Opinion: Know yourself and put friendships first
PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 September 2019
September is my favourite time of year.
When you train to be a teacher, no-one tells you how much you'll emotionally engage with your students.
Seeing young people succeed and make their way onto their next steps in life full of ambition and being a pivotal part of this is one of the most inspiring, rewarding and humbling experiences.
As we enter a new academic year and say goodbye to our leavers and welcome a new cohort of students, I'd like to share some words of wisdom and guidance for everyone who is making a new start.
- Be brave and positive
Be courageous about meeting people and having a go at something you haven't done before. Have big dreams and big ambitions. Be determined and use the resilience you have learnt to overcome inevitable knock-backs. It's easy to feel defeated at times, but view these moments as a challenge. Positivity attracts positivity, and positive people are usually great to be around.
- Get outside your comfort zone
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Don't only stick to friends who are like you, reach out and listen to those who have different interests and backgrounds.
- Don't be afraid to fail
Learn from your mistakes and persevere. The unhappiest people are those who have never strived and failed at anything.
- Don't stop learning
Be curious. A love of learning is a habit that you must continue to cultivate through life. You'll need it at university, at work, and to enjoy and make the most of your life.
- Know yourself and stay in touch with who you are
Put friendships first. The quality of your friendship is the measure that will matter, at college, university and beyond. Be kind to your parents. Remember that primary school really does feel like yesterday to them. Let them into your life and speak to them even when you don't need money. As you get older, you'll get to know yourself better. Always be true to yourself and never try to be what you are not.
- Don't lose sight of your importance
Finally, never imagine that you are too small or insignificant to make a difference.