Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beat the Back to School Blues

     You hop out of bed and pull up the shades. It's a beautiful Friday -- perfect for your youth group trip to the amusement park. As you board the church bus an hour later, someone says, "Hey, can you believe school starts Monday?"
     That question is met with groans and boos. Only a few of the superbrains look happy. And of course the parents who are chaperoning have huge smiles on their faces-- but they're adults and can't wait to have the house quiet again. You slump down in your seat and mourn the last of your summer fun. What's so great about a new school year? And what's so exciting about studying geometry instead of the color of the sand at the beach?
     Well, maybe nothing can compare with the fun you've had during the summer -- unless you were one of those who had to work all summer, then you're probably glad for the start of school. But if you've had a great summer with friends, at camp, or on a mission trip, you probably feel a little blue about the end of summer.

     Here are some ideas for beating the back-to-school blues.
     1. Plan a weekend activity. No, it won't replace your summer fun, but it'll give you something to look forward to. Maybe you can talk your parents into taking you and a couple of friends to an amusement park, the beach, or to play mini golf and eat pizza.
     2.  Set a few goals for the school year. Focus your energy on achieving better grades or better test scores, excelling with your science fair project, getting a part in the school play, or making the basketball team. Sit down and write out a step-by-step plan of how you can reach the goal you've set.
     3.  Try something new. Expand your horizons by joining Spanish or computer club. Volunteer to take pictures for the yearbook or try out for a sports team. Sign up for choir. Help with backdrops, costumes or props for the play. Doing something different will allow you to develop your talents and meet more classmates than you might otherwise.
     4.  Follow up on summer commitments. If you made a spiritual decision while on a mission trip or at camp, don't forget about it once school starts. The emotional high will wear off, but your commitment doesn't need to. Buy a special devotional book just for teens or sign up for online devotions and read them each morning. Take time to pray. Invite your friends to church, and look for ways to share your faith in the classroom.
     5.  Follow up on summer friendships. Keep in touch by texting, twitter, instragram or snapchat. Or yeah, you could even write a letter :)

     The start of the school year doesn't have to bring on a case of the blues. Use these ideas and some of your own to make this the best school year ever.

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