For all of you out there dreading returning to school, let me just admit this right now: I completely get it. I mean sure, there are some fun things like hangin’ with your friends, and maybe getting a glimpse at that cute guy or girl. And maybe summer did get a little boring by the end. But sitting in a classroom all day long, well, that can be a special kind of torture. Then there’s algebra — the thing teachers swear you’ll need later. I don’t think so.
Here’s the thing. Having lived through 12 years of private school education wearing incredibly ugly, unstylish uniforms, I can honestly say that it wasn’t so bad after all. (Except for algebra. That really did bite, and I’ve never used it as an adult.)
Looking back, the uniforms made getting ready in the morning a lot easier. Attending an all-female high school meant not worrying about makeup or “looking cute.” I loved my English classes, spending time in the dark room developing film for the school paper, Surprise Days, drama club, mime troupe, being part of the lighting crew for school musicals, Psychotheology class (Yeah, that was a thing. We read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. I still have my original copy.) My World Religions, psychology and sociology classes fascinated me (so much so, that I ended up with a Bachelors in psych, minors in english and sociology, and nearly 18 hours of philosophy credits in college!)
It’s easy to get laser-focused on how things are now. Maybe you’re at that point where people who were your friends inexplicably aren’t. Maybe you’re trying to navigate getting a whole new set of friends. On top of all that, you have no idea what’s going on with your body or why you want to simultaneously cry, and beat the crap out of someone — anyone. I’ve been where you are.
It’s tough. It sucks. But it gets better and it gets easier. All you need to remember is a little advice from Dr. Seuss.
Simplistic? Yes. But hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20. While I wouldn’t necessarily want to change things that happened back then, there is one thing I wish I understood with greater clarity, and that is precisely what this quote says.
Remember this, too:
If you don’t have a copy of the book, get one. Here’s what it looks like:
As the immortal Walt Disney once said, “Keep moving forward.” (Have you seen Meet the Robinsons? Great movie.)
Here’s what I say to my kids every morning before they get out of the car:
Have fun. Do your best.
At the end of the day, if you’ve accomplished those two things, then you’re on the right track in my book.
Good luck this year!