Whether heading back to school elicits enthusiasm, dread or mixed excitement, it also brings an undeniable sense of hope. Students, parents, educators and advocates all look to the year ahead and renew their goals for personal growth, friendships, academic performance and equality. Just this week my relatively small social network promoted girls’ education by raising money, planning activities and reinforcing personal capabilities.

Here is the mindset I hope all girls adopt as they to head high school or college:

School is an opportunity to take chances, grow and explore your potential. It is an important part of your journey and you get to navigate. Sure there are some rules you’re expected to follow and some crap you’ll probably have to deal with, but those too are chances to decide who you want to be.

As far as your education, you are the most important person on campus. Thrive!

For some more articulate words, consider reading the recently published letter by Smith College President Kathleen McCartney.