I know it’s kind of a heavy title, but it’s a post that’s been playing at the back of my mind for quite and a while, and I feel a responsibility to share my own experiences and tips with you 🙂
Recently as part of our leaving school process we went on a two day retreat as a whole year 13 year group – which I thought would honestly be hell. Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was honestly a blast, so much fun, and such a gracious way to start leaving school – which is a more emotional experience than a lot of us expected. We are not the first or last year group to go through this; everyone older than us already has. But I definitely built it up in my head to the point where it feels totally surreal.
As part of the retreat we did an activity called “affirmations” in which we anonymously wrote notes to people in our form classes, house groups, and friends that we had known throughout our time at school. It was actually a lot of fun writing nice things to people – more than just “I like your hair,” and more acknowledging the great memories and effect they had on me personally.
The weekend before (last weekend) I had a hard time mental health wise, mostly due to all this change, and unsurprisingly, just such a sense of being alone. Writing the affirmations was really fun, but receiving the affirmations from other people was so therapeutic in healing that feeling. I had people saying things that I had never realised people would think of me, but I was so grateful. It’s funny the things people sometimes forget to say, and when given a reason to do so they will say it. You’re never as alone or invisible as you think you are. People notice those little things – your smile, your laugh, the way you treat others – and remember that of you.
If you feel alone, I completely get you. It’s so normal, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. Just remember, as Shakespeare said, “all life’s a stage.” This too shall pass, and through those moments of loneliness there will be the most amazing and unexpected moments of true happiness and joy.
Sad as I am starting to realise I am, about to be saying good bye to so many people that have been a day to day part of my life for the last five years, I am so grateful we got to make the memories we did this week. Climbing up a hill in the dark just to see an awesome view of the sea. Or climbing the same hill at 6am to watch the sunrise together. Playing 10pm basketball, even though we were crap at it (well just me actually!). Long chats. Smiles and kindness. I am so glad we got that. It makes moving on to the next stage so much easier.
Anyone else feel that way too? Do you have any tips for feeling lonely? Or tips for leaving school? Anyone finishing this year?
Until next time,