School… The best years of your life?

School… The best years of your life?


Words that have echoed through the decades. But are they still true?

For a lot of high school students school is tough and every generation faces new challenges. In this new generation of technology and information sharing, you would think life would be easier for students. With all the benefits of technology, education, travel and a shrinking world you would think our youth would be happy with their lot.

Unfortunately, more and more students are feeling isolated and disconnected from the world they live in. Cyberbullying, social media pressure, anxiety, depression and peer pressure concerns are ever present in our school system. As part of Links to Learning we explore all aspects of school life and try to find realistic, long term solutions to common student concerns.

Some of the answers that our students came up with when asked about school are quite surprising.  Below are some examples of common responses:

Q. What’s the best thing about school?

  • Nothing
  • Recess and Lunch
  • Friends
  • Holidays
  •  Links to Learning days

Q. What’s the worst thing about school?

  • Recess and Lunch — That’s when the bullies find me
  • I have no friends — Everybody hates me
  • Social media — it follows me — I deleted my accounts
  • Peer pressure — you have to own the latest, I can’t afford it
  • My mum’s car is bright green and embarrassing — I make her park up the road to collect me
  • Days when there’s no Links to Learning class

Surprisingly, homework rarely rates a mention.

Our Links to Learning team employ strategies to assist these students in making the most of their school life. We spend time exploring self: who am I and where do I fit, resilience, self-confidence, self-reflection, emotion management, peer pressure, bullies, respect, anxiety, problem solving, critical thinking, future planning and leadership skills, just to name a few.

We discuss global news issues that help with local perspective, we teach them how to set goals and how to achieve them, all the while building up the students’ impression of themselves and the world they live in. As a group, students volunteer their time and complete a project to benefit others.  Helping them become part of something bigger than themselves gives students the chance to validate their existence and explore their leadership and teamwork skills.

In a world where kids use fake Instagram accounts to hide their true self from the public, through Links to Learning we are teaching them to be honest about and happy with who they really are and what they have… and to reach for what they truly can become.