school bus

Don’t you just wish you could freeze the moment your child stands on the front stoop while waiting for the bus on the first day of school? It’s a big moment, for both child and parent.

For kids, that first day is all about new classmates, courses and clothes. For parents, it’s hoping your student is prepared… and trying not to cry about your kids growing up so fast.

We can remember so many little details from our very first day of school, from how we felt (nervous) to what we wore (overalls and a bright yellow shirt). With back-to-school season in full swing, we’re not the only ones nostalgic for this important moment.

Below, Target friends Sabrina Soto, Dario Franchitti, Liz Lange, Scott Dixon, and Soleil Moon Frye share their first-day-of-school photos and favorite back-to-school memories.

SABRINA SOTO

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself on your first day of grade school? On my very first day of school I remember being petrified, so much that I didn’t want to let go of my mom’s hand! If I could go back, I would tell myself to relax… that it was going to actually be a lot of fun.

What was your favorite part about the back-to-school season? Anyone who knows me is aware that I am obsessed with office supplies and stationery, so the idea of having to organize and shop for my school year “starter kit” was my favorite thing to do. That and, of course, seeing my friends again.

DARIO FRANCHITTI

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself on your first day of grade school? I would definitely tell myself to pay more attention! Since I’ve left school, I’ve enjoyed learning a lot; but when I was in school, I was always more interested in racing.

What did you like learning the most? I really liked learning about history when I was growing up, especially WWII. I’ve always been fascinated by it.

LIZ LANGE

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself on your first day of grade school? Savor these moments!  There is an “anything can happen” excitement and optimism about the first day of school that can’t be recaptured when you get older (there is tons of stuff ahead, so not to worry though!). Enjoy this time in your life when all that’s expected of you is to learn new things and make new friends.

What was your favorite part about the back-to-school season? My favorite part of back to school was definitely the new clothing and the changing of the seasons. Nothing is more fun than buying a new fall wardrobe and deciding what to wear on the first day back.  I also loved seeing my friends after what seemed like an endless summer. Then there was the fun of crisp, new books and color coordinating new binders and pens.  A new year meant new teachers and different kids in my classes—a whole new beginning.

How does it feel to send your kids off for a new school year? My children go to the same school in New York that I went to as a child, so it’s very nostalgic for me to watch them head back for another new school year.  I love hearing the screeches of excitement as they embrace friends who they haven’t seen during the long summer. It is definitely bittersweet as each new grade means they’re a year older and a year closer to leaving the nest.

 SCOTT DIXON

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself on your first day of grade school? I was cool [laughs], so I clearly wouldn’t change anything.

What was your favorite part about the back-to-school season? During New Zealand summer breaks most people traveled, so you didn’t really get to see your school friends. I was always excited to go back and see everyone.  

How do you expect to feel when the time comes to send your oldest daughter Poppy off for a new school year? I just think about how daunting it was the first time I went to school, so I hope it goes smoothly for her. I hope she makes lots of friends, which will make that transition a lot easier.

SOLEIL MOON FRYE

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself on your first day of grade school? I would tell myself to cherish the moment and not grow up too quickly; and to enjoy the ups and learn from the hard times.

What was your favorite part about the back-to-school season? I loved going back to school and seeing my friends. I’ve always been excited about knowledge, and the new school year was a great way to kick off learning new things. I vividly remember going off to college and packing up for that move, which was a really fun, adventurous time in my life.

How does it feel to send your kids off for a new school year? It’s always heartwarming seeing your little ones go off to school. I’m excited for their adventures ahead.  I try to be as supportive as possible and let them know that I’m here if they need to talk. I love hearing their stories when they come home from school and sharing in their incredible journey.

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