I began my Tuesday with an email from a friend (who is still in school) asking if the end of summer feels the same when you’re no longer a student. The short answer, of course, is yes and no.
No because come Tuesday-post-Labor Day, those who work go back to the same office they left on Friday. No because there’s no declaration that this is the semester of All A’s, or that you’ll make a new friend or maybe, a boyfriend. No because the tote you’ve been schlepping your laptop in all season hasn’t been replaced with some shiny new backpack. No because Pink Pearl erasers don’t really need to be refreshed for the sake of September 2.
It does, however, feel bittersweet; there’s the “yes” part to my younger friend’s question. The end of summer is always sad. But it also comes partnered with a sense of excitement: a fresh start, a new outlook, a chance do something really great.
Fashion Week helps that mentality — having shows on the imminent horizon is a reminder that in just a few days we will all get hit with new ideas and inspiration and things to talk about and places to be. Even if you don’t work in the industry of clothes or live in a city that hosts the sartorial equivalent of Back to School, social media allows everyone to dive right in to a portal of creativity that sets off a chain reaction for the next few months.
What will I wear?
What will I think?
And the very existential: who will I be?
The end of August “after you’ve been working all summer” (as my friend kindly reminded) is a much more seamless transition than being jolted from lazy Wednesdays into pop quizzes. Most guys you know aren’t going to “suddenly get hot”; your adult lunch table will probably not — assuming you just run to the corner deli or hit up Panera — “have drama.”
I think you never stop missing June, September will always feel new, and eventually you learn to be happy that leaves turn brown and crunchy.