A few ways to make this year better than the last…
September time marks the beginning of the new school (and business) year – and with a good amount of my readers in that school bucket, it only makes sense to do a Back to School Survival Guide. Last year I did part 1 with Gazelle – all about surviving school cliques, puberty, and getting the grades. This year I’m expanding a little bit more on all the things that used to run through my mind before embarking on another school year…
I’m not sure if you can relate (or if I’m on my own here) – but did you ever prepare for going back to school with a list of goals you wanted to achieve? My back to school vibe when I was in secondary school was very much on the ‘new year, new me’ level, each year I’d have a plan of action for how I was going to completely transform myself, and each year only 50% of that plan was really implemented.
Obviously, you need to have a work plan of action… I actually paid school no mind up until I was around 14 years old. Although I found myself in a grammar school before then, that was purely down to my parents pushing me and trust me – it wasn’t easy for them to do. When I got to year 9, I just sort of had an epiphany that I wanted to work hard, and from then on that was the approach I had to school. I had another epiphany sort of moment in year 12 – I had just applied for Head Girl and made it no further than ‘participation’ round – as small as it seems, I was so devastated by the result that this became quite a big turning point in my life for a number of reasons (perhaps a blog for another day?), and one of those reasons was that it encouraged me to dive head first into my work. It was very much a “f*ck all of you, imma do well anyway” type of moment for me; a few good grades and an LSE degree later, I’m always grateful for that moment for pumping motivation back into me. So, ahead of the school year, come up with your plan of action; as my dad always says: work hard now, and reap the rewards later.
Strongly consider starting your year with only supportive people in your circle. Growing up I was generally of the belief that the people close to you genuinely want the best for you – however the older I got the more I realise that this, whilst being the case a lot of the time, sometimes just fails to hold up. Sometimes it’s actually the people closest to your that will not want you to succeed, and this is something that I still experience now – and I am most definitely not going back to school. However, you don’t have to be older to know which of your ‘friends’ may not have your best interests at heart – and don’t be afraid to cut some names out if need be. Think carefully about who you associate yourself with; some people you meet in school will only drag you down the wrong path, and you don’t want to look back in 10 years and feel like you’ve made any mistakes. School is really just the beginning but lays some foundation going forward, so pick friends that will uplift you, rather than drag you down.
Here’s how to deal with peer pressure… Peer pressure is one of those things that continues right the way up until the end of school. You may even catch a whiff of it in uni. It’s only when everyone gets a bit older that people start to realise what just isn’t important and how much they don’t really care about the minuscule details of someone else’s life. I remember being in year 8, absolutely petrified of being asked the famous question at the time
Learn to appreciate things as they are… I very much spent a good bulk of my school life dreaming about university. I just couldn’t wait to be free, living out on my own, and doing my own thing. I couldn’t wait to be grown up, have my own money, get into my first relationship, turn up, and do all the things I thought were cool about university. But once I reached the point I’d been dreaming of for so long, it was over in a flash – then bam – all of a sudden I’m in an office for 12 hours a day. All the things I thought were going to be cool had just become a norm and really weren’t that exciting anymore. So – appreciate the simplicity of life as it is. What is there really to worry about when you’re young and in school? Grades and school drama. It’s a simple time. Not that I’m very old now (only 22) but I do sometimes sigh and think about how simple life was in the grand scheme of things and how much I wanted to rush ahead to eventually doing all the things I’m doing now. School is a very minute part of your life but a period where you grow and enjoy small luxuries such as a parental allowance, constant time around your family, and the novelty of a daily home cooked meal (and £2 lunches or something…) – enjoy it!
…And pick up your side hustle whilst you’re at it! My life is a living breathing side hustle – whatever my focus is at the time, you best believe I’m coming home and working away at other things. For example – Skylish was born purely as a side hustle. Something I was passionate about and interested in that kept me entertained, and now something that has become such a huge part of my life. Before Skylish, I was into webdesign, writing short novels, editing together different videos, dancing, athletics, musical threatre, acting… you name it, I probably dabbled in it. And now, whilst I’m working in banking and blogging, I’m also very much into entrepreneurship and always scribbling down new ideas. School is definitely important and can really give you a lot of security in life, but so is developing as a well rounded person in general, and only just burying your head in a book is not always going to get you to where you want to be. Plus, you never know, you side hustle could one day provide you with stacks of coins, and an entry into Forbes’ 30 under 30.
And that is my in depth, school survival guide for all my younger readers. And if this guide can also help anyone else no longer is school (as a lot of the tips are applicable to many situations anyway) – well that’s what I’m here to do. Share any views/comments you may have down below, or of course, I’m always responsive on social media!