Dustin Milligan shares his ultimate #TBT back to school story

By Dustin Milligan

In celebration of the arrival of fall and the new school year, HELLO! asked our go-to celebrity columnist, Schitt's Creek star Dustin Milligan, to reflect on his most memorable back-to-school moment. He responded with a candid – and hilarious – account of his first day in Grade 4. (Hint: Little Dustin was really "pumped"!)

"You know why they call it “summer”? Because once it’s almost over, you realize how much you want sum-mer of it! Jokes aside, it’s that time of year. The time when we start to swap our beach towels for couch blankets, our BBQs for Netflix queues, and our jean shorts (jorts) for winter jorts. To many, this time of year also means Back To School (or as I like to call it, BTS) – but you don't have to be going back to school for it to affect you.

The ultimate #TBT

BTS is an annual societal shift that has an impact on us all. Everything changes: the weather, traffic, TV. So how do we prepare for it? Quiet reflection and goal setting? No. Shopping!

That’s right: Student or parent, young or less young, it's all about nailing that new wardrobe. And who better to help you do that than a 32-year-old man who’s been sipping the same cup of coffee for three-plus hours just so he can keep using this café’s “Customers Only” wifi, just so that he can share this poignant story with you...

It was the first day of school, September 1994. As a nine-year-old, my fashion sense was at an all-time high. Mere words cannot do it justice. (Though “timeless,” “sophisticated” and “brave” popped into my head right now, so…)

Tucked-in Norway ’94 Winter Olympics T-shirt? Check. Elastic-waisted faux-denim Hammer pants? Check. A San Jose Sharks cap purchased strictly for its tough shark-themed logo with no interest in the actual team or sport it represented? Check. I was at the top of my game.

But these things by themselves are just really, really cool items of clothing. The final piece of the fashion puzzle, the one I was convinced would start my year off on the right foot (or rather, feet), the pièce de résistance.... was my brand-new pair of LA Gear Regulators.

Dustin stars as the lovable veterinarian Ted Mullens in the hit Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek. Photo: © Instagram/@schittscreek

The Regulators had THE PUMP! They were just like Reeboks with the little pump on the tongue that filled the shoes with air, but like, the way cheaper knock-off version. I couldn’t wait to get to school and be showered with compliments but as it turned out, I wasn’t the only kid who showed up in performance enhancing Hi-tops. My archnemesis, Jeremy, had a pair of the Reeboks – the real pumps – and he challenged me to a race. I knew it was impossible. But I accepted, took a knee, and got pumping.

We lined up by the slide, our shoes so pumped they could burst, when Jeremy asked me: “You fully pumped?” “Fully” I replied. “Good,” he said with a grin, before going back down for more pumps. Despite my Regulators being pumped to the max, I believed they could carry me to victory. Then I heard a sound equivalent to that of air leaving a balloon. Jeremy had over-pumped and his Reeboks had burst! It was over. Somehow, against all odds, my pumps reigned supreme.

I'd had a lucky escape, and I think the takeaway here is: Don't worry about having the flashiest clothes or the most expensive shoes. They might explode in your face. Just go out there and be pumped on you, whatever you’re wearing.

Because if you’re pumped on you, anything is possible!

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