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After a winter break characterised by lack of people on campus, the first day of school is characterised by the mass and energy of students full of life and the hopeful un-stress of the new semester. The library was thronged with students–who even knew undergrads went to the library on the first day of the semester? I never did. (Today was different. I managed to snag the library’s single copy of the course textbook, so I’m not stuck reading the electronic version. My eyes, waxing more elderly by the semester, express increasing displeasure at the convenience of reading from a computer screen. My kindle doesn’t count, thank heaven, but it’s a bit small for some textbooks.)

Dressed once more for the weather–a luxury I forfeited last week due to mispacking–in my favourite outfit of fleece leggings, long-sleeved dress, sharp vest and tall boots, I braved the brisk cold. After a month plus of full-day swotting during exams and full-frontal relaxation, I had forgotten the joy of having a place to be and a time to be there. A reason to get dressed properly in the morning instead of just warmly. The feeling of a great community around me, part of the life of the university.

The semester has begun.