(Post #28 in the 31 in 31 blog challenge, read more about it here)
This is the time of year that I put the new class list together for the Wellness Room (our awesome high school program that allows kids to get bodywork, read more about it here, go ahead, I'll wait)
There are about 185 new freshman this year, and as I typed their names into the data base my mind drifted back to my first day in high school. (actually, I was in 7th grade. Our school was 7-12) It was overwhelming, scary, exciting, humbling (like we need more of that when we're 12) and just intense in every way. For many of these kids they are coming from small k-8 schools where they have been top dog for at least a year, and likely felt like the masters of their domain for the the last two or three. That changes for them today, their first day of 9th grade at the high school. They are folded in with four other towns, so most of the kids in their own class they won't know. They are suddenly at the bottom of the heap, being the youngest students in the school. It takes herculean courage just to walk in the door, and some of them will need a few trial runs before they actually get through it, but almost all of them will, and they'll keep coming back. Yes, they have to, and that's why they do, but they are also learning one of the most valuable lessons in life. Fear can be worked with. Fear can be faced, taken in, and overcome.
That set of double doors on the school won't be the last scary door for them. In fact, it is my hope for them that they will find themselves in front of scary doors their whole life long. That they will take a deep breath, they will will themselves forward when everything in their body is telling them to run, and they will grab that handle and pull. When we step through, we leave fully half the fear on the other side of that door, and the rest is put on notice.
Where's your next set of double doors?