"Successful people have fear, doubts and worries. They just don't let these feelings stop them."
Last week, I was most impressed to meet with several different groups of students working on projects that they are passionate about – an Amnesty International Group and a Journalism Group, who are newly formed editors of Invicta Voice. It was lovely to share in our students’ enthusiasm for their ventures. Not only had the students completed a great deal of research to enable them to be well informed, but they also had great ideas. I know that initially, students are naturally hesitant in the presentation of their thoughts, but I was extremely impressed with the quality of teamwork and their mature approach to problem solving. Our Amnesty International group, for example, are in the process of launching several conferences whilst the Invicta Voice students want to radically change the format of the publication. These concepts are challenging and require an element of bravery along with a strong belief in their own ideas. This is something that I want to encourage in all our students – one of well-informed risk taking, whereby research has been undertaken to ensure that there is a strong justification for doing things. This was apparent in the conversations that I had with both groups this week and for that, I totally support their projects.
I have witnessed a similar approach in our Erasmus Conference this week, whereby we have welcomed students and staff from Spain, Italy, Turkey and France. They have embarked on a varied programme to explore the ‘digital world’. Students have also explored a wide variety of activities – everything from preparing a selection of dishes to represent their country, STEM related team building, market research at Maidstone Museum and Leeds Castle, as well as an international relations debate. Students from across all five countries have worked together to solve problems and learn about one another’s cultures. This requires an element of risk from all exchange partners. It is always a little daunting to meet and host someone new. But, to the credit of all our students, they have embraced this concept with excitement and determination. As a result, they have benefited from making new friends and gaining a greater understanding of ‘life and learning’ in Europe. This is similar I know, to the experiences of our students who travelled to Spain for their exchange this week. It is always a little daunting, but to have seen and heard about the friendships and learning that has taken place, it is clear that what may have initially been a bit ‘scary’ has actually further developed our students’ interests, viewpoints and character. I often state that Invicta is about so much more than an academic education; this week has certainly been testament to that for so many of our students. I read a quote that stated "Successful people have fear, doubts and worries. They just don't let these feelings stop them." This succinctly sums up my thoughts on the need to take a risk!