Welcome back to school, kiddos! Any upperclassman probably knows the cycle in which these things go; but in case you don't, here are the stages of starting a college semester:\n1. Back-to-school shopping\nThere are very few things everyone agrees on in this world, but school supply-shopping is one of them. You loved going to Bureau En Gros as a kid, picking out new pens, agonizing over the colour of your pencil sharpener... and that moment when your mom told you that you could get new clothes for the year felt amazing. And somehow, that love has never died. The best part about starting a new semester is heading to Sainte-Catherine Street to pick out new clothes and supplies, and we all know it.\n2. First day of class\nThe first day of class exists in a weird haze shared only with the last days of class. Sure, you're in school, but it feels like summer - especially given this heat - and it's an unspoken agreement that you won't actually do any work on the first day or two of classes. Just show up in your flip-flops, go over the course syllabus, and then meet up with your friends to grab some chow from a food truck.\nPhoto cred - 0verlookhotel\n3. Blind optimism\nThe first few days lull you into a false sense of security. You convince yourself that you changed over the summer, that this year, you're going to be organized, hard-working, and find an amazing S.O.\n4. The first wave of assignments\nThe first wave of assignments is sneaky. Some teachers will hand out a small 10% assignment in the first couple of weeks; others have stated that there's an essay coming up later, and to get the reading started. For now you still feel confident. And besides, you can totally ask your genius friend for help, right?\n5. Creeping doubt\nWait, you only got 5/10 on the throwaway assignment? But you thought you nailed it... And where's your smart friend now that you need them? Buried under calculus homework? Oh God...\n6. Procrastination\nAs the reality of school life sinks back in, you deal with your increasing worry in the only rational way: by stuffing your face with poutine, getting drunk in the Plateau, playing video games... basically, anything but focus on your schoolwork. Because it's scary.\n7. Panic at the first deadline\nWhy are all of your assignment due in the same three days? And more importantly, how did you leave them until the weekend before they're all due? You spend the weekend in a state of panic, though the bulk of the work only gets done Sunday night on an insane Timmie's bender. To avoid feeling bad about this you go on Facebook and feel validated when you see that all of your classmates are doing the exact same thing.\nPhoto cred - gif-emporium\n8. The first wave of tests\nWhat feels like ten seconds after you submit your assignments, your teachers remind you of the upcoming midterm quizzes. You remember marking down the quiz dates in your agenda on those first day of school - they seemed so far off then... How many weeks have passed already?!\n9. Even more procrastination\nOnce again, in an attempt to escape the looming terror, you turn to literally anything to distract you. By this point in the semester it'll probably involve Halloween preparations, enjoying the colours of the trees on Mont Royal, and pumpkin spice whatever-the-fvck.\n10. Even more panic\nOh God, oh God four exams in two days. How is this even happening?! How do I not have these class notes? Does anybody? Sweet Jesus I miss high school.\n11. Back in the swing of things\nYour outfits are much more casual. You always have a drink in your hand - Tim Horton's by day, liquor by night. If you're a girl, your makeup is scant to none; if you're a guy, your beard is growing wild. You've stopped trying to take the "quickest" bus and have resigned yourself to taking the 105. And you know the exact number of school days left until winter vacation. Welcome back to school.