Life brings with it many challenges. Whether it is dealing with illness, preparing for examinations or trying to find your purpose in the world, challenges are an important part of life and can have many benefits.
Challenges during teenage years prepare a person for the adult world. They foster a belief that obstacles are a normal part of life and that one can manage them and come through them, often being better for having had the experience.
Hard times stimulate growth in a way that good times do not. Our ability to appreciate difficulties, learn from them, and use them to our advantage gives us an important insight into who we are and how to create success and fulfillment consciously and deliberately.
The presence of challenges in one’s life often requires working with others or at least drawing support from others to come through them. This is a good thing. As the poet John Donne said, ‘we are not islands unto ourselves’. We live in communities and we flourish best, not as isolated individuals, but as people embedded in supportive communities. Facing challenges forces us, in a helpful way, to work with others.
When challenges are faced and conquered, there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment. It is often the substance of great memories and the motivation for rich story telling. In contrast, a smooth experience, devoid of challenges, runs the risk of becoming routine, predictable and entirely forgettable.
Challenges are faced by all within our community. Our students have seen many opportunities to grow through challenge. Within our classrooms our students are provided with learning challenges and it is wonderful to hear comments like: ‘It was hard but satisfying,’ ‘We all worked together,’ and ‘Our group will be so much closer because of the way we supported each other.’ There was fun and laughter along the way and hopefully fond memories have been made as they worked together. Our Year 11s and 12s did not miss out on the benefits of facing challenges as they completed examinations in most subjects last week. Facing challenges and navigating one’s way through them builds resilience capacity.
Knowing that one can overcome obstacles, learn from struggles and benefit from mistakes lays a solid foundation for success in later life.
- Challenges often give us important feedback about where and who we are
- Challenges give us contrast and can help us appreciate things when they get easier
- Challenges can allow us to wake up and notice all the good things that are happening that we weren’t paying attention to
- Challenges are almost always an excellent opportunity for learning, growth, and improvement
- Challenges allow us to get in touch with, take responsibility for, and express our real emotions
Whatever your challenge is this coming week, I hope that you can rely on the support of others within our College community to create an opportunity for learning and growth.
Ms Giovanna Fiume | College Principal