This month, thousands of young people around the UK received their exam results. It is a time of celebration for some, for others it is a time of sadness and confusion over the future. For others it is a time for celebration and confusion: good results don’t always mean a clear eyed view of the path ahead.
It almost goes without saying that exam results don’t define you as a human being and are not the last say on a person’s potential. So if you’re one of those that didn’t get the results you want (or you’re still confused by the path ahead) then consider it may just be an opportunity in disguise: time out to work, travel, explore and to discover what it is that make life meaningful for you.
For us here at Better Food Traders we’re motivated by protecting the environment through changing the food system. If this is something that motivates you too then there plenty of opportunities to explore. In London there are fantastic schemes such as: Wolves Lane in Tottenham http://wolveslane.org/; Growing Communities in Hackney https://www.growingcommunities.org/volunteering-hackney and Organic Lea in Waltham Forest https://www.organiclea.org.uk/volunteering/
Or if you want to go further afield then WWOOFing can enable you to live, meet others and work on organic farms in UK and around the world http://wwoof.net/.
This is not an argument against university education. We need scientists, engineers, inventors and artists to help us in the face of seemingly unstoppable climate change. However if you decide that academia isn’t for you then there are numerous other ways to make an impact. The UK is in dire need of horticulturists: people to grow fruit and vegetables in a way that sustains the environment. We need entrepreneurs to set up community led organisations to sell fairly priced food that also provides a meaningful income to farmers and growers. We need campaigners to put pressure on government to prioritise land for sustainable agriculture and support tenant farmers committed to agro-ecology. We need budding cooks to give people new ideas as to how to cook with fresh seasonal, plant-based produce.
The list is endless, and so are the opportunities. Happy exploring.