“Opportunities…

…are like sunrises. If you wait around too long you miss them,” – William Arthur Ward.

Yes, that may seem like a nice, albeit clichéd, quote with some pretty imagery but it holds an enormous amount of truth.

Yesterday I attended a conference with all Digital Literacy/ICT specialists across all years. It was a great day, including a guest speaker talking about e-safety which was incredibly eye-opening, an interesting speech on getting student’s research projects published in academic journals (I didn’t even know you could do that!?) and great presentations from final year BEd students around their own research projects.

At the conference a lecturer in education who leads my specialist area announced he would soon be leaving his post at the University to take up a job in London working with NESTA. This is obviously a huge opportunity and an amazing one to have and consequently take. He said how sad he was to be leaving his position here and moving on, however it is an opportunity that had to be taken, and how sometimes you have to take opportunities you might not necessarily feel ready for or feel entirely comfortable with.

This got me thinking about times in my life when I’ve had to do this. I remember over a year ago working in a job, then being offered another elsewhere that would offer more opportunities and possibilities in line with the way my life was going. I made a decision and took action that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with, but sometimes you really need to put yourself first and do what is best for you; after all it is you who has to live with that decision.

Upon starting University I made a vow to not only take opportunities as they came, but try to create some myself. I’m satisfied I’ve achieved this already. I put myself forward for, and gained the position of course rep for my specialism, which means I’ll be able to feedback to a wider committee any issues and also positive comments that may arise from the group. I am also very excited at being selected as a student ambassador for the Faculty of Education. This means I get to go into schools and talk about opportunities around further education and the University itself, and help with open days promoting the course and offering advice. This would also involve public speaking to reasonably large amounts of people, something I am inexperienced in and understandably feel anxious about. However, it’s an area of weakness I’ve identified and really want to get to grips with, so I think this position will really help in conquering that. Basically, I’m really excited to get trained up and start this!

I’ve also made a start on creating opportunities for myself. I’ve been in contact with staff at the Uni about helping out in after school clubs. The Uni emailed out a list filled with brilliant opportunities. Many I cannot do because they clash with lectures I don’t want to miss, but I’m trying to negotiate a way to get involved at some point. I’m also planning on getting back in touch with a previous workplace who work with disadvantaged children and perhaps setting something up there in the coming summer holidays.

So, putting all my cliché and cheesy inspiration aside, I think it’s a really important message that was given. If opportunities present themselves, or if you invite them, don’t be afraid and jump right in!

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