It really doesn’t matter how old or how young we are when it comes to back-to-school time. Just the words and thoughts bring back memories and even transport some of us back in time to our own back-to-school days. The pens and pencils, the calculators, the books, the smell of the cafeteria — well maybe we can forget that one — and our favorite teachers.
Some of our kids get super excited as they anticipate reconnecting with friends and gearing up for the upcoming events, sports, clubs and extracurricular activities. While others, well, not so much right? They would rather have their next cavity filled without the benefit of anesthesia or Novocain.
There are parents who just can’t wait for school to start so that they can resume and enjoy somewhat of a child-free mid-day existence while others will be sad to see the summer end and their children head back to school. Some of the kids and certainly some of the parents will suffer from separation anxiety, while others will welcome the independence.
Each year around this time, I always think about going back to school myself. I consider everything from taking part-time classes at the local college, or maybe signing up for a few online courses, to just heading over to the bookstore and loading up on reference books. My desire is not so much around getting a degree in a new area of interest, but more to further my learning around subjects that are of interest and importance to me. This time of year just inspires me to want to learn.
I applaud those adults, young and old, who either started college and left or never had the opportunity to attend college in the first place and now pursue their degree. One of my favorite things to see or hear are the stories of the 80-year-old grandmother who finally finished her college degree, or the story of the high school dropout who completed their GED and then went on to college, maybe even to get their master’s degree.
I also applaud the heroes who serve our country and either pursues an education while serving or seeks their degree upon leaving active duty. My personal opinion is that too many corporations require a four-year degree for candidates to be considered for employment and overlook some of the finest applicants who chose to serve our country instead of attending college right away. I have met many soldiers, both men and women who are eager learners, dedicated employees and who know how to get a job done while pursuing the skills and education to advance in their career.
Maybe it’s just this time of year, the back-to-school messaging that is on the television, radio, and in the newspaper ads that drives us all to think about how we can grow more, learn more or be more. There is no age limit on learning, no height requirement or weight restrictions, there are no health hazards or negative side effects to acquiring knowledge, and we don’t always have to be in search of learning more to get a degree, our Masters, or a Ph.D. , although those are great too. We are inspired to learn just because we want to, and that is an amazing and wonderful thing.
What does back-to-school look like for you or mean to you? I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s learn how to make it a better than good week.
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of www.candogo.com.