First Day of School

For Long Island 70s Kids, the day after Labor Day always marked the end of one of the most beloved traditions of childhood, summer vacation. Next up – a new school year – with new teachers, new desks, new lockers, and perhaps even new friends. That’s right, it’s the first day of school.

First, you first had to engage in another childhood ritual – back-to-school shopping, both for clothing and supplies. Some kids loved this part, others loathed it, and it probably depended on how much choice you had in the matter.

If you got to pick out your clothes, you probably enjoyed it. If mom made the fashion choices for you, perhaps not so much. Dressing rooms, anyone? If you were lucky, however, you might just have a shiny new Jaws or David Cassidy lunchbox, maybe even a nifty new Mead binder to show off to your new friends – proving your cred on day one.

When the big day arrived, you sat and ate breakfast, your head spinning and your stomach churning – questions upon questions.

Would your homeroom teacher be someone you could deal with for the next 9 months? Was that math teacher you were assigned to really as evil as your sibling described, or were they just trying to scare you?

Who would you know in your classes? Would your locker be conveniently located, or in some isolated nook of the school, far removed from every single class?

And if it was your first day at a new school, there were hundreds of other questions racing through your brain while you ate your Count Chocula. If only we all had this friendly advice from Kermit the Frog to see us through:


Of course, all of these questions would be resolved soon enough, and by the end of the day, you usually were assured that everything wouldn’t be as bad as you anticipated.

Finding out that a bunch of friends were in one of your classes could make all the difference in the world. And by the end of the year, you might even miss a bunch of new friends that, at the beginning of the school year, you barely even knew.

Still, no matter how many times you endured the first day of school in your formative years, each new year brought a shiny new set of jitters.

As we reflect upon this memorable day, think back to your own first days of school. I’d love to hear what you remember most – your fears and your triumphs and the surprises. Tell us all about the first day of school in the comments section as we pay tribute to one of the treasured milestones of childhood.

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1 Response

  1. I remember going supply shopping at Modell’s after school on the first day of school and how crowded it was. Back then teachers told you what you needed on the first day of school. They didn’t have supply lists at Staples like they do now.

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