As a seasoned counselor, I’ve observed an intriguing pattern over the years: the onset of fall, particularly the back-to-school season, often instigates a profound shift in attitudes and behaviors, akin to the mindset changes witnessed during the New Year’s resolution period.
Studies corroborate this observation, indicating that humans subconsciously treat the start of the academic year as a kind of “second New Year.” The transition from summer to fall stirs a sense of new beginnings, much like the transition from one year to the next. The chill in the air, the changing colors of the leaves, and the return to structured routines all contribute to this feeling of a fresh start. This season is a powerful reminder that change is natural, inevitable, and often beneficial.
Research suggests that individuals are more likely to set and pursue personal and professional goals during these transitional periods. This phenomenon, known as the “Fresh Start Effect,” occurs when temporal landmarks, such as the start of a new week, month, or season, motivate aspirational behavior. The start of the school year, with its inherent sense of order and renewal, is a prime example of such a temporal landmark.
Autumn has an excitement like no other time in the year, it has an adventurous spirit like no other season, which is why it is probably considered the “season of change.” In her podcast, Unlocking Us, Brene Brown talks about that for some people Fall and the start of the new school year is “Go Time.” She compares it to getting that spark and energy/excitement to the beginning of the year, aka new years resolutions.
According to Dr. Margie Warrell, in the Forbes article, Time For A Change? How to Make Changes You’ve Been Too Long Putting Off, we as humans are wired to seek certainty and rejoice in familiar faces, spaces and routines. Weather your change is wanted or not it, it can keep fear running in the back of our head. Think of your brain as an organ just like your lungs don’t stop breathing, your brain is not meant to stop thinking, scanning to keep you in safe and comfortable with familiar situations. Dr. Margie Warrell discusses different ways that the change can be embraced with a little more ease:
1- What is the cost of you not making the change?
2- What is at stake?
3- Step into your future self- Visualize yourself making the change and having it work out
to your benefit
4- Don’t get lonely call in your supporters
5- Small daily steps
6- Focus on small wins
So, why not harness this seasonal shift as an opportunity for personal growth and development?
Whether you’re a student embarking on a new academic year or an adult navigating the ebb and flow of life, the fall season offers a unique opportunity to reflect, reassess, and reset your goals.
Take this time to re-evaluate your objectives, both academically and personally. Perhaps you aim to improve your study habits, cultivate healthier relationships, or prioritize self-care. Use the back-to-school season as a springboard to propel yourself towards these goals.
Remember, change, much like the seasons, is a part of life’s natural rhythm. Embracing this change rather than resisting it can make the transition smoother and more rewarding. As the leaves begin to fall, let go of old habits that no longer serve you and open yourself to new experiences and opportunities.
In conclusion, the back-to-school season is more than just a time for buying new notebooks and sharpening pencils. It’s a time for personal growth and reinvention. So, as the air turns crisp and the leaves change color, consider what changes you might want to make in your life. After all, fall is the perfect season to turn over a new leaf.
About Rachel Moore, MA, LPC | Counselor and Owner at Inner Light Counseling in Denver, CO
Rachel Moore, MA, LPC, is a highly intuitive counselor and the proud owner of Inner Light Counseling, LLC, based in Denver, Colorado. With a Master’s degree in Counseling and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) designation, Rachel brings extensive academic knowledge and practical experience to her practice.
At Inner Light Counseling, Rachel is dedicated to illuminating the path to self-discovery and empowerment for her clients. Her holistic approach to counseling focuses on the uniqueness of each individual, fostering personal growth and healing through tailored strategies.
Rachel’s expertise spans across various areas of counseling, including stress management, relationship issues, life transitions, and personal development. She is particularly passionate about helping clients navigate through life’s seasons and embracing change, often using the transformative power of nature as a metaphor in her therapy sessions.
Rachel’s strong presence in Denver, Colorado (near Lakewood), coupled with her commitment to mental health advocacy, makes her a beacon of light in the counseling community. Whether you’re seeking guidance through a challenging time or looking for strategies to foster personal growth, Rachel Moore and Inner Light Counseling, LLC are here to support your journey.