Head Boy’s Blog

Exams, Brexit and all that...

We have entered a new decade, but it is somewhat of an uncertain start.

Yes, we have had a general election and yes, the results show that the Conservatives won with a clear majority. But somehow there seems to be a rumble of discontent. And, of course, we still have Brexit hanging over our heads. We have been waiting for this huge change for over three years, knowing that it will affect all our lives, but not knowing exactly how and when.

Elsewhere around the world, Australia is burning before our eyes, the American president has been impeached, Iran and the US are rolling their sleeves up all but ready for a fight, students are protesting in India and that’s in addition to the fighting happening in many regions of the world. In fact, right now, there are 4 major wars, 8 wars, 25 minor conflicts and 18 skirmishes ongoing around the globe that directly resulted in nearly 100,000 deaths in 2019 alone, to say nothing of the upheaval to millions of lives.

The World Uncertainty Index (yes, there is such a thing!) is at the one of the highest levels that it has ever been since records started.

If there was a Personal Uncertainty Index, I am sure that it would be quite high for the many Year 6 and Year 8 students sitting exams this week. These will decide which schools we will attend in September. But the next few weeks are uncertain times for us.

But life doesn’t happen in comfort zones.

Uncertainty is one of those funny things. After all, there is something rather comforting and cosy about the familiar. It provides structure, routine and stability, so we can cruise through life without having to deal with unknowns. Because unknowns give rise to difficult feelings and difficult feelings make us uncomfortable.

But then imagine a life without any uncertainty. There would be no opportunities. No times when we are standing at crossroads, having to think about our circumstances, having to think about our selves, having to make difficult decisions. We would stay in our comfort zones, cocooned in comfort and convenience and ease. But life doesn’t happen in comfort zones. There is no excitement or magic or sense of achievement. Nothing changes and that ultimately suffocates us and we wither and fade.

Too much uncertainty, though, and we crumble under the weight of anxiety and fear. It takes a great deal more effort to keep going through life when it keeps throwing obstacles in your way.

So the key, then, is to take comfort in the routine and familiar, and to embrace the unknown. To accept that there are things we don’t know yet and to be OK with that. To enjoy the comfortable with the uncomfortable and realise that, however uncomfortable it gets, that is our opportunity to make the biggest difference and be our best selves.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with opportunities and the chance to make the very best of them. I leave you with a quote that has helped me through my uncertain times:

“When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Margaret Drabble

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