Happy New Year!

Last month this column started with a list of the ten holiday officially established by the Federal Government of the United States of America.

The last official holidays of the year is Christmas Day. The first official holiday is New Year’s Day.

I wished you a Merry Christmas in recognition of Christmas Day. It seems only fitting to wish you a Happy New Year in recognition of New Year’s Day. May this year bring great blessing to you and your loved ones.

The new year represents a beginning, a beginning of the calendar year.

School years have beginnings, too. Actually, school years have many beginnings: for example, the first day of school, the first day of football practice, the first day of marching band, the first six weeks (or any six weeks) and the start of the second semester. And that’s what we have this January 3, 2011, a new semester, a fresh start.

For students to take full advantage of this fresh start, at least three things must be present.

First, it is important to learn from mistakes. No one is perfect. We make mistakes. So, fresh starts give students opportunities to recognize their mistakes and to put that recognition to good use. It has been said, “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

Second, do not let your mistakes haunt you. Mistakes need not be like ghosts in a B-rated horror movie – scarring us so that we stop in our tracks … frozen … victims of fear. “Just because you make mistakes doesn’t mean you are one.”

The third element is to finish strong. A fresh start has little to no value if it lasts just a few hours, days, weeks, or months. It is important to finish and finish strong – that which you start.

For students to take advantage of this fresh start – a new semester –  they should learn from their mistakes, not let their mistakes haunt them, and finish strong.

Happy New Year New Year! May you have a wonderful fresh start and a strong finish.

About drjstewart

Christian, husband, father, educator, writer, and photographer.
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