When we interview students at both senior campuses, finding a spark is always a discussion point.
Finding the spark means learning and identifying that area you are passionate about – an area that might point you in the direction of a future career, or of a fulfilling hobby or artistic outlet. These are all really important.
Finding a spark is almost like finding a purpose – and we know from previous articles that finding a sense of purpose – in a greater or larger sense, is important to our wellbeing. You might like to read about that again here.
Finding a spark can be really important to a young person’s sense of identity and belonging. The things we love are a way to define and understand ourselves, and they often help us to connect with others. If we recognise that we are an athlete and love athletic pursuits, we will be able to easily relate to others who feel the same. The same as with those who love the dramatic arts – working on productions has a powerful capacity to draw people together in that shared experience.
It’s also important to note that we can have more than one spark, and we can be defined by more than one thing. I know plenty of young people that I work with who are both basketballers and singers, comedians and film-makers, photographers and political students. There is something beautiful in this balance, in allowing yourself to be more than one thing. It makes for a well-rounded individual.
At Berwick Grammar School, we talk about assisting boys to find a spark in each of the four As – academics, artistry, athletics and adventure. And this is a good recipe for remaining open-minded and to have many ways to express yourself and experience success.
Academics can cover a range of areas, and while not everyone will like English or Maths, they may throw themselves into Psychology or Health and Human Development. While not everyone will like team sports, many will like the solo pursuits of running or cycling. Not everyone will like painting or performing, but some will find their niche in digital technologies, and produce things we never imagined in our childhoods.
And as for adventure – well anything that takes us outside of our comfort zone can be an adventure – and we can all learn from this. It could be a hike – but it could also be travelling to a foreign place (one day), learning a new language, embarking on a new business or even starting a family. When was the last time you found your adventurous spark?
The spark is the key to joy, passion, identity and belonging. What’s your spark?