Teachers and parents, for most of you, winter break has begun. This is actually a VERY important vlog, so check it out. In this vlog I speak directly TO STUDENTS, but I also am speaking to teachers and parents here. (and as always, parents and teachers should watch first to see if it’s something you want to share with your child/student. ) Here are 8 essential tips for break, and the first one is **time sensitive**, so watch the opening today, seriously.
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Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
Congratulations. Students, it is winter break, it’s December 20th 2020, 12/20/2020. For the vast majority of you students who are watching this today, it is want to break. Congratulations, I’m really happy for you. Take a deep breath. So for most of you watching, you’re done. Some of you have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of school this week, but most of you are done with the semester or done with school up until winter break, most of you are on winter break. For those of you who are done with the semester, I have an important message for you. For those of you who are not, still listen to this message. And teachers and parents, I want you to hear this video, this is an important video. I have eight things for you students. And number one today is the most important tactical one.
Number 1: is NEGU. Never Ever Give Up. Never ever give up. Oh, by the way, my name is Seth Perler, I’m executive function coach. I help struggling students navigate this thing called education so you can have an awesome life. Okay, that’s what I do. Anyhow, number one is NEGU, never ever give up. Students, I don’t want you to ever give up. And I particularly don’t want you to give up on advocating for yourself now. What does that mean? Please, please, please listen to my advice. I’ve been doing what I do for a long time, I’ve saved a lot of kids a lot of energy and time and stress with this simple thing. Here’s the thing – I don’t want you, you probably don’t want to, have to retake a class because you failed a class. You don’t want to be in summer school, you want to retake it this semester or next fall, if you would have to take it next fall. I don’t want you to have to retake a class. Well, why do you have to retake a class? Because you fail a class. How do you fail a class? It’s because you get such a low percentage that you fail. So it’s a numbers game in that sense, at least. So what I’m proposing to you is today, even though it’s Sunday, even though the semester may be over, I don’t care never ever give up. So what you want to do is you want to look at all your portals and all your grades, you want to make sure you’re passing all your classes, then look at the grade details, make sure nothing wacky happened. For example, maybe you did your final exam, you click ‘Submit,’ but you look at it and you have a zero in your final exam. How can you possibly have a zero? You need to email that teacher and make sure that you don’t fail the class because you have a zero that you don’t really have. Maybe you look back and you see “Oh my gosh, in November, I did this giant assignment and I have a zero on it. Why do I have a zero on that? It pulled me down to an F.” Maybe you’re missing a few assignments, but you know you have them, maybe you did a final project and forgot to turn it in. I don’t care what the situation is. NEGU, never ever give up. When you find those wacky things email the teacher say, “Hey, I know this is crazy. I know it’s Sunday, but I am missing this thing. Will you please help me? Can we can we figure this out?” Why do I tell you to do that? Different schools in different school districts have different times or ways that teachers input the grades, different software, and sometimes the teacher can do something to change it. What they’re probably going to tell you is that it’s set-in-stone, they can’t change anything, but that’s not always true. Sometimes there is a workaround and there’s a reason that they’re able to legitimately change it. So you want to advocate for yourself. Now I know some of you have limiting beliefs. I used to have a lot of limiting beliefs and you’re like, “No Seth, that’s not gonna work for me. Yeah, but I’m different. I can’t do it because, I can’t do because, I can’t do it because, and you have excuses and you have reasons. Those reasons are just barriers that are in your way from trying to advocate for yourself. Do it anyway. Look, if it takes you five or 10 minutes, and you do it and it didn’t work out, who cares? It’s a small price to pay for potentially not retaking a class for an entire semester or some crazyness like that. Or having to deal with it after break once you find out and having to jump through a lot more hoops to work with it then. Listen, most teachers are caring. And I know you might be like, “Well, this teacher, Seth, you don’t understand.” I don’t care. Email them anyway, tell them the truth, tell them what happened and what’s going on and advocate for yourself. You’re worth it. This education is for you. It’s not for me, it’s not for your parents, not for your teachers. This is for you and your life. So don’t give up. Check your portals and if there’s anything wacky, just email the teacher and try. At least try, and do it today. Don’t wait until tomorrow. The longer you wait, the more it is going to be set-in-stone.
Number 2: Tip number two for this winter break. Plan and celebrate you. What I mean is celebrate yourself but you have to plan it. You have to plan it because this break is going to go by like that. But I want you to take time to celebrate yourself. I don’t care if you have a party with your family. I don’t care if you have a movie night. I don’t care if you buy yourself something, you can gift yourself something like that guitar was a gift that I bought for myself after a bunch of hard work. I really wanted that particular one. I’ve been eyeing it for years. I gifted myself. Gift yourself. You worked hard. And you might be like “Seth, I didn’t really work that hard.” I don’t care. You what you did well is what you want to reward, so reward yourself. Celebrate yourself. Gift yourself for what you did well, what you did right, where you tried, where your effort is. Not for the results, not for grades, not for the scores, not for the numbers. For your effort, very important. But plan your celebration, whatever you want to do to celebrate, plan it, because otherwise your brain is going to go by and it’s not gonna happen. It’s important psychologically to celebrate yourself because we often beat up on ourselves so much. It’s important to do the complete opposite and practice it.
Number 3: Tip number three for this winter break. Tip number three of eight, is you may have weird feelings right now. Here’s what I mean. Your semester just ended. You may feel this weird sense of relief and calm, and “Oh my gosh, the chaos is over.” And “Oh my gosh, I can breathe” and “Oh, I don’t have anything hanging over my head anymore. I don’t have any, you know, lessons or assignment weighing me down.” You may feel sad, or depressed, or lonely, or angry, or grumpy. When we have a giant shift, like when a semester ends, a lot of weird and uncomfortable feelings can come up. So I’m telling you this on tip number three just so that you can be aware of it. And you can not think “Oh my gosh, there’s something wrong with me?” Nothing’s wrong with you. Most people when there’s a giant change like this, even if you don’t think it’s that giant, there are weird feelings that come because it’s changed. The nervous system is feeling change, and it’s feeling stress and you have to figure out what to do with that. So just if it happens to be like, “Oh, yep, that’s probably it, just having some change right now.”
Number 4: Plan your break. Now of course it’s break, you’re like “Seth, why should I plan break?” What I’m saying is think through what you want to do during break. Like maybe last semester, you were like, Oh, I wish I could be skiing more “Oh, I wish I could be hiking more, or seeing my friends more, or this more, or I want to build this thing, or create this thing, or start a website, or start a new hobby, or read a book or whatever,” this is the time to do it. Break goes by again so fast. In the blink of an eye we’re going to be back in school. So plan it and then post it, put it on the wall: I am going to do this over break, I’m going to do that over break. I don’t care if it’s on a calendar or a sticky note, I don’t care. But invest in yourself over this break. Plan something that invests in you, that invests, so that you’re building who you are in this world. So do something good for yourself, plan it and then plan your fun. So anyhow, the point is to plan your break because it goes by fast.
Number 5: Do a ceremony, a ceremony of letting go. What does that mean, letting go? You just worked really hard. You may have a bunch of folders filled with a bunch of papers you never want to see again, you may have a bunch of computer files you never want to see again, you may go through your drawers and your backpack and your folders and all the stuff, and make a ceremony to let go of all of it. Make it fun, make it interesting, make it cool, get rid of it, dump it in the dumpster, do something cool with it, whatever you want to do, but have a ceremony where you really say, “Okay, I’m done with this semester. I’m letting go of it,” and some of you are still in school, I understand that, when you’re done with the semester. You know, if you have papers that you wrote that are sentimental, keep them. Poems that you wrote that’re sentimental, you know, you got a great score on something you want to keep it for inspiration, keep it. That type of stuff, keep. But for the stuff that you don’t need any more, have a ceremony, let it go. There’s something also psychologically about purposely letting things go, having a clean slate. It’ll allow you to feel more free over break, but it also help you prep for next semester better because you’ll have that clean slate.
Number 6: Prep for spring semester proactively. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this one now. This one you can forget about until the day or two before break ends. So when school starts back up, you want to get your folders, your planner, your computer, your inbox, all of that stuff, you want to get it set up, cleaned up, clean slated, and everything proactively. Don’t wait till the first day of school, come home and think you’re going to do it that night. Just take an hour of the day before school starts and get yourself reset, do a reset, do an overhaul, be prepped. It’ll help you save a lot of time later.
Number 7: This one’s a little bit strange. Live in gratitude. Look, life’s not perfect, but you probably have a really good life, a really good family. Maybe they’re not perfect, but they’re trying. They love you, they care about you. Good friends in your life, good people, good teachers. Live in gratitude, live in knowing what you have. A lot of times we can focus on what we don’t have, that we’re not getting what we want, that things aren’t how we think they should be. That focus on that can drive us nuts. It can be very, very stressful for us. Spend time being in gratitude, live in gratitude. Notice what you have.
Number 8: The last one, I want to encourage you to practice generosity daily, every day, this whole break, every single day. Do something kind and generous for somebody else for no reason. Maybe it’s your sibling and you’re mad at them, do something nice for them. Be generous for no reason. Maybe it’s helping out with your parents with something you don’t usually help out with. Don’t make a big deal out of it, just do it. Maybe it is helping somebody that you see outside or maybe it’s contributing to a charity. It could be anything you can think of. Just some little generous act of kindness every day, do something generous to give to others without expecting anything in return. Why would I tell you to do that? What I found is that the magic in life, if you look at the happiest people you know, usually, people are happiest when they’re giving to others, whether it’s animals, plants, the earth, or the people that you know, or people you don’t know. When we are doing things to be generous, and kind, and giving, the irony is, is that’s when we quote ‘get,’ that’s when we really ‘receive’ the most important thing in life, which is joy. It’s not the most important thing in life. But that’s really when we receive joy. I don’t know what the most important thing in life is. Maybe it’s love, who knows, you figure that out on your own. That’s what you’re on this life journey. But generosity works. It’s magical.
I’m so glad you’re on break. I’m so glad for you for all the effort you put in this semester. For those of you teachers watching, please, please, please, I want to encourage you too, for the kids who are struggling with executive function, look and see if there’s anything you can do. Like I know, you may feel like “Oh, well, the kid needs to be responsible for themselves,” or whatever. But if you notice that a kid didn’t turn in their final project, like send them a quick email or the parents quick email and say, “Hey, I’m turning in my grades, you better get this in,” like give him the benefit of the doubt. It’s been such a hard year for everybody. If they’re not advocating for themselves, please help them advocate for themselves by giving them a hand. I just see so many kids fail at this time in the year. It’s really hard to watch them then have to go through the process of redoing a class and they’re often feeling so beaten down by school anyway. So please, you know, take this into consideration.
Anyhow, my name is Seth Perler. I have a site called SethPerler.com and I got a bunch freebies on there. Parents and teachers, if you haven’t signed up, sign up. Students, parents, teachers, if you liked this video leave a comment below. What are one of your tips, I gave you eight, what are one of your tips of what we should do over this winter break? What’s a really good thing to do over break? Should we read, should we write? What do you think anyhow? Be well. Check out my site SethPerler.com, give it a thumbs up, like it, leave a comment, do all the things. If you like what I’m doing, support me back. Take care and be well.