement, we told our dad on Monday how early we wanted to get to school. He promised us we will leave home by 6am. In those days, there was not as much traffic as today so leaving Madina at 6, we would have gotten to school even before 6:30. How pleased we were! Imagine, we woke up about 4am to get ready for school. When it was almost 6, we woke daddy up and what did he say to us? “Are you the ones going to open the gate?” How hurt we were!

So what made the day exciting?

  1. The fresh stationery : Everyone had a new set. From the Barbie themed pencils to the Aladdin pencil cases, to the pens and erasers that had obviously sat in a plane, it was ohhhhs and ahhhhs at the new stuff we all had.
  2. The stories from the “Borgers” : Yes, the borgers had stories! We listened to the truths that could have been lies and the obvious lies as well. 🙂
  3. The new uniforms : For all those who had their uniforms faded or torn, the new academic year was an opportunity to have new ones sewn. It was a great delight to admire one another in our new uniforms and laugh at those who did not have theirs as fitting as they wanted.
  4. The haircuts!!! : No, I am not referring to that of the boys but of the girls. Back then, my school required all girls to have their hair cut short in JSS. We those in primary school enjoyed looking at the “too-known” girls who had very long hair a few months ago back in school with short hair. Oh did we laugh at them! As if we were never going to enter JSS eventually. Lol.
  5. The new sitting partners : Got a crush in the class? Trying to steal someone’s best friend? This day was your golden opportunity to steal a seat next to him/her. Unless of course you had a teacher who taught she could choose a better sitting partner for you. :/
  6. The reshuffling! : This happened three times during my basic school education. Similar to most schools, my school had two streams, A and B. Every year, you move together with your classmates to the next class. Occasionally, the “letter” was swapped for reasons best known to the authorities, but of course nothing changed. Eg. I was in 3A but in 4B and then 5B. Anyway, on the first of the class six year, we had apparently gotten “too used” to one another so the class was completely reshuffled. Oh what great tears flowed and friendships that got broken over the course of the year. After getting adjusted to our new classmates, another reshuffle was done when we were moving to Form 1 and then Form 2. Sigh! Apart from the fact that this allowed us to get to know almost everyone in our batch, I did not see the point. Or maybe that was the point. Lol!abibas
  7. The new shoes : Oh mehn! If you love yourself, stick to unknown brands of shoes/sneakers like I did. Woe betides you if you brought an Abibas instead of an Adidas or a Pama instead of Puma. Trust the guys in my class to hang your shoe at the top of the blackboard (of course while the teacher was not in). Charley, it was painful, but you too, open your eyes before you buy eh. Hehe.
  8. The covering with brown paper : We were given our new books for the year and given the subjects that we had to use each book for. Next was brown paper covering! Hehe. Scissors out, ruler out, cellotape out, glue out. Let’s get to work.
  9. Those repeating the year 😦  : When your friend has to stay in your previous class even after you have all moved to the new class…You vow to stay friends forever and all, but charley, it is almost impossible.

I think I am out of memories for now. This has filled me with so much nostalgia. My whole life, I missed this day only once. And did it hurt me!

Have some first day of the year memories? Do drop them in the comments below.

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