Even if you're spending the summer hiking in Sweden with zero access to social media, you have to be feeling it by now: the spine-tingling early August sense that the biggest shift in your year is about to happen. Here at Elite Daily, we love the hype around "going back" — the sheer possibility of everything you could do and who you might become this year of all years. Our annual Back At It issue is our way of preparing you for it all — returning to days filled with classes and extracurriculars, plus the new professors, new friends, and, just maybe, new love interests.
For many of us, "going back" means going back to school. For our cover star, Madison Beer, however, going back means returning to music. You know her origin story — the YouTube videos, the Etta James cover that Justin Bieber shared, catapulting her to instant fame. You may also know about her split with her label, and the way she seems to know everyone, at least on Instagram. The part you probably don't know is what these years have been like for her personally, IRL, and how thoughtfully she has waged the comeback that will culminate in her first, obsessively anticipated, full-length album. Beer's story is the perfect reminder that even if you have 13 million Instagram followers, there's more to most big transitions than meets the eye.
For those who are returning to campus, a part of "going back" that doesn't get talked about enough is managing the ever-changing landscape of dating in college. The process of finding a potential significant other at school has never been more thrilling or more out-of-control confusing, and our New Rules package takes on three of campus dating's most critical issues: terminology, social media, and consent. Is being Instagram official a thing still? Should your crush know you're flexing on them? Dating in college in the year 2019 should come with its own syllabus, but since it doesn't, Elite Daily's dating editors surveyed 400 actual students and multiple experts to guide you through it.
Because every fall is also a chance to express new iterations of your personal *brand*, we're thrilled to bring you our Glow Back To School award winners for 2019. With 25 of the best beauty products released in 2019 across three categories, this year's list will ensure your glow-up has never been so dramatic (or your shopping cart so full). And while we're talking about your look, we think you should get one of the trendy new haircuts we featured in our New Year, New Hair photo shoot. From a blunt bob to '70s shaggy hair inspo, you're going to want to book that one-last-trim-before-I'm-back-for-Christmas-break hair appointment right now.
If expressing yourself through your space is more your speed, our 2019 Add To Cart: Dorm Edition is a roundup of everything you could ever want to make your dorm room feel like home — and contain alllllll of your stuff. (Seriously, how does this happen every year?) We think these 20 items will keep your space and your mood as trendy as you are.
Finally, don't miss our Core Curriculum, a collection of pieces we'd make graduation requirements if we could. If you're thinking about studying abroad and doing some island-hopping while there (which, to be clear, you absolutely should be thinking about), read our Wander or Bust guide to Malta. If you're the type to take a class about Beyoncé and Rihanna (um, yes), our latest I Have The Job You Want interview with Omise'eke Tinsley may have you thinking about transferring. Because getting up and ready for your 9 a.m. is its own special kind of hell, our senior style editor, Theresa Massony, is here to bless you with our latest installment of Ready In 5: Late To Class. We think any incoming freshman tuned into her zodiac should read our Each Sign @ for clues about what to expect at orientation, and if you're into the mystical but over tarot, consider having your pizza toppings read, like our deputy editor of news and entertainment, Tina Kolokathis, did with Cierra Ramirez and Trevor Jackson for this issue's episode of Take Me With You.
No matter what you're returning to this year — a new major, a new dorm, a new job, a new relationship — we hope this issue helps you meet it with the excitement that makes every fall slightly nerve-racking but also transformative. Going back is a chance to keep going and start over all at once. How amazing is that?