About RSY

credit-James-Adamson2

Six years out of college, Melia Dicker realized how lost she had felt since she finished school. As a student, she’d done exactly what she was supposed to do: make A’s, go to a good college, and get a job. She assumed that by following the path laid out for her, she would become a confident, financially stable, reasonably happy person. But by the time she reached her late twenties, she still wasn’t any of these things.

I wish I could do school over again, she thought. I’d follow my heart and not just the teacher’s instructions. I’d spend as much time with my friends as I did studying. I wouldn’t take it all so seriously. And maybe I’d end up a happier person.

With that fervent wish, Melia sets in motion a journey back to her old classrooms to find the creativity, confidence, and happiness that she most wants in life. She starts a project that lets her relive each grade in school for one week, starting in kindergarten and continuing through college, in hopes of letting go of emotional burdens and opening up new possibilities.

Melia quits her job and moves back home with her parents; she becomes a kindergartener again and remembers what it’s like to laugh all day long and use her imagination. She discovers what it’s like to be popular, risks failure by taking tests without studying, dances like no one is watching—even though everyone is—and visits places that are full of memories, good and bad.

This is the honest and vibrant story of one woman who is able to redo her education with the perspective of an adult. Throughout the Reschool Yourself project, Melia faces the demons of perfectionism and self-loathing that have haunted her for years, as she learns how to chart her own course forward.

Melia kept a blog throughout the experience and now writes about how she is applying its lessons to her life. She is working on a book about the project.

Comments (18)

  1. Natasha

    i am so excited about this! this is going to be AMAZING, and I will be following your journey.

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Such an inspirational project — I can’t wait to live vicariously through you as you do it!

    Reply
  3. Gillie

    Melia, I’m so proud of you (and a little jealous, I can’t lie)! This is going to be incredible.

    Reply
  4. Minji Wong

    Hi Melia,
    Your possibility is amazing and I look forward to hearing about all the beautiful experiences that you’ll see by reinventing yourself. Awesome work!
    -Minji Wong

    Reply
  5. Laura

    Melia, this is going to be amazing for you and fascinating for us. I’m eagerly awaiting the business you create after your adventure to teach us how – logistically and financially – to do this ourselves. Oh the money you could make getting us out of our real lives and into the ones we dream of living! I’m fairly certain I’m looking more forward to your next year than my own; what an inspiring adventure we all get to follow.

    Reply
  6. Bennett

    This is really cool Melia, definitely a great idea for the makings of a best selling book. I can’t wait to see how this turns out for you!

    Reply
  7. Emilia

    I’m so excited to follow your journey! I know we could all benefit from exploring how we are a product of our life experiences and education- I look forward to learning along side!

    Reply
  8. Ben

    Melia, this is going to be amazing, ‘brace yourself!’
    -Ben.

    Reply
  9. Kanwar Singh

    Melia — this is terrific. Not only is this a great idea but it’s going to be very rewarding on a personal level. I’m quite envious! I can’t wait to read the updates.

    Reply
  10. Rob

    Wow – that is pretty inspirational!
    Sounds like an exciting life!

    Rob

    Reply
  11. Alicia

    I’m so excited for you! This is basically what I’ve thought I’d love to do for a while now–travel around according to my own interests and blog about it. However, I’d never write a book about it and I don’t have the contacts/network. Go for it!!! I’ll be enthusiastically waiting for new updates and the chance to help out.

    Reply
  12. Stephen

    This is going to be such an amazing opportunity!!!!! I’ve already loved reading literally EVERYTHING on the site thus far. This is definitely something I would like to do when I’m old and gray, to just go back and recap my entire life and chronicle all the events. How awesome… :)

    Reply
  13. Kathleen

    Ok, I already expressed how I think this is awesome when I saw you … a few days ago. But your website is now waaaay amazing too. So excited for you. Good luck!

    Reply
  14. Shannon Beitchman

    Melia, this is soooo awesome! I am so excited for you and I can’t wait to read the updates and hear your stories!

    Reply
  15. Jennifer

    I’ve always felt that one of the best ways to move forward is to go backward for a bit. I call it The Slingshot Effect.

    Reply
  16. Melia

    I love the idea of The Slingshot Effect; I’d never thought of it that way. You pull back a bit, set your target intentionally, and spring forward. Awesome analogy.

    Reply
  17. Bonnie

    Hi — I just stumbled upon this site tonight, and let me tell you: it is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I am about to enter my last year of undergrad, am feeling entirely stressed and misdirected and not connected to my work. And I feel like I’m missing something in my childhood and in my education – that playful creativity, as you mentioned.

    But do I still have to finish this year? I want to reschool myself!

    Reply
  18. Melia

    Hi Bonnie, sorry for the delay in responding – I just saw this comment! I really sympathize with you, especially because you’ve probably already started getting the question, “So what’s next for you?” I took a year off after graduation to live in Spain and temp back home in Sonoma before getting a full-time job.

    I highly recommend doing little things to reconnect you to your childhood playfulness and creativity, like buying a coloring book and crayons and going to town, or going on the swings in a nearby playground with your friends. Even child’s pose in yoga helps. Good luck, and stay in touch!

    Reply

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