One of the most notable days in each school year is the Friday of the first week back, when students are slowly reacclimating to the routines and energy of a new school year. Early wake ups are reinstituted, homework resumes and the hustle and bustle of that reentry is palpable, as students are joyful to be back “at home” while still adjusting to the physical and mental shift (recalibration) taking place.
This year that “First Friday” experience was even more notable, as students who are so very happy to be back on campus are also responding to a whole new level of adjustment. Following the arrows, carrying all of one’s belongings and walking longer distances between classes have likely contributed to earlier bedtimes each night. Additionally, the drain from working harder to read people’s facial expressions or adapt to new traffic patterns in the school is necessary and also tiring.
While time and practice will find us all more settled in a few weeks, the reestablishment of school patterns and routines could take longer this year and might look a little different. Extend grace to your students, as they work through this process. At the same time, ask them about the silver linings in their day. Encourage them to focus on the many positives of whichever form of schooling your family has chosen. On campus students are expending energy walking between classes which decreases in-class restlessness, and everyone is getting a lot of fresh air this fall. Remote learners are benefitting from an extra amount of sleep in the morning and the additional comforts of being at home. Remember to check in with your learners and assess the ongoing impacts that each of these circumstances are having on them. You can also remind them that the Wellness Center continues to operate both on site and virtually. We are so happy to be back in our physical space, and we remain available to you and your children. Students can stop by, make live or virtual appointments, and reach out via email with questions or concerns. We have figured out how to social distance and maintain privacy, which has allowed us to mostly maintain business as usual. Sadly, we can no longer accommodate the large group hangouts and study sessions that give the Wellness Center much life, but we look forward to the time we can all be together in that way again. In the interim, we will continue to support our students and bolster their patience and optimism in the service of getting them to the other side of this current journey.