“Young people, enjoy your youth. Be happy while you are still young and follow your heart’s desire.” (King Solomon 950 BC)
The transition from the carefree adolescence of early teens to the looming responsibilities of VCE–leaving school–adulthood can be daunting for many young people.
Confronted with so many choices and decisions in an ever-changing world, many youth feel confused and alienated. Fashion, peers, drugs, alcohol, sex, education, social media – all put enormous pressure on young people to ‘perform,’ often with undesirable consequences. In addition, relational/family issues, uncertainty about the future, and disillusionment with life may trigger anxiety, depression, substance use and, in extreme cases, suicide. Lacking direction, motivation, and a sense of self, it’s understandable that some students underachieve or fail – even those who succeed academically failing later in life.
Young people need to know they are precious for who they are, and are not defined by their marks and achievements; that their schooling is a stepping-stone further along the journey of life, which should be lived well. They must realise their inherent worth and dignity, and that of others, in order to succeed in life. They need to embrace life giving relationships, heroes, values, dreams, and holistic balance in their lives.
As someone who messed up in my youth, I understand the issues facing young people and have a message that is guaranteed to powerfully impact them. A natural storyteller, I also know how to deliver it. If you want to motivate your students to think seriously about where they are in life, and where they should be heading, then I can help.
Arthur James Bolkas MA Criminology – Churchill Fellow 2000