Because I’ve spent my entire life in academic settings, I mark my life in terms of semesters. For me, there are several beginnings each year, but there is something special about the start of fall semester: There are new students and faculty, and it’s nice to run into folks I’ve haven’t seen since May.
When you were a kid, you probably marked the beginning of school with new notebooks, pencils, a backpack, maybe even some new clothes. I think we should do the same as adults. Let’s remind ourselves that we really are beginning something new and not just going about another day at work or school.
I start each semester with one or all of the following:
- a pretty notebook. I’m especially partial to one with flowers on the cover.
- a new set of gel pens. (Purple, purple, and more purple)
- a new purse. (Okay, that might be more often than the beginning of the school year.)
But most of all, I try to bring a new attitude. Because although it may be the millionth time I’ve told someone where the “A” Building is located, it is the first time this student has asked. I try to look at the day through the eyes of that new student: how strange and a little scary everything must appear. When I can do that, I find myself being more patient and intent on being one of the positive aspects of the student’s first day at college.
Here’s to a happy and productive academic year to us all!