Many swimmers in the state of Florida have started school this week. No matter when you start back to class, there are several tell-tale signs that you are competitive swimmer.

1. All the other kids talk fondly about summer vacation… and how they actually went somewhere!

Sure, to most kids summer vacation means sleeping late, playing endless hours of video games, and family vacations to the beach, to Disney, or to the cabin in North Carolina.

But swimmer summers consist of early morning practice, afternoon dryland because the second practice got rained out, and the only road trips you got were to summer meets.

2. Everybody else is dressed up for the first day of school.

You have cute outfits, too–especially that one new shirt that actually fits over your shoulders. But while every other student arrived looking sharp, you’re lucky to have towel-dried your hair (mostly) before homeroom started.

3. That Chlorine Smell.

No matter how you try, that chlorine smell is your permanent cologne or perfume. You don’t actually smell it anymore but deep down you still know it is there. And don’t even get started on the dry skin…

4. Your brain starts doing “swimmer math” as soon as you walk into math class.

You know the numeral system is based on 1s, 10s, and 100s, but you keep adding up up in terms of yards and swim sets.

5. You automatically straighten up as soon as you see your coach.

In a faculty shirt. Eyeing you from across the cafeteria.

Even when you’re not doing anything wrong you still sit up a little straighter and totally try to play it off like you don’t actually see him staring STRAIGHT INTO YOUR SOUL.

6. You see teammates in something other than a speedo.

And it feels really weird.

7. You eat more than the football players at lunch.

Seriously. You really do.

8. As the other kids rejoice at the end-of-day bell, you trudge toward the pool.

And you tell yourself, “Only two-and-a-half hours more until I get to go home.” And then you get to do your homework, eat dinner, and crawl in bed and whimper quietly.

Just 179 school days to go!