Along with Scholastic book fairs (seriously, why don’t they come to workplaces?), the September reinvention was probably one of the best things about school When you’re back to school, even though the first day back in autumn is filled with some dread after all those lazy weeks off, the one novelty that never wore off was showing your classmates the ever-so-slightly new you. You, but better. You with a new pencil case, or with one of those colourful woven braids you got on holiday, or you with bangs! Whether you’d decided to undergo a dramatic reinvention or do something pretty minor, there was a definite feeling of “new year new me” in the ninth month of the year, which makes you wonder why the hell we don’t do this as grown adults.
Most of us save our new-improved selves, new wardrobes, or new attitude for January, which is arguably a pretty crappy time to start again no matter how nice the first page of a new 2018 diary looks. It comes after Christmas; weeks of spending more money than we normally have, not leaving the house much as you head home to watch movies on TV, and finding interesting ways of using up leftover roast dinner. It comes after feeling bad for enjoying yourself, after doing all the things we’re told we’re meant to do at Christmas, and the feeling of reinvention ends up going hand in a hand with a lot of guilt, as you often end up join a gym begrudgingly and out of obligation, rather than after time to think about whether you really want to or if swimming is more your thing.
In September, you’ve still got a third of the calendar year left; it doesn’t come after any big celebrations and and there isn’t a specific date laden with the pressure of having loads of fun, nor a date in which you’re forced to confront time passing and what the hell you’re going to do with it. It’s a breezier, all-round nicer time to start getting shit done. The miserable January weather isn’t there; autumn is coming, there’s still loads of stuff like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas to look forward to, most of your favourite shows come back onto TV, and you get to enjoy the new version of you while it’s all going on!
When you’re out of education and the rigid markers of accomplishing stuff are over, days like birthdays or the start of a new year can feel super all-or-nothing because other than that, a lot of of the year can breeze by while we stick to well-established routines. The lower pressure, autumnal glow up is less about “I have to be a certain kind of person by 30” or “I need to look a certain way for summer” and more about doing the stuff you’ve been wanting to do anyway. It’s a time to take stock, get started on the new you (whether that means trying to become a “hat person” or someone who eats breakfast every morning without fail) while still knowing you’ve got plenty of time to get shit done and that you’re most certainly not running out of time in any capacity.
So start channelling your high school self who knew that the coming school year might be the one where you start dating, or become really good at sports, or stop running late every morning. In that same vein, adult you might find that September is a perfect time to decide that you’re going to actually commit to learning Spanish, or to using the slow cooker you got for Christmas last year. And if nothing else, it’s a really good excuse to buy yourself new stationery; the back to school sales are probably still on.