Hey kids! Exams are the failures – not you.

The exam results silly season is upon us. I keep reading and hearing horror stories about our young people suffering from severe stress, having breakdowns and, heartbreakingly, ending their own lives because of the anxiety they are feeling.

Life is just beginning for these youngsters and the pressure that is heaped on them to achieve results is, literally, killing them.  This is a ridiculous state of affairs, so I wrote this little article

Hey kids, whatever you do, above all else, make sure you lead a varied and interesting life. You don’t need pots of money to do this, just an inquisitive and open mind. You are likely to be on the planet for another 60 or 70 years and you can change your minds and your careers more times than you currently realise. We really are only here once – it isn’t a dress rehearsal.

Do crazy stuff; embrace diversity; party; take risks; express yourselves; play sport; sometimes be rebellious; always be kind; be confident but don’t be arrogant; it’s ok to cry; it’s not ok to suffer in silence; laugh a lot; don’t dwell on your mistakes; don’t gloat about your successes; travel; accept that the job you start out doing isn’t going to be the one you retire from; embrace nature; don’t believe everything you see on social media; do believe what your heart tells you is right; fall in love; ask questions; fuck things up; know when you’ve fucked things up; relax; be passionate about at least one thing; swear like a trooper; don’t assume that you’re immortal; don’t be scared of failure; don’t be scared to say fuck off; don’t be scared to say sorry; read; then read some more; have an opinion; change your mind; love animals; listen to music; watch movies; win classily and lose gracefully.

But, most of all, don’t ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be dull.