Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What the First Day of a New School Year Means To Me: A BVP Blog Series

 Thoughts from a Converted Comfort-Seeker and Rhode Island Mayoral Academies Chief Communications Officer

My message to BVP scholars:

When I was a kid going back to school meant a mixture of nerves and excitement—that uncomfortable flutter in your belly that comes with a new year, room, teacher, and classmates.  
I remember starting every year feeling like a fish out of water. I just wanted to get to the point where everything would feel familiar again, when I would know what to expect from every day. Inevitably, that would happen. Everything would become predictable and rote.

Now that I am an adult—and know what good education looks like—I wish my schooling experience had been different. I wish my teachers had surprised me more on a day-to-day basis—encouraged me to reach for more and pushed me beyond what felt comfortable.

Why? Because “life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

Today, I know that going back to school can and should mean endless possibilities. Minds opening. Horizons expanding.

So, from an anxiety-ridden, not-so-wonderfully-educated kid who turned into a not-so-bad, super-educated adult, I ask all of you supremely intelligent scholars to embrace your inner greatness! Own it. Believe it. And then, push yourself as far as you think you can go. Then, go further.

Going back to school should mean pushing past the place that is a bit uncomfortable, and surprising yourself with all you are capable of accomplishing. You can achieve more than you ever dreamed if you are willing to work through the stumbles and the roadblocks.

Going back to school means challenging yourself to accept new ideas, new people, and new spaces because they might be the greatest ideas, people, and spaces you ever meet! And, who wants to miss out on that by being afraid?

Remember that you have so many people in your corner! Your Blackstone Valley Prep teachers will make your tummies flutter, not with anxiety, but with anticipation of the incredible things you are going to learn on your first, fifth, and 180th day of school. They will support and cheer you on as you reach your goals. And don’t forget how much your parents believe in you. They are your first and best teachers!

So, go forth and prosper, BVP scholars.  Your possibilities are endless. You certainly “got college,” but maybe you also got PhD, or entrepreneur, or world traveler, or foster parent, caregiver, or all of the above!  Don’t settle for the comfortable. Embrace the new and the unexpected and the world will offer you unlimited gifts.

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