So, it’s back-to-school time. College kids move into dorms and high schoolers use summer job money for a fly new wardrobe. Time to choose new outfits, get energized about entering a new year, re-up school supplies, and reunite with friends.  Even though I haven’t been in school for years, back-to-school season is one you don’t completely forget, what with all the advertising from Targets, Office Depots, and others reminding you it’s time to shop.

Beyond all the shopping associated with the new school year, there’s a buzz in the air. Maybe it’s seeing people again and the thrill of meeting some new ones. Maybe it’s the excitement of starting fresh with new classes, new teachers, and a new outlook after a summer away. And yes, mind you, not everyone is excited about going back to classes or ending summer vacation, but even if you’re wanting things to stay on cruise control, there is still a surrounding charged energy and signal of change to come.

It could also be that when you end a school year, it doesn’t quite feel real until you’re onto the next. During the summer between, sure you’re done with your sophomore year, but are you really a junior? Technically, I suppose, but it’s not like you share in all these junior year experiences, pressures, and joys. You’re in limbo. So when that new year kicks off, you’re finally official in your new role.

Regardless of if we’re in school or not, we all need that back-to-school charge. Being in the adult world, it’s easy to let things slide one into another until you don’t realize you’ve been at that job for 3 years or things aren’t working someplace in life. The start of the calendar year brings some sense of renewal and resolution, but the nice thing about back-to-school is there isn’t an expectation to fix or make yourself better, it’s a refocusing of energy to hunker down, come off vacation, and commit to an outline for the year to come. Yes, there are expectations, but they’re less from what needs to be made right this year and more on a new beginning with new challenges. Which, really, explains life: a whole bunch of new moments and challenges. Sure, sometimes we barely show up and sometimes we’re not into it, but that’s life.

If only back-to-school was recognized in the work world as a time to lay out a plan ahead, get excited about stepping into it (even if it’s only because you bought new shoes to wear), and commit to it just through June. We can always use a commitment to learning and a burst of energy.

Take a moment for you, and consider what you can plan for and get excited for in your life this back-to-school season. Happy learning!

Stella Burchard — a New York City-based writer, sales rep, and blogger – is the Queen of Bows. For more on her + her writing, check out QueenofBows.com, her weekly columns on M.I.S.S., or follow her on twitter!