Some thoughts after a great convo yesterday

1 Mar

Yesterday I met with two other friends of mine who were taking time off from school. They had both reached that “breaking point” that I and many other eduventurists are familiar with, and have taken this time off to learn “the art of being” and are taking some much-needed time to do some reflection and self discovery. It seems that a common problem is that all too often, taking time to work on one’s self is seen as selfish and unproductive. Yet, this is something I am increasingly beginning to realize is most needed in our systems of learning.

I co-facilitated a youth retreat for a high school social change/philanthropy club that I had been a co-founder for back when I was in high school (which I hope to blog about in near future!). My co-facilitator and I decided to structure the retreat into 3 sections:

  • Who are we as individuals?
  • Who are we as a generation?
  • Who are we as a club working on social change in our community?

A lot of our inspiration for the design of this workshop came from the “Wake Ups” organized by an initiative called Generation Waking Up, which I definitely recommend checking out if you haven’t before. Some of the exercises included finding a partner and staring them in the eye for two minutes in silence, telling each our life stories and things that had impacted us to see the world differently, and standing on a spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing on a given statement (such as “Everyone needs to pick what they want to do in life, and stick to that plan”).

Although I had participated in retreats like this before, the realization once again hit me that this self-discovery and reflection within a group or individually is so fundamental to the positive development of our society and our world, and yet it is left out of the education system, especially beginning after elementary school.
The conversation that ensued between my friends and I yesterday reinforced these feelings, and we ended up all agreeing that this time off, although difficult to make initially, was such a beneficial decision in the long run. I hope that more students begin to have the confidence to take that same leap if they are feeling the need for a change, or simply deeper reflection before continuing on their life path.

P.S. I’m still working on writing up some of highlights from the amazing, insightful interviews I have collected to date. Stay tuned 🙂
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