Optimism … ?

Ahem. I have something to say.

I’ve noticed a marked lack of optimism about the approaching school year among many of my high-school-aged friends and acquaintances. The very mention of September has become a cue for eye-rolling, pathetic sighing, endless repetitions of “don’t remind me,” and ranting about one’s dread of certain teachers. Friends and countrymen, NOT ACCEPTABLE. Perhaps it’s time for academics to be rethunk. I’ve got a few things for you to consider.

1) Everyone loves somebody who comes to school with a good attitude even when they’re tired. Pessimism is discouraging and ultimately destructive to those around you.

2) Try dressing the part. Two things you should not do at school: 1) dress like a slob, 2) dress for partying. If you’re old enough to button a shirt, you’re old enough to dress professionally. If you’re a student, school is your profession. Dressing right communicates to yourself and others that what you’re doing is important. If you don’t know the specifics of what looks classy and what doesn’t, ask your parents or someone who already dresses neatly and appropriately. (The word appropriately is important. Not everything trendy is appropriate … but true style depends on appropriateness.)

3) School is full of leadership opportunities. If you have an affinity for academics, strive to be an example rather than simply an exception. If you have an affinity for people, keep your eyes open for students who could use a friend. If you have an affinity for organization, serve on a committee. If you have an affinity for sharing the gospel, lead a Bible study or use that gift to encourage others.

4) Try to view school as an opportunity to discover things that interest you or that could be useful later on.

5) Hard work is nothing to fear. On the contrary, it’s what you were made to do. Voltaire once said, “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.” “No pain, no gain” is one of the most annoying clichés ever, but it’s often true.

6) For most of the people I know, the end of high school is coming into view or has already arrived, so make the most of what you’ve got left. Prove yourself, fulfill your responsibilities, and earn the trust of others.

7) Look on the bright side and make up your mind to enjoy your studies. As an adult, you may not have endless time to learn new things, so learn as much as you can right now.

I’m looking forward to September, and I hope you will too.

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3 thoughts on “Optimism … ?

  1. Thank you for this, Noelle. It is something I needed to hear.

    Your posts are always so thought provoking, and I enjoy them tremendously.

  2. I agree; we all need a good douse of reality from time to time to wake us up when we start mindlessly doing what everyone else does. Thanks for “rethunk”ing school for us Noelle!

    If I may be permitted to add something to the list:
    My pastor recently mentioned this in a sermon, and observed what you just did: so many act like being in school and doing your work well doesn’t matter.

    But we’ve been commanded to love God with all of our heart, soul, MIND, and strength. Academics should be viewed as an act of worship to Him. God can be glorified even in how we arrive in class, how we interact with our teachers and peers, and how we complete our assignments. This may not make doing school well any more attractive, but it sure makes it more important.

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