FREDERICKSBURG, TX—Searching her brain for even the slightest upside, local parent Sarah Bolen found herself struggling Monday to find a good reason why Sophia, her 5-year-old daughter, should not be afraid of starting the first grade. “Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be scared of, other than constant judgment from dozens of kids you don’t know,” said Bolen said, stressing that little Sophia was not to let the combined pressures of academic and social achievement get to her despite the fact that how she performs in school and how she is perceived by peers would determine the trajectory and outcome of her entire life. “You’re going to make so many friends, honey! Though there are actually a lot of people who aren’t that good at making friends, and you could very likely be one of them. Oh, and now that I think of it, it’s true that school shootings happen sort of all the time now.” Bolen also assured her daughter that even in the event that she had a bad first day, things would get better eventually, provided she was not kidnapped on her walk home.
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