The boys and girls of fall

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

As a teacher, I do not think it is any surprise that fall is my favorite season. But that is for many reasons. Fall makes me think of freshly sharpened pencils and back to school clothes. It makes me think of leaves turning vibrant colors and falling to the ground. It makes me think of freshly polished floors and brand new notebooks. It is a time of renewal. But mostly, to me, it is a time for change.

As I write this column, I am listening to the song “The Boys of Fall” by Kenny Chesney. This is the anthem of my school in the fall. Yes the song may focus on football, but it makes me think of both our football team and our volleyball team. Of the school spirit that these events bring.

This feeling of pride and camaraderie let me tell you kiddos, you do not get that same feeling as an adult. There is nothing similar. In the music video, a coach is giving his team a pep talk, and tells them, “You will never have this night again. You will never have this same feeling again”

And that is completely true. Being an adult is not all that it is cracked up to be. Please do not be in a hurry to grow up. Mortgages and car insurance, chores, balancing a checkbook, working full time There is so much more to being a grown up that you are not aware, please do not be in a hurry to get here. Enjoy those moments of being a starter for the football team, or first on the court for volleyball. Enjoy that feeling of moving up from the JV squad to Varsity. Embrace the changes that you experience on and off the field or court.

Fall is a time when “change” simply is a part of the air we breathe. It comes whether we like it or not. Lately, I feel as if I have watched friends around me (through the help of Facebook status updates) go through some very trying times of hardships and heartbreak. As adults, we do not always embrace change the way kids do. I will be the first to admit I am horrible when it comes to change (and I mean big change). I forget to roll with the punches. I forget to let the bad days go.

But thankfully, I am reminded not to sweat the small stuff. That is because of the athletes. That is because of the Pep Club. I watch these kids get amped up for a game, I see the student body dress up, make signs, paint their faces all to support their team. Those athletes take it one play at a time, one set at a time. The fans get louder and rowdier with their team encouraging them and pushing.

As adults though, it is easier said than done, when it comes to accepting change. Accepting the “bad things” that happen in our lives. Thankfully, you can gather your own pep club. While my life has been changing, I have enlisted people to be a part of my pep club. But most importantly, I have come to realize that the support and encouragement I need is within myself. I remind myself to embrace the change and just go with it. It is simply the universe reminding me that my path in life may have been a bit off but I am now gently being re-directed.

To my boys and girls of fall – I hope you are ready. Sharpen those pencils. Bust out the new notebooks. I hope you are prepared for a new year – crisp and cool — where we will push ourselves in school, on the field, in the gym, in our lives we will work harder and be stronger than ever. Keep up with me, kiddos. We have a lot of mountains to climb, but you know I’ve got your back.

Editor’s note:?Heather Heinz teaches English at Lake Linden MS/HS.