September has been a month of new beginnings for most of my life. I was in continual education for 21 years, I didn’t take any gaps (although I wish I had taken many more chances). I went from school to school, the 6th Form, to university and before my graduation I had started working full time. With the hashtag of #Back2School doing the rounds this month I couldn’t let it pass without offering up a few of my own words of encouragement and also to share with you a little bit about me.
The Princess Diana Award Legacy.
Princess Diana was our Nations Princess, loved by the world twice over she left such a mark on this Earth that she will most certainly never ever be forgotten. I was honored to have been nominated by my school and to be awarded the Princess
Diana Award for Outstanding, Sustained and Selfless Contribution to Your Community in 2010. Whilst growing up I had got a handle on my confidence early on and although I didn’t know the path in which I wanted my adult life to take I knew the type of adult I wanted to be. I wanted to be someone who gave back, who helped; who changed things, I wanted to be someone who built things. I wanted, just as much back then as I do now, to be a part of something bigger and if that involves helping one other person or a hundred other people I intend to do so. Maybe it’s that sentiment that encourages me to blog or get up in a morning and go to work as a parliamentary caseworker. Who knows?
Going back to school is hard, even the most confident kid has a knot in their stomach as they enter the playground. Growing up isn’t easy but it’s the only thing in life that is certain, every minute of every hour of every day we are growing. Every minute gone is one we’ve lost so I suggest you use it to help others from the lessons you have learnt yourself be them big or small. Be the change you want to see, be who you want to be, it always seems impossible until its done, whatever cliché or quote you want to throw at it, actually do it, *be* the reason someone smiles today. Everything you do can and will inspire someone somewhere so don’t give up, don’t suffer in silence, don’t hide your talents. Go out there and get it, if you don’t ask you don’t get and more importantly if you don’t get what you really want you’ll learn a different way to ask for it.
I feel for those of you going back to school, to college or university here are my 5 tips for a more successful start to new beginnings. I’ve been there with my shoes polished and my new pencil case at the ready. I also remember all too vividly how crap shopping for school uniforms is! Didaskaleinophobia – The fear of school, quite apt this time of year.
#1 Start as you mean to go on. Be organized. I am organized to the point of obsession at times. I’m not saying you have to be this bad but get a diary or planner and use it. Whether you plan the future or track the past be mindful of your actions.
#2 Find what works for you as early as possible. Be it for revision or tasks at work find a method that suits you and use it. Adapt yourself to what works for you not what some else tells you to do. The most successful people in life are the ones that make a commitment and remember to follow it through.
#3 Be who you are. It is sometimes difficult to be as excepting of your own choices and the choices of your fellow peers. Confidence grows with time so don’t worry if you don’t have much of it yet, like a good wine it ages to perfection. Since leaving school my confidence grew, university allowed me to build upon that and then when I left into the big bad world adult responsibilities take over so much to the extent that there is nobody there to do things for you, one cannot help but get on with them and in turn become more confident. The more excepting we can be of our own differences the easier it is to be accepting of others and the easier life is, the earlier we get this the better.
#4 Be a part of something. Join a club, or an organization, make a difference and be more than just your studies or work life. Have you developed a skill or overcome something? Lend your newly acquired skill to help others. Don’t be afraid of speaking up on your own experiences and sharing knowledge and skills with others. Sharing is caring and we must harness this wealth of experience.
#5 Make your own decisions. Nobody knows you better than you. Make choices you want and stand by your decision. If it works out fantastic, if it doesn’t just learn from it. Life today is meant for staying on the same path forever. We adapt and discover different directions all the time. Do what you feel is right, right now. If in a few years is doesn’t feel right then try something else. I’m not condoning you to being flippant with you decision-making but make and informed choice and see it through. I rather enjoyed school all through until my last year of 6th Form. There was so little faith put into me by some of my teachers that I was prepared to walk away from it all and take an easier path but then I realised that that wasn’t really me. If you tell me I cant, I will. If I choose not to do something, trust me to make the right decision.
Go out there and be great. You cant avoid going to school or to college or to work (well some avoid work but you don’t want to be influenced by people with that attitude trust me!) so just take from it what you need, do what is required and enjoy experimenting with who you want to be and where you want your future to take you.