Ode to Students

September 3, 2014 - 7:58am

It’s that time of year again when parents, students and teachers are changing mode and getting back into the buzz of ‘back to school’ routine. It’s been a wonderful summer for many but like all things in life, there comes a time when we need to regroup and get back into a routine.

What is definite in life is change. Children are growing up and moving on and we too, as parents, need to adjust. Many parents are reciting the ‘Back to School prayer’, hoping for a good or a better year. It’s a sad sight at airports as parents and university students leaving home soak up those tears. At this level, it’s not only about missing their children but it’s knowing the many challenges their children will face as they work through their Rubik’s cubes of deciphering university life, figuring out life away from home, and finding what works for them in 8 short power-packed months of a university year.

Educators are bracing themselves for another year of surprises with vastly differing academic abilities in a class, and children who can think of hundreds of other things they’d prefer to do than read from textbooks and follow instructions in a classroom.

For some students going back to school, it could be a time that pumps them up for great learning adventures. For others, it’s once again another daunting challenge. Overall, it’s the uncertainty of the kinds of teachers they’d have, the unresolved academic challenges from the last year, who’d they’d be sitting next to, the friends they’d have, and the activities they’d have to fit in to, whether they like it or not. For children with added stress, it might be about unresolved issues from last year, like the bully in the same school, the physical education endurance activities that they would have to do, and the math and reading that they’d struggled to come to terms with last year.

I’m dedicating this article to all students out there who feel anxious as they embark on this year of yet another school adventure.

You are not alone. The start is always uncertain.

Find a way to know what you need.

Learn how to ask for the help you need before you fall behind.

Accept that there are times when there are things you have to do (whether you like it or not).

You will always encounter difficult people. Find ways to work through it.

Enjoy the annual journey and know that there will be bumps and smooth sections, just like the roads we ride on. However, if we continue travelling, we’d get there.

Know that you have it in you to do the best you can with what you have.

Above all, acknowledge that you are special and that’s what makes you ‘You’.

Strength comes from working through challenges, and you will never be short of those. Whether you are going to school for the first time, returning to school, leaving home and going to university, life’s lessons continue. Strive to enjoy the journey and it can be quite the journey.


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