Photos of kids before and after their first day of school

Since the advent of social media, parents all over the country have shared photos of their fresh-faced offspring all primped and prepped for their first day of school. Frequently, we get to see smiling kids hold a sign noting their grade, usually on the family front porch, and nearly always toting the obligatory backpack.

In response, we all “Like” the photos and post comments about how fast time flies and how quickly kids grow up. It’s all very cute and sweet.

But what we rarely get to see is what the rest of that first day looks like for those kids. And when we do, the photos are truly worth a thousand words.

The Inspirational Quotes Page on Facebook shared a collection of before and after pics on kids’ first days of school, and oh my, these babies look like they had a heck of a day.

Some of these kiddos look like they survived a natural disaster on their first day of school.

This kid just looks stunned after his first day of kindy.

Photo after photo of perfectly coiffed hair-dos totally undone by the day.

Umm, what the hole? You know there’s got to be a story here.

And here. It’s like the Hunger Games out there, friends.

It’s not just the kids, either. Imagine how teachers feel at the end of the first day. (I can speak from experience here—teachers are frigging superheroes. It’s a rewarding job, but it’s physically and mentally exhausting.)

Especially considering the challenge of living and trying to educate children through a global pandemic, it’s not surprising to see these before and after photos of the first day of school.

The after photos don’t negate the excitement of starting a new school year, of course, and let’s hope that most of these kids look so disheveled because they had so much fun and activity during their day. The images are a refreshing reminder that social media images don’t tell the whole story, though, and that kids’ lives aren’t as simple as we often mistake them to be.

We feel you, wee ones, because we’re draggin’ too. Solidarity.

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