Dengler Domain: Aug. 26


Going back to school is not an experience I have had for over five years for college and over ten years for high school. While having all the time in the world to hang out with friends to experience summer was great, it was the worst to step back in the school halls after this glorious period. It was tough even after getting off the bus the first day at home. To this day, occasionally during mid-August, I get hit with the back-to-school blues. What got me back into the rhythm of school were a few actions.

One was to be nice. This is the most important rule. Everyone deals with everyone in the school. Not saying you must buddy up with your enemy and, let’s be serious, is anyone’s enemy in grade school really an enemy? Be respectful to one another. No one can be perfect at it but strive to be the nicest you can be to someone else. Follow the golden rule.

Enjoy your time with your teachers and understand they are trying their best. Looking back, I never understood how much teachers or professors help students. In addition to being educators, they are human beings. It is not easy as a child or angsty teenager to respect our teachers as we believe they did not understand us. While I am no educator, I went to the University of Northern Iowa where future educators are as prevalent as the purple and gold. Being a teacher is a tough job. While I would love the summers off, I do not want to spend two hours in a room full of students, let alone a full day. Most do not have this passion, and for the people who put it on the line to educate the youth, it is deeply commendable.

Embrace yourself. This is hard. In grade school and college, we try to find people with similar interests and values. In a smaller community, this is harder but not at all bad. Everyone learns patience with dealing with people who are different, and they might not agree with. Make sure to not force oneself into a mold one does not fit in. Be yourself. It takes a long time to learn this in life, and most adults still struggle with this.

Follow your passion as realistically as you can. Make bold choices while you are young. It is a lot easier when there is not as much of a financial, personal incentive in the game. Do not hold back and do not pass up interesting opportunities. You may have a chance to intern or study abroad in a cool location, make a big impact before you realize it, or do something else very rewarding. Go for it.

Trying new experiences will tell you what you value and what you will hold dear in life. Going to new places is always a fun adventure, and no matter what path you choose, you will always find your “home,” and it will not be from the school bus.