24th October, 2017

Is it ever too early for students to start planning for the future?

By Rachael S

Written by Chude Obuaya

Throughout my prepubescent and adolescent life I have regularly been told that it’s too early to think about future. “These are the years to do 'foolish' things" or “time is on your side” are two phrases that have been uttered to me constantly throughout my youth.

However, is it actually wise to push these phrases onto young people? Benjamin Franklin once said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. In other words, by disregarding the importance of preparing for the future you in danger of your future being a failure. If now isn’t the time to prepare for your future, when will it be? 

Perhaps failure to encourage students to be focused and prepare for the future, to work towards a plan that has been carefully created, is dangerous. We wonder why we see such disruption, failure or disinterest in education. Could it be because the importance hasn’t been properly exemplified? 

Throughout childhood we say there's no need to think about the future, then as GCSEs are approaching, we go overboard to stress the absolute importance of education. We have to consider whether the same attention of planning for the future is promoted in every school across the country.

Are we providing students with the best opportunity to thrive? Do students understand the importance of remaining focused in all areas of their lives and planning for the future - not solely to achieve great results for school? Allen Saunders said “life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Many of life’s circumstances are down to the choices we make or don’t make. 

We can’t begin to predict everything that life may throw at us. However, spontaneity is easier to handle when there is careful planning in place - a contingency plan if you will.

Parents, teachers and friends alike all have a duty to actively work together to ensure that a student's potential is maximised. I believe that if we can create a culture that encourages a healthy work/play balance, we will begin cultivating the best motivational environment for future generations. 

My best piece of advice would be to focus and plan for the future. We should curb the attitude that idea that planning future isn’t a necessity for young people. We should endeavour to support young people to approach their dreams fearlessly but with wisdom. All work, no play, may make Jack a dull boy; but all play and no work will make Jack an unemployed boy. 

There is a time and season for everything. Let us not be short- sighted and be so concerned with short-term enjoyment at the expense of long-term success and security. Let’s work together to nurture a culture that promotes focusing and planning for the future. 

Let’s create a better tomorrow, today!

Born in South East London, Chude is a 23 year old biology graduate from Queen Mary, University of London. 

Currently on a gap year in Leeds, Chude plans to go on to do a postgraduate diploma in Physician Associate Studies next year. In his spare time, he loves to play the bass guitar and watch, play sports and is an active member of his local church. Chude also tutors science with Tutorful, you can check out his profile here.

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