"I Choose Brave" For 2024: A Guide To Getting Set For A New School Year

"I Choose Brave" For 2024: A Guide To Getting Set For A New School Year

January 07, 2024

As we speed through January and towards the end of the glorious summer holidays, fear and worry can begin to creep in for many of our girls as they begin preparing to return to school. It may be that they are starting at a new school or a new phase of school, maybe they had a rough 2023 and are dreading the social scene; there are many reasons that our girls can be left with a nervous heart. 

As a high school teacher and educator who has worked in various schools and roles for the last 12 years, I've collected four of my top tips for prepping for a new school year. I hope they help! 

ONE: Slow and Steady

It's really important that our children (and us) have realistic expectations about starting in a new grade, school or phase of school. The first day back can be overwhelming for even the most savvy student. New teachers, new subjects, new timetables, new friends, new lockers, new campus... it's a lot! They don't need to get everything right on the first day and it's important for them to know that things will get easier and settle as the week and term goes on. All of a sudden, what felt difficult will become second nature.

Encourage them to ask for help and at the end of the day, focus on what worked well that day. Celebrate the small wins!

TWO: Reset the friendship scene

The beginning of the year is a really good time to reflect on friendships from the previous year that may or may not be carried on into the new year. Conversations around what a good friend is, what a healthy friendship looks and feels like and how they can be a better friend are really important to have. A new school year often means that there is the opportunity to reset the friendship scene if needed in a way that is compassionate and respectful to all parties. Sometimes the space created over school holidays is all that is needed for two once close friends to amicably go their separate ways. 

Encourage your daughter to look out for other students who appear to be kind and caring. One of the biggest comments I hear from high school boys (yes high school boys!!!) is that they wish they chose their friendships better when they started high school.

A good friendship should help a person to grow and be one that leaves them feeling stronger and more confident. 

Check out our Girls Guide To Being A Good Mate & Healthy Friendships for more tips on navigating the rollercoaster that is friends. 

THREE: Be a thermostat not a thermometer

It takes courage, but every one of our girls has the power to be able to set the atmosphere in her friendship group, class and possibly even year level. It is far easier for our kids to simply go with the flow and do what "everyone else is doing  but it takes real grit for our young people to be able to stand up for themselves and what they value. Everyone at some point in their life, has to stand alone. There is nothing wrong with standing alone for a little while if it means that you are being true to yourself. 

What does she stand for? What are her values? What does she want to be known for when she finishes school?

We've created the FREE Downloadable "I CHOOSE BRAVE" Affirmations to cheer her on as she steps into being her most favourite version of herself. 

 FOUR: Get the basics right

There are four non-negotiable we talk about here at Pippin Girl when it comes to self-care and they are nutrition, sleep, movement and stress management. One of the best ways we can help our girls to be ready for a fresh start is to ensure that they are establishing healthy daily routines around these four aspects of health. In a nutshell:

  • Our girls should be getting 9-10 hours of sleep a night. 
  • Key nutrients for growing bodies and minds include iron, zinc, good fats, protein and carbohydrates for energy. 
  • 60 minutes of movement a day is SO beneficial for our girls. It can improve moods, promote better sleep, improve concentration, improve confidence, decrease PMS symptoms + so much more. 
  • Some stress in our lives is good, otherwise we would get nothing done. Stress becomes detrimental when it becomes too much and presents in signs such as difficulty sleeping, trouble concentrating, headaches, stomachaches, feeling flat, anxiousness and many other symptoms. It is important that our girls begin to trial and discover what helps to calm their mind and decrease stress. This is different for everyone. For some it's getting out in nature, or exercise, writing lists, journalling, having a creative outlet, cleaning their room or desk, having a good conversation... Our girls need to find what works for them! 

From the bottom of my heart, I hope that 2024 is the best one yet for your girl!

I say that, knowing that for most of our daughters this year will hold some mountain top moments and some valley moments too. If you've ever observed a mountain, not much grows right up at the top. It's great for the view, but not very conducive to life. Where as a valley is usually lush and thick with vegetation and life. The view isn't as great in the valley but it's where the growth happens. 

When the end of this year comes (hopefully a little slower than the last haha), may our girls be thankful for the valleys that have made them stronger, wiser and more compassionate human beings. 


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