“I think sleeping was my problem in school. If school had started at four in the afternoon, I’d be a college graduate today.”
– George Foreman
When summer holiday begins each June, many students welcome the opportunity to sleep in each day instead of only on weekends. As the summer progresses, they stay up later and sleep in later. Eventually, they end up on completely different schedules than their parents. In mid to late summer, perhaps you have come home from work ready for dinner, and your teenager asks, “What’s for lunch?” (Maybe even, “What’s for breakfast?”)
As the new school year approaches, the nocturnal teen may commit to slowly adjusting their sleeping schedule so they are ready for the early mornings of school. Though they make this commitment with the best of intentions, rarely does it actually happen. When they suddenly had to wake up this past Wednesday hours earlier than their bodies were used to, they shuffled around the house like the walking dead. With blurry eyes and sleep deprived brains, they put milk on their toast and butter on their orange juice.
Regardless of the yawning, sluggishness, and morning fingers*, students arrived at school on Wednesday and brought with them great energy and excitement for the new school year. A school without students is just a building, and it is refreshing to have them all back on campus.
As exciting as a new school year is, it is natural for students to have some uncomfortable feelings at the same time. Maybe they are anxious as they join a new school or a new class. Perhaps they are disappointed that they are not in the class they had hoped for. They might be sad as they think about friends in their previous school or those who left AAS at the end of last school year. On Wednesday, I was in a grade 2 class when a boy described perfectly how he felt sad and excited at the same time: sad because he missed his friends from grade 1 in his previous school; excited to be at AAS and make new friends.
All of the feelings are normal and healthy. Over the days and weeks to come, the anxiousness, disappointment, and sadness will abate as they settle into the new year and new setting. By experiencing these uncomfortable feelings and then working through them, students grow more confident and resilient. A year from now, it will be their current class and school year that they look back on and miss.
Though the feelings are normal and healthy, it is good for students to talk about them with their parents, other family members, and friends; the AAS Counseling team is always available as well.
As students settle into the first days of the 2022-23 school year, there is a lot to look forward to. In addition to awesomeness in the day to day school schedule, students will soon begin Elementary School After School Activities, MS/HS CEESA Activities and Athletics, and MS/HS Cultural Trips. These activities and many more add to students’ experience, build friendships, and help strengthen the AAS community.
I look forward to seeing you at that PTO Back to School Barbecue tomorrow and throughout the fantastic 2022-2023 school year ahead!
* Morning fingers (n) informal: that feeling when you have just awoken and your fingers are not yet awake enough to open the milk bottle (coined by my daughter when she was very little)
“Sometimes me think, ‘What is friend?’ Then me say, ‘Friend is someone to share the last cookie with.’”
– Cookie Monster