More Than a Number
Posted by Admin
28th Aug 2018

More Than a Number -  by Ellen Deaville

This time of the year is an especially anxious one for many young people that have just left school, college or university. The future beckons, exciting but terrifying at the same time, and after the security of the education system, making those huge decisions can make them feel like a mountaineer wearing flip flops – totally unprepared!

Many are trying to cope with disappointing exam results, being rejected from their first choice of college or uni because they didn’t get the grades, and they hadn’t got a ‘back-up plan’. Far too many are feeling guilty and like failures because ‘they have let their family down’ as they see it and some will have very unsympathetic parents who only make things worse. Some are justified in the anger they feel at having been ‘test cases’ for the much harder GCSE exams that were brought in this year. Most are just exhausted and busy trying to rebuild their self-esteem and get on with their young lives.

So how can we help them to do this?

  • Encourage them to have FUN with nice people !!! Rather than staying in their room messaging their friends, invite them round instead to ‘chill’ together and do something they haven’t done for a long time like baking, playing football or just listening to music.
  • Focus on the POSITIVES !!! Remind them of the things they have done well, the kind person they might be or the good friend, all the things apart from their exam results that will make them a success in the eyes of future employers!
  • GET ACTIVE !!! Rather than ruminating about life’s injustices and the evil in the world, encourage them to do something about it instead. Advise them to join campaigns, volunteer for a cause they believe in, make a difference. So much of young people’s anger is because they don’t feel listened to or valued. Even walking the old man’s dog that lives down the road can make them feel special.
  • SET SOME GOALS !!! When an unknown future looms on the horizon, it is crucial to get some structure back in to young people’s lives. That could be things to look forward to, helping them to write a list of key dates or just get more organised – all life skills they will need to start using more and more!

And above everything else, remind them that they are already a success in your eyes, whatever the exam results say, because they add up to so much more than a number.

Ellen’s new book is called ‘Just be Yourself’ and is available now on Amazon.

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