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A Season for Basics

Is back-to-school time just a pain, or can something good come of it?

If you’re like the teens in our house, going back to school is met with groans and griping.

But I know there are things about it you like too – shopping for new clothes; playing on sports teams; seeing friends and favorite teachers.

There are other rewards too: the satisfaction that comes with working hard and being rewarded with good marks, or struggling to understand a new concept and then reaching that moment when it all comes together in your mind. Learning a new skill such as cooking or woodworking can open new doors for your future, and give you knowledge you can use all life long.

I call these important basics the ABC’s of life. And I think they are even better when you follow a few simple guidelines.

Work Hard!

Do the best you can on your schoolwork and set aside time every day to do your homework. Make sure your homework is done carefully and handed in on time. Do the chores you have at home, and help around the house as much as you can. Do a ‘freebie’ chore for your elderly neighbour or grandparents. You will learn important life skills and feel the satisfaction that comes with hard work.

Eat good food!

You know the drill from health class. Eat something from each of the four food groups everyday: Fruit & Vegetables, Dairy products, Grains, and Meat or Legumes. (French fries and ice cream don’t count as “good”) Cookies, candy and sodas are fun to consume, but they are full of sugar, and you’ll feel lousy if you eat them all the time.

Exercise Every Day!

Don’t be a slug or a screen junkie. There is more to life than computers and TV sets! Ride a bike, walk to school, join a sports team, jog with a friend or join the school swim club. Take time every day to be active. You’ll feel happier and healthier if you do.

Save Some Money!

If you earn money from a part time job, or get a regular allowance, put some of it in the bank every month. Set a goal for something you would like to buy or do (like buying a new CD or going horse-back riding with a friend), and then save up for it. It’s more fun working hard when you have a goal in mind.

Have Fun!

Do something you enjoy every day. Read a book or play a board game. Get together with friends and make up dance routines. Start a new hobby. Go to the beach.

Going back to school gives you the opportunity to do many new things. You can spend time with friends, or make new friends. You can learn more about the world we live in. You can learn new skills. Trying new things and learning about yourself are good habits for your whole life. This September commit yourself to having a great year at school!