In praise of bright young things
After a long, hot, glorious summer, we are now officially in the autumn of the year. For me, autumnal days bring back memories of school – perhaps the nervousness of starting a new school, maybe the excitement of a new class, new friends, new teachers, new subjects to learn.
That was 50 years ago, but those feelings still come flooding back when prompted.
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself transported back in time during a visit to West Suffolk College. I was there for the briefest of meetings, but it happened to be just a few days after the announcement of the GCSE results.
Because of that, the building was abuzz with young people sorting out their courses at the college. I was really struck by the levels of excitement, as hundreds of bright youngsters chatted, laughed, and had fun while at the same time making important decisions about their futures.
‘What I was seeing were happy, confident young people, discussing and deciding the next steps in their lives’
It brought back memories for me, but it also emphasised how much things have moved on . . . for the better. What I was seeing were happy, confident young people, discussing and deciding the next steps in their lives.
Half a century ago, the scene would have been very different. Back then, young people were pretty much told what was good for them by their elders and betters. After all, they knew best . . . didn’t they?
Don’t misunderstand me – I was very fortunate to have a good education, and it certainly helped to open doors for me. But our futures were very much charted for us by the adults in our lives.
Now, we have a much more self-confident generation, who challenge, and question. I think of my own three children, now all grown up and forging their own careers. They, and their friends, were always very confident when talking to our generation, whether our friends, or teachers at their high school. Much healthier, and a much better platform for adult life.
As always, the younger generation faces many challenges. It can’t be easy plotting their way through the potential pitfalls. But I do believe that they are so much better equipped than we were all those years ago.
I wish them all very well with their endeavours.
THE BIG FUNDRAISING WALK FOR DEFIBS . . . WE’VE SET THE DATE
My sister Karen and I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people as we prepare for our walk on the Suffolk coast. Dozens of folk have very kindly donated to help us raise money to buy more life-saving defibrillators for Suffolk.
For our part, we’ve been training to get ourselves in the best possible shape for the 60-mile challenge between Lowestoft and Felixstowe.
The date is set. We start on Saturday, November 3, and finish on Tuesday, November 6. Four days, so we’ll be averaging 15 miles a day. My big worry is how to avoid the dreaded blisters, but I’m hopeful my excellent walking boots will keep my feet safe.
I know from personal experience how important ‘defibs’ are, so if you are able to help, you will be supporting the best possible cause. If you search the web for Crowfunding Walk for Suffolk defibrillators you will find our JustGiving Page.
Thank you. firstname.lastname@example.org
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