Wow. Can you believe the summer is almost over? What did you do? Did you travel? (I spent the whole summer in Nigeria. It was interesting both in a good and a bad way.) Did you sleep in? Or did you stay up late every night catching up on all those exciting infomercials you missed during the school year? Well I hope you had a great time, and made every single day count, because now, you’ve got to start thinking about your next school year. Ew! many of you will exclaim. No worries, I used to cringe too everytime someone mentioned “back to school.” I mean, what’s there to look forward to about school? It’s big heavy text books and evil, vindictive teachers and disruptive classmates and assignments you don’t really want to do. And for the university crowd, you’ve also go those student loan payments. (Talk about the price of education, eh?) But you see, a new school year need not have a negative connotation. It’s not an ending of a summer, but the beginning of new opportunities that we must focus on. And lucky for you, what follows is a motivational guide to inspire a desire to go back to school so great that you will barely be able to contain it. Your pulse will quicken with anticipation. Your step will lighten with the weight of a “another boring year” off your shoulders. And then after the initial excitement of new clothes wears off, you’ll still look forward to going to school/class/lessons/seminars/whatever it is you attend on a regular basis to achieve your education each day. You will not just survive, you will thrive. So, are you ready? In that case, get to steppin’ and read on my friend!
First things first- set a goal!
Why do you need a goal? Because if you don’t have anything to work for and something to work towards your year will be madly unsatisfying. And the ultimate school year will be the exact opposite of that. This is a completely and totally personal choice, like the colour of your bedroom walls, or your favorite flavour of ice cream. There is not a single person on this green earth who’s opinion is more important than yours when it comes to what you truly want (as you will be the one living with the decision afterall). Why order chocolate dip when you really want strawberry shortcake swirl on a cone? DO you want to be student body president? DO you want straight A’s? Do you want to porpose to the love of your life just as your graduating class is throwing their hats into the air? Dream big my friends. Dream big.
Sit down for a second and ask yourself this: by the last day of school, what do I want to have accomplished? Brainstorm. Free associate. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of goal setting here because you’ve probably heard it to death by now and you don’t need to hear it again from me. You probably already know the SMART rule and all that by now. And quite frankly, there’s nothing I can tell you that a quick Google search of “how to set goals” can’t tell you either. But what I will say is this: It’s your life beautiful people. Live it.
And remember, these are your goals. Not your friend’s. Or your parent’s. Or your career aptitude test’s ideal placement of your employable skills. This is what your heart wants. The things that makes your stomach jump into your throat just thinking about it. 5% because it freaks you out and 95% because you want it so bad.
For example, my goal for the school year is to get my acceptance letter for the University of Waterloo’s Environment and Business program. Everytime I think about it, I smile, because I’ve had my heart set on that school since the 10th grade. I want this so bad it hurts, and that’s how badly you should want your next year’s goal as well. Life is too short to spend even one day on something you don’t absolutely love and really truly want. If your goal doesn’t make you wish your summer vacation were over right now so you could start working on it, keep thinking my friend. Because during those weeks when your have 3 essays, a test and a lab due, you’ll need something at the end of the road to have made it all worth it. Take your time with this, although it’s hardly a life or death decision. You are allowed to change your mind. But you will need a goal that doesn’t make you want to easily change your mind. Do you have it yet? Good. Now write it on a piece of paper in big bold letters and then stare at it until it’s imprinted in your brain. Then you’re ready to move on to the next step…
Why, why, WHY??????
Why do you want it? Why is this goal important to you? What’s pushing you from behind and pulling you from the front? Exactly what will be motivating your inertia? Once again, totally personal choice. Dig deep ya’ll! (As Brittney Spears would say.) If you need a little help, again, here’s an example of my WHY:
The reason I have my heart set on the University of Waterloo is because I plan on starting my own corporation in the very near future. I’m going to business school not for the degree, but for all the strong networks I’ll build there. (It’s not what you know, but who you know, you know?) The social circle I’ll develop in university is the one that’s going to help me take my company to the next level. That’s my perfect reason and it’s why I desperately want to get into Waterloo. And why I desperately want to do well next year.
Do you have your own reason yet? Don’t rush it. Take your time. Once you have it, hold it close to your heart. Allow it to ebb and flow through you with each lub-lub of your heart beat. Close your eyes, lean your head back and feel it. (No double entendre intended.) Now, you truly want something. Now, you know why you truly want it. That is a powerful thing beautiful people. Your heart must ache for this. Positively ache. You have to want this so bad that even when you’re doing stuff you absolutely hate to do, a part of you is actually enjoying it because you know it’s just yet another thing you must to fulfill your goal and ultimately, your bigger purpose. Can you feel that desire to go back to school yet? Now the only thing standing between you and the precious jewel that is your goal is a plan.
You can eat an entire elephant if you take it one bite at a time….
Then, you’ll need a plan of attack. Once again, brainstorm and free associate. You have your goal. And you have where you are right now (the ending of your summer vacations.) What stands between you and that goal? Once again, I have nothing unique to say about this, so I won’t. Instead, what I will do is give you a list of excellent resources you can turn to to figure our your success plan. Behold.
Good luck beautiful people! But of course, you don’t need any luck. Mak your own opportunities out there. You deserve absolutely anything your heart desires. Not necessarily everything your heart desires, but the only thing stopping you from being happy is yourself.