Arlene is on the SCENE

Back-to-School: What’s in Your Backpack?

Posted on: August 27, 2012

I often imagine the mixture of feelings we get when we’re off to do something new is like a stuffed backpack.  In there, you’ve got your excitement, your anticipation, and of course, your nervousness, maybe even a bit of fear.  I picture it as a backpack because your only choice is to pick up this big bubbling brew of feelings and hoist it onto your back, then push on forward.  I mean, what are you going to do, stay home?

(Well, sometimes we do stay home, don’t we? Sometimes we just say nah, I’d rather not risk it.)

But school leaves us no choice. We get pushed out the door for this one. And school offers such a mixture–fun, excitement, friends, learning new things, plus a lot of tricky situations that you’ve got to figure out. As Arlene experiences, there’s a whole lot of judgment going on within those school walls. It seems like this can be one of the hardest things about school, the feeling that everyone is watching you, forming opinions, judging.

I came across this great campaign, Everyone Matters. They issued a challenge: go 24 hours without a single judgment of another person. Think about it–not a single “Ew, what is she wearing?” or “He acts like a weirdo!” Nothing, not a single statement or thought that pegs someone with a label that you’ve decided fits them. A great way to practice how to be all the time. Nice idea for the first day of school.

This should make that backpack a little lighter.

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