Maturity and Growth!!

Turning 20 is a period filled with an overwhelming level of excitement and yet concurrently an unprecedented level of uncertainty. We leave our teenage years behind and we realise that our days as rebellious, reckless and naïve high school students are over, and with that comes the realisation that we are gradually becoming independent and mature young adults. Accordingly, this leads us to develop questions about our career choices, our friendships, our hobbies and most importantly ourselves and how we are perceived by others. Thus, it is often during this period that we begin to question whether we have indeed ‘matured’ as individuals.

Maturity is a word that is often associated with turning a certain age (16,18,21) and consequentially becoming an ‘adult’; yet if there is one thing that I have learned this year it’s that there’s more to this word than merely age. 2019 for me has been a year full of highs and lows, there have been times where I have lost interest and motivation in my studies and questioned whether the course I was studying was really right for me.  It has been a year where I have become a lot more outgoing and developed new friendship groups and hobbies.  It has been a year where I have reflected on myself as a person and questioned whether I was indeed the person I wanted to be in front of my friends, family and those around me in my social circle.

In this post I want to write about the several different signs of maturity I have learned this year.

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1. Acceptance:
It is the attitude of acceptance that I believe really defines maturity.  It is having the ability to know our limits and acknowledge our weaknesses; instead of displaying a degree of arrogance to them and pretending there non-existent.  Its accepting that those around us will have different opinions, being open to them and understanding the reasons behind them; instead of trying to change them.

It is being able to accept criticism, accept the fact that we’ve made mistakes and we have done and said things that we’d rather take back. Accordingly, it is then having the ability to learn from those mistakes instead of denying that we have ever made them, dwelling over them or blaming other people for them.

It is being able to see a harsh grade to an assignment and think to yourself ‘what can I do better’ / ‘how can I improve next time’ instead of the ‘this is unfair’ / ‘I wasn’t marked properly’/’they were bias’ excuse. It is being able to reflect on an argument between us and one of our friends and think ‘did I act accordingly’/ ‘I acted out of line I should apologise’ ; instead of the ‘ their just overreacting / their always like that’ excuse.

It is accepting the fact that our teens and early twenties will not last indefinitely and making the most of our youth; instead of over excessively investing stress and energy into things we do not believe give us a real sense of enjoyment( IE: Overexcessivley working , studying etc..).

2. The removal of the notion that we need to be at the ‘center of attention’
It is the realisation that the spotlight is not going to always be on us and that we do not always need to be the center of attention that is perhaps another sign of genuine growth. It is being able to enjoy and be interested in our own day to day life rather than being constantly stressed over what those around think of us.

It’s the realisation that every time where at a party / beach / restaurant we should be more interested in the moments themselves; rather than being concerned about how many photos of the event we should upload on our social media stories.

It is pursuing hobbies and career pathways that we are genuinely interested in and give us a real sense of purpose and belonging; instead of ones that merely seek to give us validation and approval in our social circle because those around us are interested in them.

It is being able to display humility over our achievements and being able to look at them as a reflection of how far we have come; instead of merely looking at them as opportunities to brag about to our peers and ‘one up’ them.

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3. Honesty and Confidence:
Perhaps the final traits that I really believe defines maturity are honesty and confidence. It is honesty through developing a personality that is authentic and genuine. It is confidence through showing strength in any situation and not being afraid of failure.

It is being able to answer a job interview question based on a genuine experience; instead of relying on a memorized generic response.

It is being able to honestly observe that our workload in a university semester might be excessive and cutting it down, instead of merely ignoring it and ‘burning out’ later in the semester.

It is being able to see that perhaps a particular friendship group is not really one that we enjoy spending time with and moving on ; instead of continuing to hang out with them due to social pressure.

It is being able to look at a situation/event that did not go our way ; and confidently think to ourselves ‘that sucks – but its not the end of the world’; instead of trying to elicit pity or sympathy from our peers.

It is not being afraid to take risks and realizing that our goals are not ‘be all end all’ scenarios and that irrespective of failure or success we are going to be ‘absolutely fine’ ; instead of continuously being anxious about the outcome that goes our way.


As always thank you for reading this post; it has been a pleasure posting for eveyone this year. All the best with 2020.


The 2 Ways in Which Bullying Shapes Our Overall Identity and Personality; and the Steps We Can Take to Move Forward!!!

Perhaps the worst thing about bullying is not necessarily the things someone has said or done to us, but rather the long-term impact which such actions have on the rest of our lives. As an individual who has experienced  moments of bullying throughout my childhood and early to mid-teens (as well as saying and doing things to others which I’m not proud of) such moments have inevitably shaped my personality as well as my overall confidence which I have in myself and around others.

I feel like I’ve wanted to write a post such as this one, because the more I’ve matured as an individual throughout these past few years, the more I’ve realised how my overall behaviour, identity and ultimately the way I tended to perceive certain things was often the result of past bullying.  Therefore, in this post I wanted to write about some common thinking traps that we generally fall into as a result of being bullied, the way in which such thinking traps can adversely affect our identity and overall confidence in ourselves, and ultimately the steps we can take to effectively move on from the past and live in the present.

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1. Lack of confidence in ourselves and around others – the is ‘there something wrong with me’ feeling!!

Arguably the most detrimental impact which bullying has on us as individuals, is the way it adversely affects our overall confidence in ourselves and in the decisions, we make. The more we experience abuse from others verbally, physically or online (which has unfortunately become very prominent these days) the greater we tend to perceive that there is something inherently wrong with us as individuals. In my early years of high-school, I remember being constantly humiliated in my front of my peers, having my stationery damaged and violated, and having people I barely knew call me names such as ‘Robbie the retard’ and telling me that ‘no one likes you (me)’. Because of this I would often feel, and to a significantly lesser extent still feel as an adult, that there was something inherently ‘wrong’ with me as an individual.

Accordingly, this led to me experiencing periods of loneliness and depression. As I would often feel reluctant to introduce myself to new people and make new friends, join sport clubs, apply for part-time jobs etc . Because I felt that through doing these things, this would only reinforce the notion that something was wrong with me and I would continue to experience bullying as a result. Not only did I lack confidence in myself and around others, I would also lack confidence in the decisions I would make. Once I started to become more outgoing and make new friends, I would often find myself becoming stressed and apologetic to people for the most quasi issues: IE: Meeting a friend 5 minutes later (than originally arranged), forgetting to bring the right pair of shoes to a soccer game etc…  in the hope that I would not create any conflict or let anyone down.

In an attempt to change all of this, my behaviour became more obnoxious and arrogant. I would find myself constantly trying hard to ‘fit in’ and lying to people about all sorts of stuff (hobbies, grades, friends etc) in the hope that the new identity I would create in people minds, would be drastically different to the one that I was bullied for in the past. Ultimately, such a strategy was ineffective and did more harm than good to my self-esteem and led to me being more conscious of myself; as I no longer genuinely knew what my strengths were and what made me a likeable person.

I think the best thing we can do to overcome the lack of confidence we have in ourselves as a result of bullying; is to really take care and develop ourselves as individuals on a physical and mental level. It’s through doing this that we get rid of the negative ‘labels’ which people have imposed on us, alleviate any sense of self-pity we have in ourselves, and move on to become more mature and confident individuals. For me personally, I found it easier to take care of myself physically through exercising, playing sport and eating well, than taking care of myself mentally. Because even after years of not encountering any form of bullying, I still questioned whether there was something wrong with me and whether the names people had called me as a child and early adolescent reflected who I was as an adult.  Ultimately, the strategy I found that helped me the most in tarnishing these negative labels which bullying imposed on me as a person, was to build evidence against these labels. I started to look at how far I had come over the past few years, examined my achievements, looked back at all the amazing friendships I had established. It was through doing this that I no longer felt like an individual who was an ‘outcast’ and different from everyone else, but rather a resilient and confident person who could achieve any goal that I set my mind to.

The final thing that has helped me in increasing my overall self-esteem is to find hobbies and activities that give me a sense of identity and belonging; whether that be sport, volunteering, music etc. This has probably been the most effective self-help advice I have ever come across, yet through doing this I have found that my confidence in who I am as an individual has ultimately increased. Since the end of 2018, I have been volunteering in my community legal center. Not only has this allowed me to work with and make friends with like-minded individuals with similar interests and hobbies as myself, but it also gives me a sense of belonging as I have a rewarding opportunity to listen to and potentially assist individuals who have been disadvantaged or marginalized. Through doing such work, I have noticed that a lot of the doubts I have had in myself as a person have disappeared, and I have found it easier to treat everyone like a human being and display empathy , as well as genuinely interact with any person I meet in my life.

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2. Overanalysing every situation, expecting the worst and constantly stressing about what people think of us.  

I think the other way in which bullying tends to affect the way in which we think, is that we generally tend to overanalyse every situation and become increasingly self-conscious of ourselves.

Personally, I have noticed that I could constantly stress over the most minor and petty things I had done and then jump to irrational conclusion of what people though of me. For instance, if I have felt that I have said something that I perceive as ‘stupid’ in front of my peers I could stress for days and think ‘oh no, everyone thinks I’m crazy now’. Or if I had written a text message to a friend that I had found to be a bit awkward or poorly constructed I could think to myself ‘oh no they must think I’m a moron, no one is going to want to be friends with me now’. I would replay the things I had said or done a thousand times in my head, or constantly read over back and forth any texts or emails which I had written, and even go as far as ask people if they thought I was ‘crazy’ or ‘weird’ ; in the hope that they would reassure me and tell me that I wasn’t any of these things that I thought I was.

Accordingly, overthinking generally tends to only exacerbate our anxiety, because we go from thinking things such as ‘does everything think we’re crazy/stupid/weird etc.’ to questioning whether we are ‘crazy/weird/ stupid etc…’ to finally reaching a conclusion that we are indeed ‘weird’ or ‘stupid’ … Therefore, leading to a seeming endless amount of negative thinking.

I think the best way to really overcome such negative thinking and to really become less self-conscious of ourselves as individuals, is to realise that the spotlight is not always going to be on us. Our friends and everyone else who we interact with on a constant basis, all have their own busy lives and are not constantly thinking about the things we have said or done continuously.
However, if we are still feeling self-conscious and anxious over something, the next best thing we really can do is to examine whether there is evidence to suggest that people genuinely believe we’re ‘x’ or ‘y’. If there is evidence (IE: Someone telling us that what we have done might have been out of line), the most effective thing we can do is to address the issue with those around us, acknowledge our mistakes , apologise and move on.

However, if we deem the thoughts that we are experiencing to really be irrational and intrusive, the most effective thing to do is to just acknowledge that what we are thinking is really just plain ‘bullshit’ and not allow ourselves to allocate any time or any energy to these thoughts.

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I hope everyone has enjoyed reading this post. This has probably been one of the most difficult posts I have had to write, but by writing this I hope that some of my readers who have encountered bullying in their childhood or adult life can relate to this post. And even potentially find it useful in moving forward with their own lives. It has been really sobering to write this post because it has allowed me to reflect on the past, observe how it has shaped me as an individual in the present, and what I can do to develop myself moving forward.

As always thank you for reading, I would be more than happy in hearing about your experiences in moving on from bullying !!!!!!

The things i learnt from deleting Facebook and other social media platforms for a year!


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At the beginning of 2017, I had finally convinced myself that it was time for me to permanently delete my social media accounts. I had first created my Facebook account eight years before hand, when I was just 10 years old, and using it everyday to either check my feed or message someone had become a routine that was so thoroughly ingrained in my day-to-day life. I would check Facebook and other social media sites like Snapchat on the bus home from school, whilst eating dinner , before I went to sleep , or generally anytime I was bored……

I guess the reason I had deleted it,  was essentially to have a ‘fresh start’, I had just completed  high school, and I wanted to let go of all the people in my social circle that I no longer felt I wanted in my life. In the weeks before hand , I had spent time lurking forums and blogs where individuals documented their own personal experiences with deleting social media. The one thing I noticed was that most people did this as a short-term ‘challenge’ or ‘experiment’. However, for me I wanted this to be something permanent and when I deleted all my social media profiles, I had no intention of ever making a new account.

Eventually, after approximately a year off social media, I recreated all my SM profiles and now frequently use these sites again. But during my time off social media, there were many things I learnt which I hope to share in this post. Here are some of them.

1. My productivity levels increased:
One of the most positive aspects I found with deleting SM, was that I felt like I could do a lot more with my day than I could previously imagine. My concentration and energy levels would improve dramatically, as I would not be distracted checking my phone every  20 minutes waiting to see whether I had a notification that someone had messaged me or liked a post.

Deleting SM did not only allow me to study and exercise for much longer periods, it also allowed me to develop new interests and hobbies.  I would develop a strong passion for reading both fiction and non fiction genres. I would constantly browse websites and apps such as Quora, Medium, Khan Academy, Duo Lingo.  Whenever I was bored, rather than browsing my Facebook feed, or snapchatting my new sneakers to my friends, I was learning new random facts about ancient  history or about the different roles of neurotransmitters in our brain; knowledge I never knew would even fascinate me! Whenever, I would study, exercise , or read , I would jokingly pretend to feel like Eddie Morra from the movie limitless. In the sense that I felt that I was accumulating great  amounts of knowledge.

2. Without SM my mood was a lot more constant and my anxiety levels were generally low!
Perhaps one of the most significant things, I have learned from deleting SM and re-activating it again is just how distinguishable and different my mood has been when I have had SM in comparison to when I had deleted it.  Without SM, my mood would be a lot more calm and constant, and the highs and lows which I’d experience would be based on a lot more genuine experiences and factors. For instance, the highs which I’d experience would come from going to the beach, hanging out with friends , enjoying nice food etc… Whilst the lows which I’d expereince would come from having a family member in hospital or witnessing poverty whilst travelling in a third world country.

With SM, I feel that my mood constantly fluctuates; changing over a period of seconds and that my highs and lows are centered around quasi and irrational ideas. I can feel terrific from the sole act of a like on a photo or a reply to a text message. Yet concurrently, my mood could severely drop from merely seeing a photo of an event my friends didn’t invite me to, or having a message ignored.

Through my day-to-day use of social media, I constantly get anxious over petty things which probably could not even constitute being ‘first world problems’. I regularly worry about my self-image online and what people think of my posts / pictures / message etc … Additionally, I could stress about minor things such as whether or not I should have done X, or shouldn’t have done Y.

I guess without SM, my mood was a lot more constant. It wasn’t centered around petty and irrational concepts such as replies or notifications. I was generally less stressed , and grateful for the things I had in life.

3. Just how hard it was to keep in contact with people without SM
I think loneliness was the biggest factor in me reactivating my SM accounts.  When I deleted my SM, I didn’t completely cut myself off from communicating with people, I would still talk with my friends through SMS / Phone Calls. However, I found this difficult because communication via SMS is usually direct and brief, and thus it was hard to have a proper conversation with people. This was particularly the case, with keeping in contact with new people I would meet, as I felt it was more ‘awkward’ to talk to and get to know people better via sending SMS’s and emails, than it would be by communicating with them on a SM site.

That is why I think one of the benefits of using SM for me, is that its easier to keep in contact with new and existing people. As I have found it more simpler to find people in my contacts, communicate to people in groups and be invited to more social outings and events.

That is not to say that reactivating SM has completely eradicated the feeling of loneliness I have encountered.  I could still feel lonely seeing  photos of an event/ party I wasn’t invited to, or watching videos of my friends travelling. However, I think the benefits of having the opportunity to keep in contact and communicate with people more frequently , strongly outweighs these ‘difficulties’.

4. Just how needy and attention seeking my behaviour can be with SM.
I thing from the time I’ve spent using and not using SM there’s been some important lessons I have learned. Without sounding too generic, looking back at some of the messages, snaps , post I’ve made on SM, they haven’t always been reflective of the person I wanted to be, but have rather illustrated my personality to be attention seeking and obnoxious.

I’ve noticed this to be the case, not so much with Facebook, but particularly with Snapchat. During my time off SM, whenever I would go to a restaurant, a beach, or a natural park, the first thing I would think to myself would be something along the lines of ‘ wow this food looks good, can’t wait to eat it !’ or ‘ the waves look good, can’t wait to go into the water’. In contrast, with SM I have almost become addicted to thinking to myself  ‘I need to snapchat this, to let all my friends know what I’m doing and hopefully for someone to reply’. Thus, instead of being interested in the ‘moment’ itself (whether it’d be the food , the scenery etc…), I am more concerned about the 5 second reaction my friends will have to the moment.

So to conclude, I think social media is neither a good nor a bad thing to use. Like almost everything in life, it has its pro’s and con’s and people will have good and bad experiences with it. Deleting social media did allow me to become more productive , however concurrently it also led to occasional feelings of loneliness and isolation. I think for me, it’s about finding the right balance between how much time I spent online and how much time I spent offline. So whilst I probably won’t delete SM again, I have tried limiting my use ;through turning off instant notifications and occasionally deleting SM apps (not my account) from my phone, which have helped me in managing my time a bit more efficiently.

As always, thank you for reading. I would love to know the experiences which anyone has had in deleting their social media, and whether you have the found the impact to be positive or negative.


Getting over the feeling of ‘failure’ and ‘wasted time’.

At some point in our lives, most of us including myself, have gone through a stage where we’ve spent so much time working hard to achieve an intended outcome/ result only to  face setbacks and failure.  Whether its working hard to write an assignment and not getting the grade we’ve so desperately intended, spending an excessive amount of time in writing a resume and preparing for an interview in an attempt to land our dream job; only to never be hired etc…

Whatever the failure which we experience might be, a common reaction we have is to feel a sense of dejection and perceive that we have ‘wasted our time’ into a lost cause. Often this leads us to feel angry at both ourselves and everyone else. Additionally, it leads to a more perpetual feeling of worthlessness, as we lose our motivation to start things from scratch and achieve similar tasks, and question whether it is really worthwhile to complete a task ; if we’re only going to encounter the same disappointing outcome.

In this post, I hope to go through some of the innate responses we experience when we encounter failure, as well as explain why we shouldn’t feel as if we have wasted our time, even if we havent achieved our desired goal.

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The Initial Feeling of Anger:
After investing so much time, effort, stress and energy into achieving an outcome – only to receive a negative result, the most common reaction we will experience is to feel angry and frustrated at both ourselves and everyone else. We will deem every outcome that doesn’t go our way as being ‘unfair’,  question whether there is some kind of ulterior motive behind it , dismiss any criticism about ourselves and begin to vilify other people.  When we get marked harshly on an assessment, we’ll tell ourselves things like our marker was ‘lazy’ and gave us a bad grade because they ‘hated us’ and ‘didn’t know how hard we worked’. When we don’t get hired for the job we want, we’ll tell ourselves that the employers were ‘biased’ .

From personal experience,  I think we generally have a predisposition to feel a sense of anger every time we fail, because we’re told at an early age by those around us that if we  invest so much time and energy into a cause, we’re bound to only experience a succesful outcome. Most of the stories were told as kids are of people working hard to achieve a result, and then succeeding to then live happily ever after.  I think overtime our sense of entitlement grows and we begin to expect that if we work hard for something we are entitled to get it.

It is inevitable that we will feel a sense of ‘anger’ and ‘underappreciated’ at the thought of producing an excessive amount of input, only for it to result in little or no output.  However, we do need to be rational and realise that sometimes investing time and energy into something isn’t the only thing which will guarantee a succesful outcome. We could spend years of our lives attempting to construct a time machine out of toasters and duct tape, but with no accurate knowledge of science and engineering we’d likely fail . Likewise we could spent 4 hours in the gym 7 days a week , but without exercising effectively rather than strenuously and not taking any days off to recover, we probably wouldn’t end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We’ve all heard the saying work ‘smart’ not ‘hard’, well I think despite it being cliché, it is an effective principle. It would be more beneficial for us if we prepared for assessments in 2 x 1 hours intervals day, rather than spend 5 hours without any break. As we would we feel more motivated and our work would feel less like a choir. Similarly, it would be more beneficial if we spent 3-4 days a the gym per week rather than 7, as or body would have a lot more energy to efficiently complete exercises.

I think the final thing we can do to prevent ourselves from experiencing a high degree of anger and contempt when we don’t get what we want, is to initially never become fixated over something.  Often when we desperately desire something we’d attempt to make it the sole focus of our lives, in the sense that our entire day revolves around it ; whether its spending our day waiting for a response to a text/email, or memorising our responses to job interview questions. Yet when we fail we feel gutted in the sense that everything has been a waste of time for us.

Thus, I think the best thing for us to do , is to approach our goals as being ‘another thing’ our day-to-day lives rather than the ‘sole focus’ of them. This can be done through keeping ourselves busy and taking an interest in our own lives; whether that be through sport, music or friends.  Therefore, in the event that we don’t achieve the outcome we want, it is less likely that we will feel that we have wasted so much time into a lost cause.

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The Feeling of Worthlessness and Loss of Self-Esteem:
Whilst the feeling of anger is usually a temporary emotion which we experience after failure, a much more perpetual feeling we experience is the feeling of worthlessness. We begin to ask ourselves questions like ”what’s wrong with me ?” , ”am i crazy?” ,  ”how could anyone possibly like me?”.  Initially we deem these thoughts to be ”unhelpful” and ”irrational”, yet if over time we encounter failure more frequently, than these thoughts begin to turn into genuine beliefs. Our confidence and self-esteem completely diminishes, we begin to associate everything with failure, and thus lose our motivation to try anything again.

In addition to this being an extremely negative feeling, it is also a very rational feeling. For instance, if we were to apply for 82 jobs and not get an offer for any of these positions, than it would be natural for us to not have any motivation in applying for an 83rd job, as we would associate applying for this position with failure.

The easy thing to say to someone in this position, is something like ‘keep going…… never give up etc’. Yet sometimes this can be easier said than done. There isn’t always going to a manual on what we can do to achieve the result we want. However, I think the first step  we should take is to restore our confidence and to not blame ourselves for every failure we experience ; whether that be in the context of our social lives , studying, employment, sport etc ….. Sometimes we won’t get the outcome we desire and that might be for reasons that are purely beyond our control and have nothing to do with us personally (IE: In the example of employment this could be other job candidates with more experience than us ). Whilst it might sound cliché,  instead of getting anxious over these issues, we should focus on the actions and behaviours which we have control over.

I think this is probably where I’ll conclude my post for today, I hope everyone finds this enjoyable and helpful.

Grades are not the only thing in life!

A couple of weeks ago I received my grades for my end of year exams, and whilst I was  mostly pleased with my overall scores, I felt mostly underwhelmed and dejected. I didn’t feel this way because I was happy/unhappy with my results, but rather becuase I didn’t feel that I was enjoying a life that revolved solely around studying as hard as possible, waiting to see if my results were good or bad, taking a small break and then doing the same process over and over again.

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For the last four years, I feel like this has been exactly what I’ve been doing with my life. For so long I had told myself that if I had just continued to do what I do, than I’d become this overwhelmingly succesful individual and that everything I’d ever wanted in my life would magically come to me. Yet the longer time has gone by, the more and more I’ve felt disillusioned with this sentiment. Whilst I do find what I study to be interesting, and I am proud of some of my achievements,  my motivation and drive to achieve good grades has certainly decreased in the past few months.

This is because I feel as if I have wasted so many good years of my life, to solely focus on my academics and yet concurrently discredit my social life and mental health.  In a couple of months I will turn 20, and when I begin to reflect on the experiences I had in my late teens, I won’t get to tell myself or others that my experiences revolved around fond memories such as exploring new places, travelling, meeting new people or making life-long friendships (all the things I had hoped to do when I entered my teens). Instead, when I reflect in a couple of years on what I did in my late teens, I won’t have many experiences to reflect on rather than going to different libraries and working on assignments or studying for tests. This is not necessarily a bad experience, yet at the same time it’s not an enjoyable experience. This is becuase in spending so much time studying, I had sacrificed doing the things I actually enjoyed; such as refusing to hang out with my friends on weekends, because I had assignments for university due in two weeks. Whenever I declined these requests from my friends, I foolishly believed that by doing so, I was some kind of ‘warrior’ and that my perseverance would produce endless happiness and success. In reality, it led to an incessant stream of loneliness and depression.

The other point I wanted to make about studying, exams and grades in general is when we assess the broader impact they have on our life, the less and less significant we deem their impact to be. If we ask ourselves the question: ‘why do we study ‘? The most common answer would likely be: ‘So we can get good grades, get a job, be succesful , have a great career and earn lots of money’. I personally believe this answer is only partially correct, whilst in most instances studying hard does result in us achieving good marks, there is no guarantee that grades alone will allow us to obtain our dream job. In many instances, employers looks for employees who have more than merely ‘good grades’, but also individuals who have professional experience in their relevant industry and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. These aren’t attributes that we can learn in a textbook or in a library, but rather ones we learn through being outgoing and constantly interacting with people.

Nevertheless, even if it all worked out and in the near future we landed our dream job and became succesful, would it necessarily be the ultimate factor that we desire in our life? Whilst it inevitable that many people including myself, would have a sense of accomplishment and relief at the thought of having a high income and a career that we find enjoyable and rewarding, there are so many other things that would matter as well. In short, without trying to repeat the same old cliches, I think the thing I (and I’m sure many others as well) would desire the most in life, is; having a positive physical wellbeing, having a positive mental wellbeing,  having good friendships etc. None of these things, can be achieved through our grades or through the amount of hours we study.

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So to conclude, the point of this post was not to argue that grades are not important or that we shouldn’t study, but to reiterate that solely focusing on achieving good grades without focusing on our social life or our wellbeing may do more harm than good for us. A lot of us have heard the same BS rhetoric uttered to us by our parents or even our teachers that ‘you (we) should put your (our) studies as your number one priority, it is the most important thing in life’. I believe that there are so many more important things in life that we need to prioritise before our academics – such as inevitably the health and wellbeing of ourselves and those close to us. However, I also think we should prioritise our hobbies (such as socialising, playing sport or learning a musical instrument) before our studies. Because these are things which actually give us a sense of enjoyment, as well as a sense of identify and belonging. Offcourse, we should find the right balance between studying and our hobbies, and that is something which would vary from person to person. But if we’re ever weighing up between staying at home by ourselves to study for our exam or going to our best friends birthday party, we should always pick the latter option(irrespective or whether or not our parents agree) . Because in reality its going to be this option which allows us to be happy and develop fond memories for us to reflect upon later in life.

As always thank you for reading, and hopefully I haven’t rambled on too much!
– Rob.