About RSY


Melia has written a memoir about the project (see link for update). The synopsis is below.

Six years out of college, Melia Dicker realizes that her life is moving in the wrong direction. She had assumed that by doing everything she was supposed to in school—making all A’s and graduating from college, then getting a good job—she would become a financially stable, reasonably happy person. But by the time she reaches her late twenties, she still isn’t either of those things.

Only then does it sink in that the reward for all her hard work isn’t coming. Melia suddenly understands that the very habits that made her a high achiever in school—perfectionism, people pleasing, and working herself into the ground—have turned her into an unhappy, unhealthy adult. She desperately wants to change, but after so many years of doing what’s expected of her, she hardly remembers any other way to be.

I wish I could do school over again, she thinks. I’d follow my interests and not just the teacher’s instructions. I wouldn’t let my grades define my self-worth. And maybe I’d end up a happier person.

This epiphany sets in motion a journey back into Melia’s old classrooms to rediscover the creativity, confidence, and joy that she wants most in life. She dreams up a way to spend a week in each grade at her old schools, learning on her own terms in the classroom and on the playground as she progresses from kindergarten through college. Taking an uncharacteristically bold leap, Melia quits her job and moves back home with her parents in order to do the Reschool Yourself project.

As she becomes the tallest kindergartener in history, Melia 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 battles the same need to achieve in high school that had plagued her the first time around. Along the way, Melia meets Darren, an unexpected love interest who tests her resolve to make her own rules.

Reschool Yourself is the vibrant, relatable story of one woman who undertakes a school do-over, seeking to transform from a person who looks like a success on paper into someone who defines success for herself. Readers will laugh, be inspired, and reflect on their own formative school days, accompanying Melia as she learns how to chart her own course forward.

Comments (18)

  1. Natasha

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

  2. Chris

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

  3. Gillie

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

  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

  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.

  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!

  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!

  8. Ben

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

  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.

  10. Rob

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


  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.

  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… 🙂

  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!

  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!

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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!


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