On the first day of school, August is very nervous. Mom and Dad take pictures of him and Via, and they all decide to walk August to school. August explains that Beecher Prep is really close to his house, but he's barely been on that block. He prefers streets where there aren't as many kids. When the family turns the corner and sees students and parents outside the school, Via reminds August that everyone is nervous, just like him. August hugs Via, Dad, and Mom quickly so Mom won't embarrass him by crying, and then races inside the school.
The fact that August isn't particularly happy or comfortable being around kids his own age suggests that adolescence is scary and different for him—his own adolescence is confusing, and other kids are threatening. This continues to depict the developmental period as a confusing, tumultuous time in one’s life.