This is quite possibly the worst time of the year, or at least the time of the year filled with the most dread-filled memories. Not only is the summer inching toward its inevitable end, but this is also back-to-school time. The parents out there will vehemently disagree with me on this point – the kids are finally out of the house again!! – but just try to remember back to when you were a wee child. The end of summer triggered anxiety, dread, and the realization that all good things not only must, but do, come to an end.
Hell, I still can’t listen to Cher’s “Believe” without being immediately transported to the night before Fourth Grade started and feeling every ounce of the anxiety I felt that night.
But that was then. What about all the promise and possibilities that come with the beginning of a new school year? There are endless choices available to you at every turn. The world (read: school year) is your oyster. Even if you’re not a student, this time of year is the perfect opportunity to reassess some things at work, and at home, and turn over a new leaf.
Who needs a New Year’s resolution when it’s back-to-school time?
SCHOOL’S (NO LONGER) OUT FOR SUMMER
It’s pretty straightforward: the beginning of the school year is a literal new beginning for the student. You are a grade older and more advanced. Your classes have changed, and your responsibilities have increased.
The beginning of the school year is when you get to forget about the trials and tribulations of last year. Forget about the tests you didn’t do so well on, or the paper you turned in late. This is the time where you get to turn over a new leaf and recommit yourself. Last year may have been difficult and trying, but guess what? That was LAST year. This is a whole new year!!
Even if last year was the best school year of your life, don’t dwell on it. Build off of the experience and do whatever you can to make this year even better. Keep up with your school work, make new friends – there are always new students enrolling – and just enjoy the experience. It’s gone long before you expect.
WORK WORK WERK WERK WERK
With September nearing, it’s likely that your summer vacations and trips have come and gone. All there is to look forward to is the shortening of days and the oncoming winter. That’s enough to throw anyone into an end-of-summer rut.
Use this chance that take a step back, observe your work, and set out a plan moving forward. Find the energy you need to ramp back up and kick it into high gear.
If you have a project coming due in the near future, or if you have a work relationship you want to mend, or even if you have a desire to bolster your work ethic, get to working on it today.
It’s not that your work or job are in jeopardy, but this is an opportunity to get things in order and avoid the aforementioned end-of-summer rut. You and I both know how hard it can be to climb out of that bad boy, so why not nip it in the bud now, start anew, and show yourself what you’re capable of.
Home is where the heart (hearth?) is but it’s also not immune to the hard times. No matter what’s happening on the home front, use this time of new beginnings to work through it.
Whatever happened is gone, you now just have to actively work through it to ensure the present and future hold better times.
No matter what the situation is - maybe you got in a fight with your roommate, or your partner, and maybe it was the biggest fight of your relationship, or maybe you broke your leg, or spilled red paint all over your white carpet – it’s workable. You may feel like things are irreparable, but that’s the fear and anxiety talking. Assess the damage and move forward with purpose so you can navigate this mess as best you can.
Is it going to be perfect? No, but nothing ever is. However, if you set out with the right intentions and a steady mind, it will find a way to work out.
School, work, and life all present different challenges, and sometimes we feel stuck within those challenges. Not anymore. You don’t need the calendar to turn to start anew, you just need the kids to go back to school.
Until next time – don’t forget your Number 2 pencil