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From Trapper Keepers To Parties: A Guide For Everyone Heading Back To School

It's Back to School day here at the Stool with the release of our new merch. It got me thinking though of heading back to school throughout life. I'm at the point where I'm getting ready to send kids to school. I've seen it all. Grade school, private high school, big time college. Consider this a guide for what to expect, what you need to focus on and what you'll miss out on. I'm by no means claiming to be cool - I'm a blogger in my mid-30s who is watching a replay of a 1998 Raw episode. I've just been through it all. 

The Essentials 

These top 5 new merch items:  


Okay, outside of our merch here's the essential: 

Haircut - The single most important thing for the first day of school. It doesn't matter how old you are, what grade you're in, what school you go to. Why? Because you could have uniforms. You could have 1 9am class. There are a whole bunch of situations that you could have but you can't have shitty hair. Can't have the one piece out of place. Can't have some of it sticking up. Can't be indecisive make a call and run with it. 

Shoes - The second essential. Similar to the haircut, you can pick your shoe. You wanna go fresh or cool. I didn't have the option of choosing what to wear because of the Catholic high school. I did however get to pick my shoes. Do you start with the Doc Marten, maybe Timberlands (yep, what I wore in 2003), Lugz or just a plain and classic brown dress shoe? This is what people notice with uniforms. As for the public school/college kids. Don't wear sandals. You gotta wear something that has a little style to it. Why? 

Finding the early crush - Ah, the tale as old as time. First day crush. Shout out Jessie back in the day. Again, this doesn't matter age or gender. Everyone has a first day crush. You can't be looking silly and hope that Tracey is willing to hit you up on AIM the next day. 

The calls 

Backpack - Made famous by 21 Jump Street, you gotta be a single-strap or double-strap person. No switching, no take backs. I like the double strap - I have a bad back. It helps. I'm an old. But whatever you do on day 1, be prepared to stick with it. 

Clothes - The no-brainer here. Now this should be classified into public high school, private high school and college. Public high school and college are similar. Wear whatever is new - that's more important for high school. Got that new tee a week before school starts? Rock it.


College depends on what time you're going to class. Don't be a slob, but if you've got the early Monday call go with one of your t-shirts and decent shorts. Private school it's simple. If you have the option for different color pants or polos - wear whatever you think won't be the most worn. If you have khakis or blue pants, go with blue because everyone is going khaki. It's okay to stand out a little. 

The party

College - This should probably be part of the calls. The first party you go to of the year matters. You want a good time. If you're an upperclassman you planned this shit out because you got back to school early so you could party without  class. If you're new, you gotta do the research. Join Greek life if you want. No one actually cares if you do or don't. But don't join on the first go round. You could be sucked into thinking the first college party is awesome because it's college when it really sucks. Hit up at least 3 before you make a decision. 

What You're Missing Out On

Time for nostaliga

Calling/IM'ing friends for schedules - This was arguably the most important day of the summer. The day you got your class schedule mailed to you and opened it. You called your boys first. Had to make sure you had the same homeroom, lunch (the most important), gym and study hall. Then you checked the girls you wanted to hit on. First went to MySpace and then their AIM away message/profile. It was always listed out. Bang, you got Megan with 4th period Algebra. Get that seat next to her. 

Trapper Keepers - I don't know if Trapper Keepers are still a thing but this is how you stunted on everyone back in the 90s. Oh you got the early version of the NFL Trapper Keeper? Check out my newly updated one with rookies. Bang, sit on down Chad. This was the most important decision you made in the offseason. Going to Staples and looking for the perfect Trapper Keeper. 

Facebook mattering - Facebook isn't Facebook anymore. 

Getting your dorm assignment and looking up who else was in Blanding I because that's how it was back in the day. Nate sums it up well in that blog, but it is true. Facebook was VITAL to college. Shit you had to have a college email to even log in. If you went to college where you didn't know anyone and went away from home it was even more important. Kids will never understand. 


Sweet, sweet quiet time - I speak for parents everywhere when I say back to school is as important as it gets. You get the kids out of the house and can actually hear silence for the first time in months. It's also still warm out with some football on. You can enjoy a pool day, golf and drink without kids around. Take a day off work and embrace it. We deserve it. 


There's nothing like the first day for anyone involved. It's crazy how it gets different though. When you're younger you don't want summer to end. August hit and you knew what was around the corner. College? Couldn't wait to be back on campus and living with the boys. Parent? Make school year round.

Get your back to school merch here: