A new school year means change. Whether you are going to junior high, high school, or college, adjusting can be exciting and a bit scary.
To be honest, a new school year is always something I kind of dread. I don’t want the homework, busy afternoons, early mornings, or stress over grades. So, as this school year has drawn nearer I have been trying to think of reasons to make the anticipation of this change less sad and painful.
I was thinking about the first day of school. I know I always feel nervous. What if I don’t have friends in my classes? Where should I sit at lunch? What if my outfit is not as cute as everyone else’s? What if I feel lonely? Will I have friends? In elementary school I changed schools and I remember how sad I felt that all my friends were together at my old school and there I was, all alone with no friends at all. I felt so lonely and was sure that my life was over.
This year, as I thought of these anxieties, I realized something: everyone feels these things. If we take a moment to think about this it kind of sinks in. EVERYONE is feeling lonely, EVERYONE is a little nervous, EVERYONE is feeling insecure. Everyone may not have feelings like this at the same level, but they all feel a little anxious when an adjustment like school approaches.
Here’s another thing that hit me about these worries: they all have to do with me. There is nothing wrong with feeling nervous and insecure but these feelings tend to be on the self-centered side.
Now that we know these things, I have an idea to help make the beginning of the school year sooooooooooo much better. Instead of thinking about ourselves, what if each of us tried to remember how everyone else was feeling? If we do this we will not only do feel less alone, but we can find a way to help others. I know that when I am reaching out to others, I forget my worries and troubles. As we start the school year maybe we can each look outside ourselves. I bet we can find a girl or boy sitting alone and make a new friend. I know that when someone reaches out to me I feel SO good! Or when someone uses my name and says “hi”, it makes my day! We can change the school environment around us by making others happy and lifting their loads.
So I am going to issue a challenge to me and all of you on the first day of school to look outside ourselves. Say hi, have a conversation, give a sincere compliment, sit by someone you may not know, be friendly! Not only will this help us forget our worries but it will help others forget theirs!
What ideas do you have for making the first day of school bearable?