Some Thoughts For The School Year Ahead
Politics and Activism

Some Thoughts For The School Year Ahead

Or, How To Succeed In 3 (I'm not going to pretend they're easy) Steps


And so another new school year is starting. I think everyone likes the new school year so much because it always presents an opportunity to make some changes for the better. That's probably why fall is so out of control popular. We just can't resist the idea of self improvement.

That's a really positive thing. Especially in this crazy world, it's good to see that people do want to be better. At the same time, though, that's way easier said than done.

Now I'm not going to act like I'm some model young woman who always makes good choices. I'm not. But there are three things I've learned to practice over my life that tend to get good results and move me closer to where I want to be. So why not share them here?

First is definitely work hard. There's a reason people tell you to do that all the time. If you give everything you do your all, people will notice. Now I realize that it can be pretty hard to give everything we're expected to do these days as high school and college students 100%. So focus on the things that you're really passionate about. And hey, maybe cut out some of the stuff you aren't passionate about. Quality really is more important than quantity. If you focus what you do, and do those things well, you won't feel spread so thin, and you'll be happier, because you're doing what you actually care about.

Number two: Be polite to everyone you meet. You never know if they will become an important contact later in life. For example, my family was always friendly with another family that lived down the street. We actually carpooled to school in high school. When I would ask how my neighbor was, and listen to stories about her weekend, it was because I genuinely wanted to hear about it, and also because that's how you build strong relationships. This neighbor actually ended up helping me get my first job and has become a valuable reference in my professional life. Not to mention she cares about me and gives me helpful advice whenever we get together. And this was all because I smiled and held conversations at 7 in the morning on the way to school.

Obviously, not everyone is going to end up as an important contact or mentor for you. But you should still strive to follow the golden rule with everyone you meet. Because then, when you need help, people will want to help you. And we all need help sometimes. You can't make it in this life by yourself, so make sure you'll never have to. Make sure there will always be someone who cares about you, for when you inevitably make that mistake, or need someone to be patient with you.

Finally, say yes. Yes can sometimes be one of the scariest words in the English language, especially when faced with an unknown situation. But say it anyway. Keep yourself open to new experiences and never let yourself get too comfortable in your comfort zone.

Don't just say yes. Stay positive. Sometimes life will throw you into a new situation and you don't have any choice in the matter. But stay positive and that undesired circumstance could just turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. It will be hard at first, but stick with it. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and mistakes are only failures if you don't learn from them.

Everyone messes up sometimes. You may have started this school year with high hopes and already be feeling down in the dumps. That's OK. I've learned that practicing these three things doesn't guarantee that things are going to turn out the way I want them to. Far from it. But if you work hard, treat everyone with kindness, and say yes, when things do go wrong, you will have the skills you need to get through it, and people all around you to lift you back up.

Success isn't about never making mistakes. It's about overcoming those mistakes. So keep looking forward to new school years. Stick to your goals for this one. And stick to always striving for self-improvement. These are just three things I wanted to pass along, because they've helped me out.

So good luck with the new school year. You got this.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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