How To Painlessly Transition Back into School Mode

A picture of someone rolling dice. Summer’s almost over. Or, depending on where you are, it is over. In that case, think of it this way: summer hasn’t started yet.

That means a number of things, such as the fact that you will have to go back to school, the stores near you will start trying to entice you to buy $567.99 mechanical pencils (that’s for a pack of 2, by the way, not 1, so it’s actually a great deal) by marking them down 15%, and your life will slowly get bleaker until your vision becomes black and white.

Since I have no control over the last two of those things, I’m going to deal with the first one. I have no control over that, either, of course, but this is supposed to be a clever, reasonable transition, and not some random tangent about how I have absolutely no control over your life.

(I also have no direct control over some of my vital organs, like my heart, liver, or intestine, which sort of scares me, although I guess that means I don’t have to worry about them revolting against me or anything like that.)

Anyways, let’s talk about the first thing in that list: going back to school.

For the past three months, you’ve been sleeping in, been eating whenever you feel like it, been going to the bathroom whenever you want, and been enjoying the freedom to eat while falling asleep in the bathroom. That’s all about to change, drastically.

School is about to run your life. Your mental condition, your physical condition, and your schedule will all be centered on this school thing. Thankfully, school is also unable to control your liver, intestine, or heart. They will remain independent democracies, autocracies, or organocracies (government by the organs, for the organs).

The Sleep Schedule

You’re about to go from more than enough sleep to so little sleep you’ll find that blinking twice right before you get to school will double your sleep time.

Obviously, you can’t just jump into a schedule like this cold turkey. I don’t even think turkeys can jump, especially if they are cold.

No, you need to prepare yourself. However, you can’t just decrease your sleep amount. That’s because you’d still be getting quality, relaxing, uninterrupted sleep.

What you need to do is to wake up a number of times each night, pretending to be totally freaked out about something school-related.

So, for your first day of transitioning-training, you could wake up at 4:00 AM and pretend to worry about your poetry analysis for English class. Increase the number of times and importance of the things you wake up worrying about until, for the few days right before school starts, you end up with a schedule like this (obviously, of course, your projects/worries will still be fictional, as school won’t have started yet. They should, however, be realistic, to best prepare yourself):

1:00 AM: Go to sleep.

1:05 AM: Wake up wondering if you remembered to email your group your video about the life cycle of a bean plant.

1:06 AM: Worry that your bean plant container might have fallen over in a gust of wind during the night.

1:07 AM: Worry about the SAT as a general, hazy horror. Eventually fall back to sleep.

1:11 AM: Awaken worrying specifically about the vocabulary section of the SAT.

1:12 AM: Stress over the fact that your bean plant assignment is due tomorrow.

1:14 AM: Wonder if you remembered to email your bean plant video to your group members.

1:15 AM: Fall back to sleep.

1:32 AM: Wake up worrying that some obscure part of the bean plant’s biology will be a word on the vocabulary section of the SAT.

1:33 AM: Wonder if you remembered to email your group members your video about the SAT vocabulary section.

1:34 AM: Stress out because you realize you are so tired and overworked that you were worrying about emailing your group a video about the SAT instead of a video about bean plants.

1:35 AM: Did you email the bean plant video? What if your group members were already asleep?

1:37 AM: Or, what if your SAT vocabulary score is a negative number?

1:38 AM: Worry that colleges will find out about your probably-failed bean plant project and probably-achieved negative SAT score and never accept you, at any college.

1:40 AM: Fall back to sleep.

2:01 AM: Wake up after hearing a noise in the night. Oh god, what if it was your bean plant container blowing over? Or colleges dropping preemptive rejection letters on your doorstep through an air-drop? Or your angry group members trying to break in and punish you for forgetting to email that video?

2:03 AM: Fall asleep, hiding under the sheets.

(Repeat until about 6:00 AM).

The Food Schedule

This is slightly easier to transition into, because schools know that while you can survive up to nine months with minimal breaks on blinks, you can’t make it nine months without food.

Therefore, you really just need to get used to only eating at lunchtime. This sounds easy, but it is still a challenge. After all, you must cut out your after breakfast snack, your early morning snack, your mid-morning snack, your dessert for your mid-morning snack, your late morning snack, your last snack before you really eat lunch, and the bites you nibble while making lunch.

Easy ways to avoid constant snacking include occupying yourself with other things, such as your hunger; keeping your mind off food, by doing something like reading a recipe book; and drinking lots of water to fill your stomach. However, you probably shouldn’t drink too much water, because of something called:

The Bathroom Schedule

Bathrooms are also one of those things schools figure that you really need to make it until next summer. However, they limit the time you can go to the bathroom, which is vastly different from your summer schedule.

Over the summer, since you can use the bathroom whenever you want, you might use it once or twice a month*. During school, though, because you are only allowed to use it at certain times, you feel a slight need to use it at least every other break, just in case, leading to 4,558 trips to the bathroom a day.

*This is a gross exaggeration; do not try to only use the bathroom once or twice a month. However, it is not a gross gross exaggeration. That would be something like “you only go to the bathroom once or twice a month for 6 hours at a time, nonstop, as everything leaves your body faster than a skydiver leaving a plane with a bad song playing on it’s stereo.”

To adequately prepare yourself, you should roll a die twice right after you wake up in the morning (at 6:00 AM, after a terrible night’s sleep). You’ll have time to do it when you’d normally be eating your early morning snack. Then, take the two numbers and place them next to each other.

So, if you rolled a 3 and a 5, this means you must limit yourself to using the bathroom during times of :35, like 9:35. If you roll one 6, make it the second number. If you roll two sixes, that’s just too bad. Looks like your bathrooms are fictionally out of order for the entire day.

Looking back at these things, you might want to laugh. Waking up and pretending to worry? Not eating your 6 vital morning snacks? Rolling dice to see when you can use the bathroom?

You can laugh, but there’s really no reason to. After all, school starts soon. And these actions are as small as your brain when compared the large changes that school will bring. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go negotiate with my heart and intestine for another eight months of mutual cooperation.

Last year at this time we covered the terror known as athletic clearance with “Are You Athletically Cleared?” If you are alive, and are not bleeding, throwing up, or getting married right now, I strongly suggest you read it.

Also, I’ve got a few questions for you guys as we head back into the school year (feel free to reply in the comments or by emailing us):

1) Would you rather see a long post 1-2 times a week, or a shorter post 2-3 times a week? If shorter, how short?

2) Can you see the pictures that accompany the posts? I received a note from one reader that they were having trouble doing so, and I’d hate it for you to be missing out. If you are having troubles, email me and we can try to work it out. (There’s no need for this if you can see the pictures, just if you’re having a problem).

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