For many, it might seem like each school holiday passes faster than the last and before you know it, its time to go back to school. I can still remember vividly to this day how going back to school in Primary School meant getting packed lunch,this was something I hated because it meant getting semi-hot food packed in a lunchbox that was a third my body size, not to mention the soup that would occasionally drip onto the many textbooks that I had to carry to and fro every day,those were the good all days, we unknowingly would get workouts that we never knew we needed. Fast forward to today not much has changed because kids can still be spotted going to school with large backpacks.
Years later, high school would bring an all new different perspective when it came to back to school traditions. They were merely the best. The last Sunday before school reopened was a big deal. The local church was the designated meeting point for all students due to resume school the following week. This was the perfect time to say our goodbyes to our close friends and even pass on the crafted love letters we had taken time to pen down for our high school sweethearts to serve as a link before reuniting for the next holiday.
Today the current breed of students have taken it a notch higher. The last Sunday before school reopens is set for back to school concerts and gigs almost everywhere in the country. With the use of social media, the students can rally on their mates and organize back to school parties that run from afternoon to odd hours of the night. Exchanging of letters is now a thing of the past with the influx of social communication platforms, passing on that sweet crafted message is just a click away.
The eve of reporting back to school is a big deal for children and parents alike. I call to mind with nostalgia the extra special meal that took hours to prepare by my mother perhaps as a way of telling me that the cozy lifestyle was coming to an end. For many, it was the last supper before indulging in school meals. The tradition has not changed much, but at present most parents prefer taking their children out for dinner at their favorite spots.
Back to school brings about a frenzy of activities ranging from school stationery shopping to ironing of school uniforms. Presently for most students, this also means rushing against time to complete assignments that were handed out when school was breaking for the holiday. In the past assignments were not given as most of the schools would extend learning during the holidays as part of the tuition program that was later abolished by the government.
Opening day, was always vibrant and full of mischief. Being in all boys school, back to school for most meant losing touch with our female friends at least until when school functions and activities arose. Having this in mind, most of us would bid our parents goodbye early in the morning not to head for school but to supermarkets near our school towns to meet up with students from our sister schools to catch up, say our goodbyes and leave for school minutes to the allocated time deadline. Unfortunately, the tradition is being faced out in this digital era where communication happens through social communication platforms such as Facebook among others.
Most schools have a time deadline in place for when students should get back to school; ours was no different, 4 pm was the time. But true to the statement there is no hurry in Africa we took our sweet time to get to school, thirty minutes to time would still have us strolling in the nearest town to school only for the commotion to arise ten minutes to time. This would have us fight our way for entry in matatus a true testament to the saying, everyone for himself and God for us all to avoid the extreme repercussions of not meeting the time deadline. Today this is one of the traditions that lives on and is not going away anytime soon.
It is without a doubt that technology has contributed to a lot of changes when it comes to back to school traditions that were in place before its wake. But ultimately the memories will always be fresh in our minds, and in the future, I believe the school traditions will only get better.