Success, students are told, comes from doing well in school, building friendships and finding the right career. The only problem is they aren’t told exactly how to find this success and whether actually loving what they do should even be a consideration. As a result, it’s important for students to develop a self-awareness around what success means to them and how they plan to get it.
Happiness is one those concepts that students talk and think about a lot, but rarely define. They are encouraged to motivate themselves to set goals to achieve happiness but the path is never laid out with any clarity. Reflecting on what happiness actually is can help students become more self-aware of what they value in life.
Anger is an emotion that all of us have to manage throughout our lives. Students get angry with their teachers, their friends and parents. It’s important for them to develop a self-awareness around their anger so that they can decide when getting angry, or remaining calm, is the right response to a situation which aggrieves them.
Fear is an emotion we can all identify with. Fear causes stress and discomfort, and makes us do things we would not otherwise do. People react to fear in different ways. Some remain calm; others lose control of their mind which causes even more distress. Dealing with fear in productive ways is an important life skill that helps us manage stress.
The Coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has driven society into isolation. Schools are closed. Businesses are shut down. Our social lives have stopped functioning. And we’re at home with much more alone time. Isolation can breed some sadness and despair but also offers a chance for us to reflect and evaluate our lives in a positive and meaningful way.
Life throws unexpected events at us which take us by surprise. When crisis happens, we feel out of control. We are left to react in the best ways we can to protect ourselves and improve our situations, but we often feel like our actions don’t matter in the face of an indifferent world.
Every student knows what failure and success are. They pass and fail tests. They lose and win games. Students are just beginning to learn about what they are capable of, what they excel at and what they may be lacking that will always make them question whether they should persevere or quit.
Money, influence, friends and good grades– students think that more is better. The whole idea of cutting back on desire isn’t very attractive. Yet, we can’t have it all and so now and throughout life, students must make smart choices on what they want and how much.
Mark Twain famously quipped that death and taxes are the only things certain in life. We can probably add failure to that short list. Of all themes, failure is one to which students can relate most. There’s failure at home, at school and in the workplace. It is a constant. Students are taught to develop a growth mindset and learn from failure.
If there is one thing that’s hard to rely on when dealing with students, it’s impulse control. Students are at different levels of emotional maturity. Some are extremely cautious and tactful in the way that they deal with peers and adults. Others are born risk takers who want to “show off” their fearlessness and gather followers who want to be like them.