We all have a list of things we wished we would change, some we can do ourselves, others not so much…2020 has brought a lot of ‘needed change’ to our attention from here in our own backyard to our friends all over the world. We need to do something about it!
Here, we’ve complied a list of some of those of changes, most have something in common, a lot of them will take time and some will start with how we see ourselves and others:
- More diversity in options (uni) – despite having some of the best universities in the world, there’s not enough subject choice unless you’re willing to pay a ton of money to study abroad somewhere else like Jay! But, also not granting the students the flexibility of doing more. It is all about the Student’s happiness and satisfaction but when asking to do more to improve their grades there is no flexibility… they talk about making an enjoyable experience when all they do is cause more stress and annoyances.
- Student wellbeing – “The Children! Think of the Children!!” (seemed like an appropriate quote to drop in here…) Seriously, our psyche has been tested numerous times but this year has to be the cherry on top! We think especially of those who are young trying to figure out who they are, who are so used to being constantly around their friends and in school to being at home, being told they can’t go out with friends and hang out… for the teenagers that feeling of being trapped and struggling to have that break.
- Communicate between uni board members/senior staff/line of communication to student… as well as no clue to talk to. – Lord if we could put all the emails that we have sent and received about this we would but that is far too many! You send one email to one member of staff but you get replies from about 10 other people who are telling you need to email a load of other people… the journey to get to talk someone is painful so when they ask to talk over Teams or in person, you’re tired and fed up with it because of all the mixed messages.
- Support (university/life/work) – Ally: I don’t even know where to start with this… I don’t even wanna go into it because it makes me feel tired and just want to curl up in bed and forget about the world!
- Destigmatize mental health (teenagers/children) – We know there is steps being taken to do this but we still get the question: ‘What do you have to be sad about?’ ‘You don’t know what depression is?’ ‘What would a child like you know about being depressed and sad?’ It’s heartbreaking to think how easy it is to dismiss others feelings and not realise the effects it can have on them, where they begin to question everything. Where they question how they feel, thinking and believing that they don’t have the right or the understanding to feel the way they feel. But, it’s not just the young it’s in adults too. You find yourself not wanting to admit that you have anxiety, depression or any other illness you may have because you don’t want to be labelled with it… because admitting that you have a mental illness is wrong? Is looked down upon? I don’t understand why. We’re always told to admit if we have a problem and we will be helped, but it doesn’t feel like you can if it is about your mental health. That needs to change!
- Patronising – we’ve had it all our lives. Parents need to realise – well any authority figure – that children are becoming adults a lot quicker than before. Have you seen the world they have to grow up in? Their attitude towards issues can be alarming at times, thinking about some of the words that have come out of their mouths leave you stunned and wondering if it was them in that position how would they have reacted. It’s also they forget what it’s like, they start a speech with ‘I remember what it was like when I was your age… or When I was your age…’ but times have changed, the world is constantly changing. Their judgement on certain issues make us pause and think we can’t talk to them and when it eventually comes to light about those issues they ask why you never said and you look at them like ‘have you forgotten what you originally said?’
- Love Yourself/Self Confidence – We’ve had months of no socialising which has forced some of us to get to know the person in the mirror staring back at us! It’s not been fun, there may have been tears involved… maybe some wine… or something stronger! Vodka? Tequila? Who knows! But, taking that time to come to terms with your own opinion of yourself, not everyone else’s. It’s taking that step back and looking and seeing what you don’t like about yourself and then asking yourself why? Is it because you don’t like it? Or is is because people around you have said and say that you shouldn’t like that about yourself? That you should aim to be something else? Look like something or someone else? It shouldn’t matter what other people think about you, it’s about what you think about yourself (which is cheesy we know but it is also true!).
- Allowing the time for personal growth & change. – This may mean taking a step back and walking away. It may mean leaving your home, going on a trip alone. Growth and change doesn’t happen overnight there is no quick fix and the next day you’re someone new. It takes weeks, months and years! It’s a continuous process that allows you to keep evolving. It’s important to help people realise that just because you change your diet, skin care routine or whatever it is doesn’t mean you will be seeing changes in a day or even a week. It takes a while and you need to allow time for that and the same goes for internal change. So, if it changing your opinion about yourself or trying to be nicer about yourself to yourself, that will take time… it’s a process of everyday finding something you like about yourself that day and being thankful to yourself (everyone does it in there own way).
Nothing changes over night, but that shouldn’t stop you from making those small changes everyday so whether it be a month, 6 months, a year or 5 years… however long it may be that you can see the change!