Monday, 5 January 2015

Bye Bye Holidays, Hello New Year

In less than twenty four hours time, I will have just gotten home, slipped out of my uniform (if I can get over my fear of turning into a shivering, ice-cold wreck) and be seconds away from completing any assigned homework or, if luck treats me like a precious BFF, I will read the newspapers, being informed of the latest happenings in the world while I've been living in one of my own.

Today is my final day of half-term and, like the end of all great things, I'm filling up with equal amounts of excitement and sadness which frequently threaten to rule the other. At the moment, the impact of tomorrow is hitting me, like a fly swat being slapped onto my skin over and over again, because it was nicely tucked away in a box for so long, and is now within sight (even without needing to wear my glasses). Time is a cruel beast when it wishes to inflict you with its powers, a wrath that I've been affected by because it is currently all that I can think about - what else will help me ignore what lies ahead in the near future?

Like all pupils, I would trade pretty much anything (apart from my new pair of crimpers, thank you) for a few more days off school because, despite the holidays lasting over a fortnight, I don't feel like they have properly begun yet. Christmas sweeps you up into a world that is unlike the one you inhabit for eleven or so months of the year: for about a week, you have no idea what the date is before being caught up in the bonanza that is New Year, whose fizzy spark is only alive until the end of the firework display in London. Then, several days later, you are expected to return to school, possessing a heart that is no longer touched by festive carols, tins of Quality Streets (most of whose flavours you dislike, but can't deny having one or two if offered to you) and reindeer jumpers whose noses redden like an embarrassed face. Christmas is quickly forgotten about until one of your relatives starts their festive shopping in July (don't ask me why some people do that - maybe they are already sick of the half price reductions on Cornettos?) and you begin to wonder what you'll receive five months afterwards.

Twelve days of Christmas are simply not enough, as are the holidays themselves - hence why I wish that they were a bit longer.

Although I used to follow the standard school calender whilst being educated at home, returning to lessons didn't seem to be as hard as they are when conducted in a school. To you, the location is perhaps the main difference, but there is much more to it than that: plenty of time is devoted to getting ready in the morning, before travelling to and from school, which is an exhaustive exercise because I live outside of town. I put my heart and soul into being alert and hard-working during lesson time - which comes naturally to me - but the same effort now has to be applied to repeating the making-friends process which, when most people are part of an established group of pals, I need to learn how to break into. There is the forceful approach - forcing a friendship, which I couldn't ever make myself do because I believe that it is against my nature - or the relaxed method, which I've been relying on since moving to my new school. In under two weeks, I'd begun to hang out with some of my classmates, gradually meeting and chatting to them a bit more each day. Treading on ice is never going to be the easiest of all things, yet I'm hoping to stop teetering around it by the end of the new term.

Making friends, doing homework, getting up early in the morning - everything about school is tiring. As it exhausts me so much, I've appreciated every lie-in that I've had since the holidays began over two weeks ago because I feel more refreshed, which certainly has a positive effect on my mood. Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to treat myself to one last late start today because I went to the cinema for a 10.45am showing; my only choice was either washing my hair (in freezing cold water - which nobody warned me about!) at seven in the morning or missing out on my last chance to see the latest Hunger Games film, which I think is the best one in the series. Still, watching one of my favourite books come to life on the big screen was worthy of the sacrifice I made - knowing me, would you expect me to settle for anything less than that?

School may have its cons, but there is plenty that I like about mine - and am eager to find more about in my first full term. My first two weeks there were like a taster into what to expect and, compared to my former school, I wasn't disappointed at all. Instead of getting annoyed at myself for not joining in afterwards, I put myself forward for participating in the house singing competition, which my house won! Securing that win (which should at least guarantee a non-uniform day) was the perfect end to my first year back at school since I was eight; instead of wasting my time at the old school, I was discovering my dreams at a more positive environment.

Like a food-craving animal, I'm hungry for more at school because I've enjoyed my experience so far - and, whether I'm suffering from minor nerves or not, I won't allow end-of-break blues destroy my excitement tomorrow. What I'm looking forward to the most is seeing my friends and catching up with them; hopefully my nerves will lose their edge within no time.

Oh well, I suppose that going to bed late would not be the wisest way to starting the new term, especially if I'm going to have to wait until Saturday to enjoy a long lie-in. All that I need to do now is get my bag and uniform ready. Give me a few days and I will have settled back in the routine that I've spent the past half year familiarising myself with. In the meantime, I will be dunking my head into a bowl of Arctic-freezing water - in other words, throwing myself into the swing of things!

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