For me, my education journey began at age five in first school, and ended aged twenty-three after graduation from university with a degree in English Literature. Although the levels of academia and specific challenges became bigger and more complicated as my educational journey progressed, it would be fair to say that the ways in which I dealt with each challenge as it came my way remained relatively similar. As homework became harder and decisions directly impacting on my professional future came in to play, I found that my thought process and coping mechanisms were more or less identical to those that I employed at a young age. The degree of seriousness and difficulty may have increased, but they way I dealt with challenges tended to stay the same.
Firstly, one of the primary trains of thought that I relied on throughout my education journey was to follow my heart whilst also using my head. When it comes to school and university, these institutions and what you do inside of them take up the majority of your early life, so you have to make sure that the subjects you are studying are ones that you feel truly passionate about and interested in. No matter how renowned your school or university might be, if you are not motivated to study, then the whatever challenge comes your way is going feel like too great a challenge, and the only way to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by tailoring your education, as much as you can, to areas that you feel enthused to spend a lot of time with. This applies to all ages from which craft project you choose attempt aged ten, to which subjects you want to study for your exams before applying to university.
Another important factor that has helped me to deal with the plethora of challenges that education throws at you is reaching out for help when you need it. The only way you can truly learn is by getting others to teach you, and if you find yourself treading water around a certain subject or educational task, then it is vital that you swallow your pride and go back to your teachers for some extra guidance. I had a tough time accepting this, but just because my peers seemed to be able to get it first time around, it didn’t mean that I had to suffer in silence and sit through a topic without actually digesting it. Teachers are paid to help you to learn and understand, so do no hesitate to go them if you are struggling and feel like you need some extra assistance for a certain subject.
These fundamental guidelines of keeping your studies in line with your interests and not being afraid to ask for help when you might need it are universally effective across all ages of education. Attaining good grades and going on to get a good university degree are some of the most rewarding experiences that a young person can have, and for me personally, continuing to employ those two tactics throughout my educational journey proved to be a great success. From focusing on English at school to committing to a three year English Literature course at university, I was able to continue to study a subject I loved for nearly all of my academic years. With the motivation to complete my studies and the courage that I could ask for help from my teachers and lecturers when I needed it, what could have been a very difficult time became an easy and enjoyable one.