This third and final part starts with the end: my concluding message to young people: listen to others openly and impartially about their varying experiences after school - of higher education routes and non-higher education routes. Understand you have a choice, more than you realise, and that all anyone else can do is offer you advice and never tell you which choice is 'best', because best is something only you can decide...because no one is inside your own head and feels the way you feel when placed in different environments with different people doing different activities (place and people will affect your choices more than you know).
Figure out what you might want from life, and please please take your time over it, since we'll be working longer than other generation in history. It is more important now than ever to take the time to explore your values, beliefs, motivations (people, places, activities) to create a portfolio of hard and soft skills for whatever the world of work throws at you. Do what you love, and love what you do.
Life isn't perfect, but neither should it be. I love what I do, and therefore even though my past wasn't perfect and there's hints of regrets, I wouldn't change the last 14 years since I graduated (it really has been that long) because after my first higher education experience, I undertook a second one. I saw an ad for PUSH presenters during a fleeting glance at my Jobs & Opportunities board during my 4-day a week MA at drama school, a school which is part of University of the Arts London (what was I saying about how varied the higher education experience can be?).
As well as an acting 'career' with minor blips of projects I've been incredibly proud of, I've been able to balance those blips with an organisation I'm more in love with than any of my previous girlfriends. I have gone on to deliver 1,000s of sessions to help young people make well informed choices (by understanding what they are firstly) and to see their life experiences at 18 as something to get excited about.
The key message I tell them? Life is a marathon, not a sprint. And we're all running our own solo ultra-marathon, not a track race from the starting blocks with other competitors. I wish I could have told myself to take the time to just stop, breathe and think more about my choices at 18. It might have been the exact same choices and pathway, but I guarantee it would have been sprinkled with a little more self-confidence, joy and aliveness.
If you missed my other blogs catch up here with part 1 and part 2
MOJ TAYLOR is a comedian who started stand up when selected for the BBC's Stand Up If You Dare in 2013 - and was mentored by Mark Dolan and Jasper Carrott. He is the Executive of Push - he has also won a Fringe First award in Edinburgh as an actor. Within Push, he is responsible for overall business development, the selection and training of presenters, and collaborative outreach. He also works closely with Johnny to ensure all the Push framework is deeply informative, but also inspiring and funny. His website is mojtaylor.com
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