This time of year always makes me think of when I was growing up and how much I enjoyed the new term, new shoes and new opportunities!  There was just something about the smell of highly polished leather, a new crisp uniform straight from the packet and, of course, a school bag with all its exciting pockets, zips and compartments!  Oh, the possibilities!

Of course, with the excitement of a new academic year came trepidation of unknown teachers, the confusion of a new timetable and grueling learning not yet known.  What opportunities though!  I just loved the newness of everything and could barely sleep the night before my first day back!

This year is probably no exception for those returning to learning over the next week or so and, given the disruption of the past 18 months, there’ll be many who are keen to start afresh, see their friends and get back into the routine of formal education.  You may have continued with some type of instruction through your school holiday, perhaps some tuition or perhaps a summer school offered locally.  Returning to school or starting a college course holds a special type of emotion – a perturbation – which gives you collywobbles or butterflies in your stomach!  This is all perfectly normal.  In fact, if you didn’t experience these feelings there’d be something wrong.  Your new adventures wouldn’t mean very much at all.

Think about what you’ll discover.  What you’ll enjoy (or not) and what encounters or exploits you’ll have!  All of this will build your character, increase your confidence and self esteem and make you the person you’ll become in the future.  Remember, nothing is ever wasted.  Even bad experiences.  We need these to help us learn and do things differently and better.  It’s this which shapes us.

So, look on your new term, new shoes and new opportunities with a keen anticipation.  Grasp those unknown emotions with eagerness and enthusiasm and relish in the uniqueness of this time of year.