WELL, the holidays are here and schools (and nurseries) are out for summer.

What a trying time it’s been – not only for the teachers and staff, but for young people who maybe did not achieve what they had set out to at this stage in their lives.

It will be disappointing but please know this: as important education is in all our lives, our health is equally important. Education is a lifelong process and many opportunities are out there for you all to try.

That can take the form of apprenticeships, jobs, learning on the job, studying and gaining qualifications whilst at work. Colleges also have a wide range of amazing opportunities for young people to learn and to achieve all they can while gaining some qualifications that will help them on their journey.

Not every young person is cut out to go to college or university. Everyone learns differently in life, so it’s important to find a way you all enjoy and feel part of in your career path along the way.

It may also be a time for people seeking new jobs or careers to consider changes. Again, life’s too short to be not enjoying doing what you do to earn what you need.

Dream big, reach out, do not be afraid to seek out a way to be in a position of employment that you think you will enjoy. Only then look at the route in getting there.

It doesn’t have to be done in isolation: there are many agencies and individuals who can assist, support, guide, mentor, coach and inspire you, but you have to be clear about asking.

When you get that position there are support agencies who can give you financial assistance. Look and ask locally and online – your DWP office, Skills Development Scotland, school pastoral care advisors, college and university student support officers, the Scottish Government, the company or organisation themselves, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and more will give you the information you need.

Don’t feel the challenge insurmountable, but smash those barriers, bit by bit. Take some responsibility for yourself, your own learning and creating your own destiny.

Life is for living. Let’s live it wisely, enjoying every moment of it along the way.

It is also important for you to share any anxieties you may feel, especially as a result of everything we’ve lived through over these past months. Many people may be unsure about meeting up or going out for the first time since Covid struck.

So easy does it. It’s not a race. Take your time and enjoy the journey ahead. Go forth and learn about your route through life and your learning path.

Enjoy, smile more and be happy always. Smash those barriers and encourage others along the way.