Back to school season is officially upon us, but it's a little different this year for obvious reasons. We are faced with so much stress now more than ever and many of us are left unsure of what to do this school year. Many schools from elementary up to high school are going back to in-person teaching at least a couple of days out of the week while some colleges have online, in-person, and hybrid (both online and in-person) classes while still allowing students to live on campus. Other colleges have made the decision to go fully online, but this comes at a cost to students majoring in fields that simply can't be taught online and the same goes for middle school, high school, etc. What's to be done then?
Before I keep going I'm going to be honest for a second. I'm ready to be back at school (said no one ever) and to having a static routine, but like most everyone else I am nervous about it as well. Who isn't at this point? Thankfully my school is doing everything in their power to follow and enforce CDC guidelines on campus. However, there are still so many unknowns in this situation that it almost seems overpowering.
We've all watched the news, seen the updates on this madness, heard about the terrified school teachers and officials, etc. Even one of my friends shared a report of a chancellor at one of the colleges in our state refusing to follow CDC guidelines regarding the return to campus. We are living in a scary and overwhelming time and I have so much respect for the teachers and school officials working this year and following guidelines. These people are a new level of nervous this year, one that doesn't even compare to the regular nerves of meeting their new class. Yet here they are, still making lesson plans, still setting up their classrooms, and still preparing to educate the young minds of this world. To be able to embrace your fear and nerves and still continue on with your goals and life is powerful. It's inspiring.
Now, students, I hear your fears and uncertainties loud and clear. I think a lot of people globally hear you and sympathize with you. I feel just the same as you do, but I'm still doing everything in my power to keep my head up and I believe that may be one of the most therapeutic things to do at this point. I know you're scared. I know that you don't know what to do. I know you're unsure about how you can chase your dreams and goals. I've had that conversation with a lot of my friends and I feel that too. I was supposed to study abroad next spring and I'm not sure if that's even going to happen still, but I'm still applying. Why? Because I'm hopeful, it's one of my biggest dreams, and I believe that someday I will go abroad and it will be the best experience of my life.
Long story short, don't give up. You have every right to be fearful and uncertain this year, but at the same time don't be afraid to live your life. Don't be afraid to chase your dreams. Many events this year have been canceled or postponed and the formats of some have been modified. So many things may be different, but your dreams are still achievable. They just require a different approach. With all of this said you are still capable of doing what you love and achieving what you want. You can do so much and despite everything, you will have a great year. Listen to your gut. If you're uncomfortable with something or a room is too crowded for you then do something about it. If you really want to achieve a major goal, then go for it. There's always more than one way to accomplish something. Stay strong and stay smiling. You can do this!
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