Sooner or later, we all face difficult choices in life. We doubt, we analyse, we hesitate. Academic choices, the ones that determine the fate of your future life, do have to be made (although way too early in my opinion). If you have already found a passion for your subject, you may be confused on your abilities, depth of knowledge and interest, choice between academics and social life. If you are one of the ever-large cohort of the undecided – you are most probably sinking in the swamp of choices, where everything you touch turns into a whole load of new possibilities.
How do you decide? How do you suddenly take responsibility for your whole life? How do you make sure that there is nothing better, and that you will not regret your decision later?
The answer is as dull and boring as you could imagine – you take it slowly. A step at a time, you reason every single assumption that you make. What it the most important part of your life? Comfort, stability, or indeed adventure and new frontiers? Both is a viable option, you should keep that in mind. Are you fine with working under set rules, can you rebuild a system from within, or do you desperately need one of your own?
It is indeed these choices that are more important, than the actual subject areas, because the more confident you are in your decision – the more time, energy and effort you can put into getting there, and thus the more likely you are to succeed. Once you find a general approach to life that you are happy with – be that fitness, always being there for friends and family, or indeed being at the top of the current in your academic field – you will not be distracted by someone being better than you in areas that you do not really care about.
Once you find that general approach to life, you will start to realise that you are either happy with the person you are now, or that you may actually want to consider changing something in your life, in order to become completely happy with yourself. That may sound very tedious, but the confidence in making your decisions does come from your inner confidence.
You cannot make a completely right choice unless you realise that you cannot really get it wrong. It is your life, and being the person you want to be will inevitably bring you to doing something that suits you – something you may currently not even think of as an alternative. The more worried and doubtful you are – the less you are likely to pick up those chances, and to really enjoy life.
Thus, once faced with a choice you really have no clue how to go about, remember that it is ultimately you and your happiness that matters. However difficult the option may seem, if you know that you will be happier that way, go about it. Your confidence in yourself will give you the ability to succeed, and the main thing to remember is to enjoy every moment of it.
Taisiya Trebunskikh 6.2
Last Wednesday, members of Outreach Society visited Longnor School, and shared their stories of their own cultural background with local children.
Longnor School is a local primary school 7 minutes away from Concord College. However, for the local children, the lives of Concord students may seem quite distant. Here, we have a very divergent culture. In this brief 1-hour visit, our 32 volunteers introduced to the children their unique cultures from different places of the world.
Each group of students took a small audience at a time, and conveyed three interactive talks to different groups. Students come up with important events or festivals in their own cultures. For example, Indonesia students introduced the Ramadan festival and stories of prophets in Muslim culture. The Eastern European group presented about the Orthodox version of Easter and enchanting legends associated with the festival of Iva Kupala. The Africa group spoke about the Nigerian festivals and the fairy tale of “how a tortoise mended its broken back”. It was amazing to hear so many different stories. Before my interview, I never knew most of the festivals myself. Neither did some of the speakers, before they started their research!
The talk was well prepared with pictures printed off to show the children how the event is often celebrated. “We will play a game with the children, and let them draw flowers,” said the Israel group. “We think the smaller children will enjoy the game, so we’re taking the reception class.”
For our volunteers, this was also a remarkable experience. To make a speech acceptable to a young audience wasn’t easy, but it was surely worth the effort. “After the trip, I feel as though we made an impact on the kids in such a positive way.” said Natalie, one of the African group members, “We simply made some new friends from a younger generation.”
Maeve Dai 6.2
Applying for a university place is not an easy ordeal. It can sometimes feel like jumping over a series of hurdles. However, applying for medicine makes things a bit more complicated. With thousands of applicants applying for a few hundred places, it is easy to feel as though the hurdles never end.
It is common knowledge that good AS and A level grades are necessary for a good medical school application, but in the face of such intense competition, stellar exam scores alone are far from sufficient. The ideal candidate will also have undertaken a period of work experience, which could be voluntary work, shadowing a medical professional in a clinical setting, or preferably, a mixture of both. In addition, good communication skills, empathy and sound ethical judgment are only a few of the qualities that successful students have.
Anyone that has been through the medical school application process will agree that performance in entrance exams play an important role in the success of a student’s application. Impressive scores are not easy to achieve. It requires a great deal of practice and time management. The good news is that many Concord students perform very well in these exams. The secret to this is very simple; a lot of hard work.
Even though the application process is daunting, I believe that the college provides more than enough information and support to give students the best possible chance at obtaining a place at medical school. From ethical discussions to interview preparation workshops, the support has been remarkable. For that reason, it is not surprising to see the impressive numbers of students that are accepted on medical programmes every year. With the help of the college, and the encouragement of fellow students, I am sure that nearly everyone will find success in the end!
Naomi Morka, 6.2
This week the school has been quite exciting I would say. I mean with Valentine’s Day coming up I am sure that every person here in Concord will be busy making Valentine’s plans and preparing Valentine’s Day gifts for their friends or loved ones.
I guess this is what makes Valentine’s in Concord so much fun because you do not need an actual Valentine date or a partner to feel loved on this occasion. All we need to do is to show our friends and loved ones how much we appreciate them for always being there for us.
I personally feel that we shouldn’t need an occasion such as Valentine’s Day to see how much ‘love’ we get as our friends show love to us every single day. However, on Valentine’s Day I managed to score myself a lovely lunch Date with Praveen, as evidently seen above.
This was all in aid of The Harry Johnson trust, where people placed bets on others to win the opportunity to have lunch with the one of the lucky people on offer. I really like the idea of a lunch date, because besides keeping the romantic flair alive, it was very light-hearted and all in all was a good laugh.
It was also quite unusual, coming up from Lower School I have never experienced an event like this before for Valentine’s Day. Besides this there were other events to help raise money such as, guessing how long Mr and Mrs Hawkins have been married for and a bake sale. The Mr and Mrs Hawkins challenge and candygrams raised around £1200 which is an astonishing amount, all given to an excellent cause.
To conclude, I hope that everyone enjoyed their Valentine’s Day and that something of similar merit to charity will continue in future years to come.