The Promise of a New School Year


Gabby Landry '18, Editor-in-Chief

The clock turned to 6:00am and shouted at me to get up.  I rolled over in bed, stretched my legs, and silenced Bastille’s “Bad Blood.”  I laid for a second and just breathed.  Tuesday morning.  The first day of a new school year.  With a deep breath, I sprang out of bed and began getting ready.  I had a good feeling about the day, and an even better one about the school year.

An hour and 45 minutes later, I took another deep breath as I walked through Montrose’s front doors.  The halls shone with the smiles of kilt-clad girls.  Friends reunited after a long three months apart and immediately began sharing their summer adventures.  A buzz of excitement zipped through the air.  This was the energy of starting another year at Montrose.  

There’s something about beginning a new school year that gives this surge of energy and a burst of excitement.  Whether it’s the thought of seeing a good friend after time apart or the idea of returning to beloved clubs and sports, a new school year holds promise.  That promise is the chance to learn more in favorite subjects, meet new friends, try a new club or sport, and embrace the start of school with a positive attitude.  It’s the unique opportunity to branch out of your comfort zone and grow as a person.

Head of School Dr. Bohlin encaptured this spirit perfectly in her speech during the morning assembly.  Her ten tips for “starting the school year fresh and remaining resilient despite the ups and downs” inspired faculty and students alike to seize the new year and, in the words of Student Government President Nathalie Falcao ‘17, “make it extraordinary.”  

Dr. Bohlin began with: “Beware of the poison of perfectionism.  When we give into the poison of perfectionism—we over focus on getting everything just right. We avoid taking risks…The poison of perfectionism keeps us fragile, someone who always has to be handled with extra care.”  At an academically-rigorous school like Montrose, that promotes character growth as well as academic growth, girls often hold higher standards for themselves than do parents and teachers.  Because of that, it can be easy to fall into the trap of perfectionism.  But we must remain open-minded and aware that we are always growing – both academically and personally.

Another crucial tip Dr. Bohlin shared was: “Let go of negative self talk and dwelling on mistakes. ‘I can’t. I’m not good enough. No one notices…She’s better than I am at this or that…I can’t believe I blew it.’ These thoughts and comparisons zap your energy. They bring nothing good. Press delete. Shake them off, and move on. Breathe. Get some exercise. Pray. Get advice and move on.”  I’ve never heard it more succinctly: let go of negative self-talk and stop dwelling on your mistakes.

Dr. Bohlin’s tenth tip was one of the most relatable and applicable for many students: “Take control of electronics before electronics take control of you.”  She urged Montrosians to “Give people your full attention. They deserve it. You deserve to live fully engaged with people and ideas. Eye contact matters. When you come into school, remove the earbuds. Put your phone down. Engage with your classmates and teachers. At home, put your electronics away at dinner. Turn off your email, Imessage, IChat while you are doing homework. Name your demons. Know what derails and distracts you, and put them in their place, so you can give your best attention to the people and learning before you.”  With school comes plenty of homework.  As the year begins, we need to get back into the swing of good study habits to maximize efficiency and get a good night’s sleep, and that will mean turning the phone off when doing homework.  

I left the morning assembly with an invigorated sense of the promise for the new school year.  As I went through my classes, talked with my friends, and later returned home, this promise empowered me.  It gave me a strong feeling of optimism about how this year will turn out, no matter what stresses and challenges I will encounter.  

That night, I wrote in my journal – a brand-new composition book filled with 100 blank college-ruled sheets.  The cover has my name and the words “Junior Year” on it.  I opened to page one and began writing.  Tuesday evening.  The end of the first day of the new school year.

The new school year is your blank composition book.  Make every page count.

For a full list of Dr. Bohlin’s ten tips, email!

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