Covid-19 has caused a lot of heartache and head scratching for us all...particularly you year 11s, 12s and 13s out there.
Ironically, even though you haven't been able to sit your GCSEs and A Levels, you've been tested more than ever during these last few months: in your motivation, and your ability to work remotely under varying socio-economic conditions (and stressful or non-stressful household circumstances).
Remember that just by you being willing to engage daily with your learning between now and September, and motivate yourself to attempt even the smallest of positive learning habits each day, you will be developing a game-changing attitude, and rock-solid resilience, compared to any other teenage generation since war time.
Learning doesn't even just have to be keeping sharp on your school subjects this summer. Learning is so much wider. Learning fuels constant change in your body and brain cells: look in the mirror and tell yourself: "I am not set in stone".
Don't believe us?
Believe science then: the human body is constantly developing, even without us realising it: Breathe and take in as much as you can each step of the way during these strange times: in a single day we grow 40 trillion new cells, and 40 trillion cells die: we are always changing and we should never feel we need to stick to one comfortable thing. This pandemic will have been (and will continue to be) an uncomfortable experience for you. But use it to fuel you on and understand how much emotional strength you will have gained. You'll carry this strength into uni, apprenticeship training and jobs in the future. Who said the journey was always going to be comfortable? Everyone gets a little car sickness sometimes.
What are we trying to say? Learn to love learning: summer is great time for new hobbies, new skills and fresh mindsets - and technology makes learning easier than ever with Youtube tutorials or free online courses on FutureLearn. Look after your mind and body, and explore ways you can tweak your diet, sleep, relationship to social media and how you revise, so you've a stable "knock me down, I get back up" attitude to your wellbeing over the next 18 months.
Employers crave your soft skills just as much as your hard skills. Your hard skills are those ones you choose to specifically study at 16, 18 and beyond. They are the ones you need to be able to do specific jobs. Your soft skills have been developing since you were born, since all those cells in your body come and go: they are things like critical thinking, creativity, compassion, empathy, teamwork, independent learning, self-reliance. These soft skills (sometimes called 'life skills' or 'transferable skills') the true fuel for your road trip.
MOJ TAYLOR is an Edinburgh Fringe First winning actor, and stand up comedian. He was selected for the BBC's Stand Up If You Dare competition for new comics - being mentored in comedy by Jasper Carrott. He was the first Taylor of his family to graduate a higher education course, reading Hispanic Studies & Drama from Queen Mary University of London before undertaking an MA in Acting at Drama Centre London (UAL). He has featured in various commercial campaigns (Asics, Nivea, Mazda, Lexus, Movember) and has delivered over 3,000 workshops to teenagers across the UK via Push and ComedyClub4Kids. He is also a PADI Divemaster, and has assisted on various conservation projects on seagrass and carbon emissions in the UK and The Baltic Sea. He is passionate about getting young people to scuba dive, as a way to develop their focus, soft skills, self-confidence and resilience. He is also a proud ambassador for the charity Freedom from Abuse, running Caught for Court presentations to 1,000s of children and teenagers on the dangers of county lines gangs, knife and drug crime and the realities of prison life.
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We're always interested to hear from talented young writers, so if you'd like to feature as a guest author then hit us up for more details.