SAM POOLE: From boy to man '“ this column has grown with me
It all kicked off when I was settling into my first year at college.
This newspaper was looking for someone to write a weekly column for young people.
Discussing current affairs through to the latest trending topics Teen Talk, now known as Voice of Youth, has been a cornerstone of Family Life for more than four years.
But there is always a time to conclude something and the time has come to put this column to bed.
Nothing but excitement came to mind when I was approached by The News to write regularly.
Not only was I the deputy member of youth parliament, representing young people on a national level, my aspiration was to become a journalist.
And this section has been instrumental in making what I aspired to do a reality.
At times I have written on challenging topics, recognised the efforts of so many and, of course, strived to be a motivational and encouraging voice.
My intention for this column wasn’t to just waffle on the good, bad and ugly, but to reflect and dig deep into matters close to our hearts.
I was a lad when I started filling this shape in the newspaper.
My writing wasn’t the best, however the editors were patient and encouraging. Perhaps my writing isn’t brilliant today. Nonetheless I have come so far.
Today I stand here as a man loving life and moving forward into areas I enjoy so dearly. I am excited for the future.
We have one opportunity on this Earth thus one chance to leave a lasting impression.
Portsmouth has been full of opportunities and through the chances I have I aim to support others too.
Young people of today are under an enormous amount of pressure.
The pressures consist of feeling the need to conform to the world, achieving high results in exams and discovering who they truly are.
These are only a few of the many issues out there.
Collectively young people should stand together and support each other.
Nobody should be disheartened with what they are doing and should be encouraged by those around them like I was encouraged when starting.
This is my final column and it never feels right to say goodbye knowing there are potentially many years ahead of expressing my thoughts elsewhere. To summarise I’d like to express my gratitude to the loyal readers of The News, and, in particular, the readers of my work.