To be educated, I think, is a privilege. Luckily, more and more children have access to school. However, there are still huge divides.
For those of us who manage to get to the stage of higher education – congratulations – it is the highest level someone can attain. Some of us may have children who are about to embark on this journey, which is very exciting but for them may be a different experience than for their parents.
For years, I have been advising students – young people, experienced entrepreneurs, managers, curious retired – about how to take stock and consider an alternative route by changing perspective. This can be for small projects (such as a thesis) or life’s big decisions (relationships, family, finances).
Navigating the early stages of adulthood can seem like sailing choppy waters. The challenges vary depending on the level of education and whether the issue is task-related or about relationships. So, for example, someone just starting at university may find the transition from school a challenge because they’re expected to be a lot more independent. A final year student may have learned to get on with their independent learning but finds the tasks suddenly a lot more difficult – their stress-levels also rise because they’re thinking about the future. A postgraduate student may suddenly find themselves surrounded by ambitious fellow students – they may feel intimidated or out of their depth in terms of the way the lecturer challenges their thinking. Those of us who are doing a research degree may need help with the organisation of their research project and the in depth thinking behind their contribution.
Many universities have a team of people who look after students’ welfare. There may be a personal tutor or programme leader who can advise, or there is the mental welfare team for more serious mental health challenges. The library often runs task-oriented support such as writing and research skills. But it may be that you desire more help and personal one-to-one advice that looks at life at and beyond university. Contact me if this feels like something you want to explore.