It’s that time of year again when most fret they haven’t finished their summer reading lists, and start demanding a new Fall wardrobe even though they may not need one. The Back-to-School mantras and sales aren’t only for students and parents anymore – it really is for everyone. Have you been putting off buying new items because things seem to be more expensive through the summer? It’s not your imagination, it’s a reality. A lot of companies do not offer a reasonable discount on most products after all the Mother’s Day promotions back in May. Father’s Day and graduations do not really offer a financial break either. So, when can we really maximize our need for new items without going broke? The Back-to-School time frame. I’m not sure not everyone needs new pens, pencils, or loose leaf paper, but home goods, electronics, and even car dealerships are willing to give you a better deal this time of year. They want to unload all the older items before they get plenty of new stock in time for holiday shoppers. It doesn’t matter which store is your favorite either. They all will start putting the back stock out on the floor just to get it sold. That’s why it’s hard to maneuver in the store until you realize the extra product on the floor.
The air is always too thick around here during the rush of activity during back to school week. It’s too humid, too warm still and so many leftover memories from Summer makes you wish we had another few weeks to lie on the beach. All good things should be cherished, remembered and eventually have to come to an end. Today marks the first day of school for some. That first day is always filled with anxiety especially if they are taking the bus for the first time. New friends, new teachers, and new challenges that will shape them through the year and teach them growth.
With the ease that popular culture has in reaching our youth today (and some adults), I think it is important to remember that during our time of growth, we remember to keep our feet firmly on the ground and remember what is important.
Put God first and pray each day.
I don’t believe in shoving God or religion down anyone’s throat because it defeats the entire purpose. Just know that in times of trouble and especially since this is a new start for so many of you, prayer can move mountains and calm seas (literally and figuratively actually). If you struggle with accepting that, I completely understand. There are so many things in life that make us question everything. What is real? Why is my life the way it is? Why can’t I find that answer on Google? Start slow, study often and let the word come to you. Take that with you this year and as you grow older. Empower yourself through faith not fear.
I encourage you to do well in all aspects and remember that roadblocks are keys to finding success. I’m sure this year will fly by and what will you have to show for it?
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I encourage you to stay focused on your education. Worrying about what is on your back versus the degree hanging on your wall is completely pointless. Yes, it is fun to look good but it is also fun to stretch your mind and ascend to higher levels of education. Some career paths demand you to be a full time employee and part time student and it’s important to maintain it.
Stay Organized: I can not stress this enough! If you are not the type then take some time and meet with those who are. Buying endless calenders isn’t worth your time if you aren’t going to use it. Since we live in an age with smart phones and tablets are becoming more inexpensive, get one. Program it with your daily life schedule and make a habit to keep a paper copy just in case your technological best friend dies on you. Getting into a good routine will help you in the long run.
Set realistic goals: I am a firm believer that at any age you can start over. There was a woman who in her 80s wanted to go to law school did. Just because your current career path, job or lifestyle causes setbacks, find the core issues and rise above them. It is possible and you are capable!
Carve out me time: It is important that you remember how much you mean to the world. To live a life that is full of stress and frustration harms the very being you are. Whether you take time each day to unwind or do something special each week for yourself – do it and maintain it.
Remember to have fun: It’s that simple. Whether you need to hop on Tumblr during your lunch break or you need to watch Golden Girls each night before bed (I know, I do) stick it in your routine like you would add lemon zest. Sprinkle in some fun to take the edge off. It works better than coffee (almost, anyway).
At the beginning of the year you are worried about having the right “look” but come midterms before Thanksgiving, you will be headed to class in somewhat clean sweatpants and Ugg like boots with 3 pencils in your hair. It’s a reality of school and life so just remember to shower and stay focused on studying.
Have a great year!