Back to school: Nothing has changed; everything is new

(First published in The Athens News: August 28, 2016)

Athens is at its best, characterized with endless house parties and a leap forward for most, where everything is looking gay. That is why I do not want to spoil returning students’ mood with an admonishing tone; you already had that in last week’s back-to-school orientations, right?

The Athens air is filled with positive vibes and superlative adjectives such as “awesome,” “incredible,” “super excited,” “terrific,” etc. – those commonly used in Donald Trump’s speeches. Freshmen students are experiencing their first stay away from home (in most cases), and many international students are possibly celebrating their coming to America, rapidly deconstructing the initial image they had of the United States. The process of getting an American entry visa by itself, for many, is as big as graduation.

I have returned back to school after two years and have to go through the mundane (in most cases) first week orientations that I already had first experienced four years ago. Going through all these orientations and email communications, I feel I am either too old, or else, nothing is new. Of course, at the other end, I also feel everything is new. Click here to read the original article from The Athens News.