New school year means new chances for growth

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, August 8, 2013

Watching parents shop with their children for school supplies and clothes during last weekend’s tax-free event brought back memories.

Going back to school, no matter how old I was, always seemed so exciting. Picking out just the right colorful Lisa Frank binder (yes, I’m an 80s kid), the sharpest shoes of the year, and the best neon and denim out there was “pretty rad.”

But it wasn’t necessarily about the purchases, it was about the “new.”

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Each year, going back to school signaled something fresh and enticing. What would the year hold? The slate had been wiped clean. New class, new teacher, new subjects, a new chance to learn and succeed.

Moving from elementary to high school, there were new adventures – changing classes, choosing classes, decorating lockers, joining sports teams. Finding a place in the hierarchy of high school was scary and exciting at the same time. Cliques shifted, ugly ducklings began to blossom into would-be Homecoming Queens. Class presidents emerged as leaders. Even the children thought of as outcasts at my school found comfort in banding together to navigate the school halls.

Heading off to college was similar. It was a new world with adult choices, classes tailored specifically to a student’s likes and career path, clubs and organizations by the hundreds, and living away from home for the first time. Those high school outcasts found ways to shine at the collegiate level through programs and opportunities not had at smaller schools.

As an adult, there are things that easily trigger all of those memories. I took a stroll down a school supply aisle this weekend and it’s amazing how quickly that feeling of anticipation, nervousness and hopefulness comes washing back.

Children were laying out packs of pencils side by side to pick just the right colors to match other school supplies – because those things are important to get right. Girls came out of dressing rooms to model their finds for approving and disapproving parents. Boys tried on backpack after backpack to get the right feel and look for the upcoming school year.

But above all the “stuff” to be had is still the promise of a new year and a new chance.

Over the next two weeks, school activities and classes begin for Pike County Schools and Troy University. I must admit, I’m a little jealous! However, I look forward to watching all the interesting things classes will be doing and taking note of how children excel this school year.

Good luck to all the students heading back to school. Have a wonderful time! We’re excited to share your successes with The Messenger’s readers this year. We’ll be watching, and cheering you on.