Walk, bus, commute, carpool. However you end up at school, whether it takes an hour or two minutes, use that time for yourself. Enjoy every brief moment of fresh air; of the outside world. I’d recommend not tuning out with your earphones in – you don’t need to distract yourself or focus on anything. Just take deep breaths, relax, and enjoy it. Take those moments just for you, not your friends or your family or teachers or classmates or anybody. Embody it. Look forward to being a morning person; to reacquainting yourself with a new day.
My house was about three minutes away from my high school, so I walked to and from every day using the concrete path that snaked from the sidewalk to the back of the cafeteria. Oddly enough, my social anxiety tended to peak during those walks. Not just because I was worried about looking acceptable, but because it was awkward to walk among but not with my peers. Eventually you just have to realize that you are allotted the same amount of space as every other individual in the world and you have just as much right to be here. Even driving to school with friends can be stressful, but if you relax and gaze out the window without contributing to any incessant chatter – that’s just what you need to do, and nobody can make you feel bad about that. Your friends will accept you and love you for who you are as well as what you do. Is “Stacy’s really chill in the mornings,” really the worst thing someone can say about you? Of course not! So you do you.
“Live out of your imagination instead of out of your memory.” – Les Brown
If you take the bus and it’s really raucous, I know it can be aggravating to try to ignore people or pretend you can’t hear them. So you know what? People watch. Observe the hell out of those kids and learn as many life lessons on that bumpy bus ride as you can. One of the most important things about self growth is knowing exactly what you don’t want to be – and by that I don’t mean changing yourself, or anything you already are, but by witnessing the certain aspects of people’s personalities that make them cruel, or inconsiderate, or ignorant, and catching yourself doing the same thing. It’s much easier to employ self love when you’re growing from your mistakes than when you’re idolizing someone else for their apparent lack of them. Remember that.
What’s your commute to school like, and how are you looking forward to taking some time for yourself? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @FreeAndie.