The Right Mindset for Back to School


"Can you believe we already have to go back to school?"

These are the phrases we use as students (and teachers) everywhere this time of year. "Ugh, I can't believe my summer disappeared." Or "I have to start going to class again."

But what if we shifted what we say, just slightly?

One of my favorite productivity experts, Michael Hyatt, wrote about this idea earlier this year. Instead of saying, "we have to," what if we say, "we get to."

"I get to go back to school on Monday."

See the difference? It's subtle, but it takes the dread out of the sentence and shifts our mindset. Now we have something to look forward to. Now we remember that we chose to do this. We get to go back to something we are choosing to do. Again, true for both students and teachers. You might say, "Oh no, I HAVE to go school so I can get this degree...get that job...because my parents are forcing me..." the list goes on and on.

Stop and think about all the people in the world who would love to be in your shoes.

I don't say that to make you feel guilty, but to remind you of the privilege of education. Around the globe, millions of people do not have the opportunity to go to school, whether they want to be there or not. It is a privilege to be getting ready to go back to school. By using "get to" instead of "have to," we remind ourselves of that privilege.

"I get to wake up, go to school, and learn something. What a privilege."

You don't have to run around saying, "Wow, I'm SO EXCITED to go back to school," either to get into the right mindset. Just the word "get" is what changes things.

Now for the record, I am the teacher that runs around excited about the first day of school. It's the best day of the year if you ask me. Everyone is well rested, at least somewhat interested in the newness of the year, and everything is so fresh! School supplies - don't get me started on how much I love those! Yep, just quickly walk away. Nothing to see here.

What else do you "get to do" today? Share below in the comments!