August has always been my favorite month. Not only is it the month of my birthday (August 2), it is the start of my favorite time of year: the school year.
As a child, I loved the excitement that came with the first day of school. I loved having new school supplies, a new backpack, new shoes, and new outfits. I looked forward to meeting my new teacher and seeing my friends again after summer vacation. My mom used to take a photo of me on the front porch on the first day of school, and every year I had a big smile on my face because I was eager to catch the school bus, get back into the classroom, and learn.
On my first day of work at my new job as Director of Ag Literacy for the Cook County Farm Bureau, I had the same excited, nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that I used to have on my first day of school. I wore a new outfit, I had all new supplies, and I was looking forward to meeting and making friends with my new coworkers. I was ready to learn.
As an adult, you don’t often get that feeling of excitement that you felt as a child on the first day of school. Adults don’t have many “firsts,” but I think that that’s a shame. Adults should seek out new experiences, new firsts. We should have that queasy, excited feeling in the pit of our stomachs, not only at the top of a roller coaster or before making a big speech on stage. We should be excited to learn and try new things. Learning isn’t just for kids. I learn something new every day, and I encourage everyone to continue learning, too.
This August, pick up a new book or re-read one of your favorites. Visit a museum. Watch a documentary, even if it’s only a 5-minute video on YouTube. The excitement that comes with learning doesn’t have to be age-specific. Gear up for a new school year, even if it’s been years – or decades – since your last first day of school. Every day can be a day for firsts.
I’d love to hear your stories of your firsts this month. Send me an email with your name, age, city, and first experience at email@example.com. I’ll include some of your firsts in my column next month.
Enjoy your first days!
Katrina J.E. Milton