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The Top 18 Smells You'll Smell at the Beginning of the Year

The Top 18 Smells You'll Smell at the Beginning of the Year

By Ashley Brooke Roberts

1. New Book Smell: The best smell. And you get it, for like a week or two. NO ONE HAS EVER USED THIS BOOK! You are the first. Burry your face in it, take a big whiff, make a promise to yourself that you will not write in this precious thing! Or dog-ear any page corners! No. You will protect the virtue of this new text book.

2. New Kid Smell: A distinct smell of excitement and dread. He transferred this year and his eyes dart around nervously on the first day as he tries to quickly break down the overall social hierarchies happening around him. Not to be confused with “panic smell” or “Oh! The possibilities!” smell. Be nice to him. See what happens.

3. Old Book Smell: It’s a little gross and some sections smell like pasta. Other chapters have different scents and before the school year is over it feels like you took a tour of every person’s home who used the book in the past. The big smell, though, that wafts in your face when presented with an old text book, is the smell of freedom. You’re not chained to protecting this book, it doesn’t need you to protect it. Luckily, it’s been there and done that and has the scents to prove it.

4. Old Kid Smell: This is the smell of your senior class. And it has a distinct odor of nostalgia mixed with impatience. Notice the fine notes of “Dang! Where am I going to college?” and “This year will be the best year of our lives!” It’s a confusing scent mixed with contradictions, but one to be savored nonetheless.

5. Really Excited Teacher Smell: Fresh out of college with fresh perfume to match, this teacher plans on changing the world Dangerous Minds style. You’ll notice her scent of hope just moments before she pulls out her acoustic guitar to lead the class in a sing-along and show everyone that she is, in fact, very hip and relatable.

6. Over It Teacher Smell: This smell can be a combination of a lot of things, but usually rest somewhere in the trifecta of fast food, cigarettes, and old clothes. He didn’t buy a new outfit for the first day—he woke up just early enough to throw on last year’s shirt and tie and go through the McDonald’s drive thru. He spent the very last seconds before the first bell chain smoking in his car, wondering when he can retire.

7. Clean Floors Smell: Yay! For the first few days, all the halls smell like pine and bleach. No one has puked yet and you swear you can see your reflection in the squeaky clean floor.

8. Dirty Drama Room They Forgot About Smell: Oopsies. They cleaned the whole school but somehow forgot this room in the theater department. When the door opens a cloud of dust meets the new students and someone, while holding their nose, makes a joke about how Shakespeare must be hiding somewhere in the room.

9. New Crush Smell: This is the smell of sweaty palms and big smiles. Like, hurt your face smiles.

10. Your Ex Smell: Danger sweat! This is the smell of furrowed brows and quick 180 degree turns mid-stride.

11. Sports field Smell: The smell of the outdoors! But actually more of a smell of grass because someone just mowed yesterday. But still, fresh air! How it seems like such a thing of the past when really the summer session just ended a week ago.

12. Locker Room Smell: It will always smell like this. Forever. When humans no longer walk the earth, and some alien species explores our ruins, they will walk into a locker room and ask “Does someone smell feet and Clorox? And maybe like a really old PB&J hidden somewhere mixed with chlorine?”

13. The European Fragrance Smell: Ooh La La! Someone went abroad for the summer! Or her aunt did. Either way, she came back to school wearing a very French perfume that smells sort of like flowers and dust. Fancy!

14. Biology Lab Smell: Sorry. This smells bad. One person will really like the smell of the room and your instinct will be to shun him, but don’t! He will go on to do great things in the field. Befriend him now. He is most likely super awesome minus the fact that he lights up when met with a cloud of bunsen burner fumes mixed with chloroform.

15. Burnt Bread in Home Ec Smell: It’s bound to happen. Someone will burn something or over toast a thing within the first month of the new school year. Briefly, smoke will be seen and there will be a sudden excitement about a possible fire, and even maybe a hall-day! But the situation will be quickly fixed and the final result will be a hallway that smells funky for the day.

16. The I-Will-Not-Sweat-This-Year-Dang-It Smell: Deep in a resolve to shed his nick name “Sir Sweats-A-Lot” this poor fellow has piled on several layers of degree and the smell of “Arctic Breeze” hits you in the face when ever he’s a hallway-radius away.

17. Sweaty Pits Smell: Man. Someone had a rough summer. Take pity on this fallen solider.

18. The Smell of Hope: It's you. It's the smell that's on you, because THIS YEAR IS GONNA BE GREAT NO MATTER WHAT.

What smells do you smell at the beginning of the school year?

Topics: Back to School
Tags: back to school, school, fall, first day of school, lists, smells

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About the Author
Ashley Brooke Roberts

Ashley Brooke Roberts is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor living in Brooklyn. She's a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and can usually be found smiling at random dogs on the street. Follow her on twitter at @AshleyBRoberts.

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