Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What I Wish I'd Been Taught In School

In a few weeks, I'm twenty-three.

A fully fledged adult now? Or do I have two more years because usually, when you tick a box on any survey/assessment, the range is 18-25. Maybe I have two more years as a young adult, yes?

Anyway, it got me thinking about things adults are supposed to know how to do, or at least, the things I think I'm supposed to know how to do. School didn't exactly prepare me for adulthood, and perhaps I'd have benefitted more from learning these things instead of trigonometry...


I was lucky. My Mum has done an amazing job with both me and my brother when it comes to working our finances but when it comes to things like taxes, credit cards, insurance etc, I'm making it up as I go. I think we all are actually which is sort of nice to know.

Mental Health

Thinking back, I don't think I had one lesson which focused on how to look after your mental health. It was only when I reached A-Level and opted to study psychology that I even looked at what mental illness was. 1 in 4 develop a mental illness at some point apparently, but I actually think it's probably 4 in 4 will experience bad mental health - whether it's grief, depression, stress, abusive relationships, abortion - we will probably experience something in life which puts a strain on our mental health. It should be discussed.

How to cook

And I mean actually cook. Not a fruit salad or lemon drizzle cake during food technology. I mean weekday meals that don't come from a packet or by simply putting something into an oven from the freezer. I mean, wholesome meals that come from chopping fresh vegetables.

You don't have to do well in school to be successful

I'm academic so I get some will roll their eyes right now. But if I'd have known that I didn't have to achieve straight A's to be successful in life, maybe I'd have pursued a career in music. The arts, sports, manual labour can all see individuals do well in life. In fact, having a degree isn't enough any more anyway. It's all about experience; which is arguably just as or if not more valuable.

Being 'popular' and well liked means nothing when school finishes

When you leave school, friendships become much harder to maintain. Lives fly by and before you know it, you haven't spoken in months. I think adulthood is about working with quality rather than focusing on quality. Not everyone will like you and not every friendship will succeed - it's about sticking with those who matter.


Saturday, 18 March 2017

Warsaw, Poland

Last night I returned home on what was a rickety flight back from Poland. I've spent the last six days in Warsaw, both sight seeing and also spending time on a University exchange, discovering the polish social work values and their practices.

I'm pretty exhausted to be honest. It's been a full on week, with long days and not much relaxation time but I have seen and learned so much.

Warsaw is not my favourite place in the world, and I wouldn't go again I don't think, however it is full of beautiful sights, culture and history. I'm glad I've been to see how Poland has managed to rebuild itself following the wars, and also have a little insight into how life is like as a Polish social work student.

Some of my favourite places to see were the Old town, Lazienki Palace and the Palace of Polish History and Culture, but I also visited Warsaw Stadium, the Royal Castle, the fort, Warsaw Museum of Polish Jew History and The Warsaw Uprising Museum. But what I also want to mention was that I really loved engaging in topics such as Brexit, female equality, homophobia and human trafficking. In fact, the whole experience is one that has made me realise how passionate I am about becoming a social worker.

I won't write much else as I'm conscious that writing too much about work on here isn't perhaps the best thing but these pictures capture how Warsaw is made up from truly amazing, diverse elements.

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