1 September 2018

Some Thoughts for the New Academic Year

To me, September has always been the month of new beginnings. Ironically, in both of our versions of 'new beginnings', namely September and January, nature doesn't actually mirror this human feeling of change.
"My September has always symbolised change."

In academic terms, however, September is the perfect month for new beginnings, and for myself, this is often more significant than the official New Years. My September has always symbolised change, and for those few years of high school during which I completely fell out of love with the education system, it symbolised a new season of 'trying harder'.

Yet, it has taken me a couple of years, since I left high school, to realise that it is completely okay if your version of learning doesn't match up with that of the education system. Since I have been a child, I have always been a voracious reader, and around the age of ten, I was reading works way beyond that of my 'age range'. This wasn't out of some desire to conform, but instead out of a real passion for literary exploration and the desire to mentally push myself beyond the boundaries. However, by the time I was around fifteen, I was scraping my way through GCSE English and realistically touched about two books within the entire year. I am extremely grateful that, thankfully, this flunk didn't last long, as I definitely lost touch with a part of myself during this time, however, unfortunately for many this flunk doesn't pass until it's too late.

Of course, I'm not trying to suggest that everyone falls out of love with reading, some never will fall in love with it in the first place and for others, it will never leave. Whatever your intellectual curiosity is, I urge you to feed it, not just in a way that conforms with educational standards, but in a way which fuels your soul. I know that it can feel like grades are more important than anything else and yes, it is extremely important to try hard to reach your educational potential, but in reality, there are also so many more important lessons to learn in this life.

Therefore, I beg of you, instead of using this September as the signifier for another year of more educational pressure, instead of balance this with activities that you love and help you to grow. Try and create a passion for your life, rather than just living within the robotic nature of the society that we live in, and ultimately, know that you are enough, in whatever shape or size you come in. Our society will try and label us, but the only label that can truly guide us is the one that we can create for ourselves.

"Individuality is freedom lived." John Dos Passos
Amelia Hope © . Design by FCD.