The Sweet Smell of September
I love September and all of its transitions! The days are warm and the nights are cool and perfect for sleeping with the windows open. To me, September signals the end of the slower, more relaxed summer pace and brings with it a fresh, revitalizing energy. It’s a return to a little more organization and scheduling those activities that set us up for success both personally and professionally. And its back to school time!
We dropped our son off on Sunday for his third year of university. It’s been so wonderful having him home for the summer but he was definitely ready to go back. He does his own shopping and gets himself organized, but it was interesting to see how many of his early going back to school rituals continue. Fresh haircut, a new backpack, and a few new supplies.
Being the parent of an older and more independent student, I got such a kick out of watching the much younger kids on my street get ready for school this morning. All dressed up for their first day with fresh haircuts, new school uniforms and backpacks. I could hear the excited voices as they piled into their parent’s car and I couldn’t help but be reminded of all of my first days back to school.
I was one of those kids that loved school. I couldn’t wait to go back. The week before school began was always the best! Going shopping for new binders—one for each class, lined paper, fresh pens, newly sharpened pencil crayons, ruler, and protractor (yes, I’m dating myself here). Everything fresh and new. So much anticipation and possibility. My favourite thing to do was to ride my bike to school with friends to look at the class lists posted on the doors. This happened every year from middle school all the way through high school. Again you can tell how long ago that was since posting class lists doesn’t happen anymore in the name of safety and privacy. We’d search excitedly to see which teacher would be our homeroom teacher and compare which friends (and cute boys) would be in our class.
I loved school because it always felt like a place where I belonged. I was never the smartest, best-looking, most athletic, or well-dressed, but I always felt connected there. I liked to learn, I was able to make friends easily, and I was open to trying new things. Especially in high school. This is where I discovered I had more freedom. Which, for a girl who had fairly strict rules at home, was very appealing. I had the freedom to choose which classes I wanted to take, choose which people I wanted to spend time with and choose which extra-curricular activities I wanted to participate in. It was these choices that expanded who I was and how I contributed to my own little microcosm of society. It’s where I learned to speak up for myself, where I made mistakes socially and academically, where I experienced success, and where I began to discover who I wanted to be and how I wanted to move forward in my life.
I’m still that young girl. I still love to learn, still enjoy making new friends and I’m still trying new things! The spirit, excitement, and anticipation of the “going back to school” has transitioned to the many opportunities and possibilities the school of life brings. Hope you enjoy it too!