Back to School: The Grownup Edition

The nostalgia. Me, circa 2007.

Cringe. That photo is just ugh. But anyway, this post is not about how awful I looked in photos at 17. Consider it an ice breaker. You’re welcome.

September, and the start of school, bring about certain energy. Curiously enough, this is something that unites us as a global community. Almost every country, culture, political party, believes that children going back to school is important. In North America and Europe the days before back-to-school feel like another ‘New Year’s Eve’. Buying new school supplies, clothes, and getting ready to see your friends again after many months apart, are all cause for excitement. I think this year, we all feel that need for renewal in some way…

Side Note: Don’t get me wrong… The pandemic is far from over, and being the pessimist that I’ve recently become, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. However, taking all the precautions we can, we need to move onward and forward (and don’t forget to wear your damn mask).

Besides looking through some old photos and indulging in some nostalgia for my high school days (another side note: despite excellent genetics in the mix, neither adolescence nor adulthood was kind to me), I have been also trying to do a few things out of my normal routine to make this upcoming season more meaningful. Buying a new planner and calling it a day just doesn’t feel like it cuts it for me anymore (although I still am a stationary addict)… I’m a person who likes to challenge myself and not be stagnant, and for one reason or another September is an excuse for me to do so. Here are a few things that I’m doing this fall to make an impact in my life, and hopefully the life of others.

Things I’m doing to grow this Fall (and you can too!)…

  • I donated to help fight childhood poverty in Spain by supporting kids getting school supplies. One out of every three children live in poverty here, and Spain has the highest school dropout rate in the European Union. I can imagine how this problem is only going to grow, especially with the catastrophic implications of COVID-19 to the tourism industry (one of Spain’s major sources of revenue). Use the link above to help out Spanish children, or better yet, find an organization that helps children local to your area.
  • Update your stationery. And shop small businesses. Etsy is one of the best places to look for cute stamps, pens, paper, and notebooks. It’s pricier than a regular supermarket, but if you have the means, this money directly supports small businesses. I’m especially in love with this UK Etsy store.
  • Actually go back to school. I signed up for a few online classes on Coursera and Skillshare and am working my way through. I’m taking What is Social? (a social media marketing class) and Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History.
  • Participate in a self-reflection challenge. I started follow this Aussie YouTuber after stumbling upon her productivity videos during quarantine, and her clean, light aesthetic, and cool accent got me hooked! She seems like she has it all together, and I, in fact, do not, so I downloaded her digital Life Map Collective.
  • Join an online community. One of the only things I go to Facebook for (besides cute pictures of dogs and cats. Hello Dogspotting Society) are the communities. There is a group for literally everything you can imagine. Some of my favorite groups are Faith and Feminism, The Edit, Poppy Loves Book Club, just to name a few. I also love Instagram for the community it provides. Did you know you can follow a hashtag? I’ve followed hashtags of issues and things that are important to me, such as #BLM (I recommend following @rachel.cargle, and @ajabarber to start) and #Bookstagram (I’m pretty new to this community, but a few of my favorite accounts are @frombeesbookshelf, @hey_kellyj, but my list is growing daily). Through these two ‘communities’, I’ve been learning so much and expanding my reading choices beyond my normal go-to genres. I’m not sure I have much to contribute in these circles, but I’m listening, growing, and learning.

Keep the conversation going… Do you feel major nostalgia for ‘back-to-school’ when the kiddos go back? Do you have any ‘rituals’ when September rolls around? Share them below! I love to chat!

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