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Open to new light.

This, I regret to say, is my last wellbeing blog for Warwick School. It was a real joy to start it off with Martin Hewitt a few years ago, and it has been good to see other voices contribute.

What will I miss most? The boys, of course. One of the privileges of being a counsellor is how much you learn from your clients. There is nothing quite like the safety of the counselling room as a learning environment for both client and counsellor. As one of my adult clients said to me recently, ‘I don’t talk like this anywhere else.’ Hence, I am inordinately grateful to the boys here for what they have shared. Over the seven years I have been here, they have kept me up to date with their world. I will never forget the boy who, looking very earnest, asked me ‘Do you know what YouTube is?’ Thankfully, I did — I am not quite as old and out of touch as I might appear — but I have been very grateful for explanations of how TikTok works, what a ‘streak’ is on Snapchat, and precisely what ‘drill’ is! I’m hoping I will continue to have some young clients in my private practice who can keep me up to date!

On a more serious note, several of the resources I use have been introduced to me by the boys, and I am hugely grateful to them. For my last blog, it, therefore, seems appropriate.

The School of Life (and virtually everything written by its founder, philosopher Alain de Botton)

I am immensely grateful to the sixth former who introduced me to this website, in my first year here.  The quirky videos have, on innumerable occasions, provided pithy summaries of relevant concepts or have challenged clients to look at things in a different way. A word of warning — the ‘shop’ with its beautifully designed products, is dangerously addictive!

‘Brave’ by Sara Bareilles

I think the boy who shared this with me was in year 10 at the time and was having an incredibly difficult time. I continue to be moved by his courage and the fact that he sought this out himself to help him cope. The video and the lyrics inspire me every time I watch it. Secondary schools are places where so much depends on fitting in – how you look, what you do, what you say. This song is a clarion call to say what you want to say and be who you want to be.

Thank you, Sara Bareilles and thank you to that brave young man.

Speech by Steve Jobs

This is a very recent share by a sixth former. It feels like a parting gift for which I am hugely grateful. There are words in it that I recognise — you probably do too. ‘Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life’, for example. It will continue to be an inspiration to me, and I am sure I will be sharing it with clients when appropriate.

The boys are great at sharing media with me. I, being old, am still hugely influenced by reading – so one final book recommendation from me. If you want something to inspire and encourage you in these difficult times, which is readable, fascinating, and optimistic, then read Humankind: a hopeful history’ by Rutger Bregman.

Thank you for reading my blogs. It’s been a privilege to work here. Farewell!

Meg Harper

Head of Counselling