A Day You’ve Never Been To (For Students Beginning The School Year)


I’m not sure how you’re feeling today; probably that weird mix of great excitement bubbly energy and extreme nausea. You’ve probably got some new clothes, new school supplies, a new bestie, and maybe even a new attitude toward this year.

You also likely have some of the old stuff too; the same annoying fears, insecurities, and worries that you usually carry around. It’s all the stuff that tends to make you uncomfortable and nervous on days like this. You may feel like you’re the only one who feels this way, the only one who has this kind of internal storm, the only one who focuses on their flaws—but I promise you that you’re not.

And because I care about you, here are a few things you can and should do today as you begin this school year:


Relax and realize that no matter what this year brings, it will be great because you will learn and grow and change and feel—and live. That breath in your lungs is a sign of life, and with that life comes the endless possibilities that it holds. Keep breathing and keep going.

Look for hurting people.

Keep your eyes open for those who also are vulnerable; those who may be new or lonely or isolated or scared or trying too hard. Try to really see people. It’s a lost art. It may require you to go more slowly and look more carefully and move more thoughtfully, but it is worth it to learn to live this way.

Step into that hurt.

Most people don’t move past their own selfishness or discomfort or shyness to extend simple kindness to others. Be the one who does. Be the person who risks embarrassment or misunderstanding to say something affirming or to ask how someone is doing.  It may change the path of their day or year—or life.

Do what  you can, and rest in that.

Give each class and teacher and test and person and moment your best. Some stuff will come easy without you even trying, and some stuff will feel impossible even with your full effort. Regardless of the pressure you feel, you aren’t supposed to be brilliant at everything, you’re just supposed to be the best version of you that you can be. There will be enough brilliance in that. Work hard and then go easy on yourself with the results.

Look around.

This day and the ones that follow it may often seem rather ordinary or uneventful, but I promise you that there is beauty and poetry in them. Time is going to stun you with its velocity. One day you will turn around and find yourself looking back on these times and you’ll appreciate them as old treasures. Don’t miss them now. Keep your eyes open and savor every second.

Don’t forget you’re a walking miracle.

Never in the journey of the planet have you existed before. The specific arrangement of matter that comprises you right now is flat-out historic and worth celebrating. You are a weird, original, wonderfully odd collection of gifts, thoughts, talents, and experiences, and you’ll never occur again. Appreciate your strangeness. It’s awesome.

Remember that you’re not alone.

Whatever your emotions in this day are, remember that everyone is exactly where you are right now; trying their best at living a day they’ve never seen before. No matter how old or experienced or comfortable we are, none of us have ever been to this date on the calendar, and so we’re all new to it. That means neither you nor I know what it will bring. We’re all in this adventure together, seeing it revealed in real time.

Now, my friend, let’s you and I both go and see what this day we’ve never been to, has for us.

You are loved.

Be greatly encouraged today!

0 thoughts on “A Day You’ve Never Been To (For Students Beginning The School Year)

  1. Hi John,

    I’ve recently come across your blog and enjoy it very much.

    I send out a video reflection or a blog every week, and I would like to include you in future video. I would enjoy hearing more of your thoughts regarding the dechurched or the Dones.

    How does this sound to you?

    Take care,

    Patrick http://www.theunlikelypreacher.com


  2. Brilliant . . . and a reminder that every day is the “first day of school” for all of us – filled with opportunities to change the world.

    Be greatly encouraged, indeed!

  3. Hi y’all. I have lived almost 63 years. My report from extensive personal life experience is that every word in this posy by John is true, true, true. In particular, I would like to state that you kids who are identified as strange or downright weird by your classmates—as long as it is not some form of mental illness—that weirdness and strangeness of yours is a strength—not a weakness. History is full of these strange and weird people who are made unique in life by it—and give enormous gifts to mankind—like this guy:

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