School starts Tuesday and many staff and students are anxious to be going back. Anxious is one of those curious words that can be taken one of two ways. It can mean wanting something very much or, it can mean experiencing worry and nervousness about an upcoming or imminent event.
I'm anxious to get the year underway - anxious in a good way! The challenge of getting the year off to a good start is both exciting and a little scary. Every start up brings its own unique set of circumstances, but its dealing with the unexpected that makes me look forward to getting back. A positive growth mindset coupled with hard work and a desire to do good things for others make getting back to work something to look forward to!
Others will be anxious about going back - anxious as in worried to the point of dread! This anxiety about school runs deep in the public psyche. One has only to look to how the end of the summer holidays are portrayed in popular culture and advertising campaigns. Rather than celebrating the opportunities and potential education has to offer, such campaigns often play up feelings of fear and dread. A few years back the clothing chain Old Navy epitomized this movement with a series of School is Coming ads that likened returning to class to living out scenes from famous horror movies!
So what can be done to ease the dread? Normalizing the event helps. Getting enough sleep, establishing positive routines and celebrating the good things about getting back to school all help. Media outlets, like the Globe and Mail and The Star.com are running articles this week offering more tips on how to help students deal with their back to school anxieties. Common to most of these stories is the advice to listen to and recognize the fears being expressed.
Listening and helping each other overcome our anxieties, find and reach our potential ,and build on our successes definitely takes the sting out of going back. Hopefully as this year unfolds all of us can overcome any nervous anxiety we experience and help us to be more positively anxious to make the most of the opportunities coming our way!