Teen Talk with Sam Poole

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As young people, we often ask ourselves ‘what is next?’.

We spend a minimum of 12 years in full-time education, then go to college and finally have the opportunity to spend a few years studying at university.

There are many young people who I know work hard, every day. But they still have no idea about what they would like to do next.

I know people who are at university and continue to 
wonder what they are going to do with their lives.

The ‘going into the unknown’ is a continuous process for young people and sometimes it can have an impact on their confidence levels.

It is fortunate that some youngsters have an immediate gateway into a career, for example a family business or maybe someone they know has connections.

However, this isn’t the case for many people.

As I get older and a little wiser, I understand the importance of work experience.

Unfortunately, some schools in Portsmouth don’t run a work experience programme.

That’s a real shame because I believe it would be a great opportunity to encourage young people.

If you wish to aspire to be something in life, don’t sit 
back and think ‘what can I do next?’

Strive to succeed and with time and patience, you should see the rewards in the future.

Youth unemployment isn’t as bad today as it was a year ago, although it is still a concern for many and affects numerous youngsters in Portsmouth.

Soon, revision will be finished, exams will be over and the summer will be here.

Surely that’s an opportunity to apply for a job to give us a bit of money so that we can begin to save or pay for activities with friends.

Unfortunately it’s not that easy.

As I’ve said, some young people are very fortunate and have the right connections to people who can help them to find work,

However, there are other youngsters in Portsmouth who would love to work but find it a lot harder to find a job, even a part-time one.

Then they can’t go shopping or see movies all the time because they simply can’t afford it.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy their lives.

Perhaps we should set out to prove that lots of money isn’t vital to be happy and have a great life.

Sixteen-year-old SAM POOLE goes to South Downs College and is the outreach officer for 
Portsmouth Youth Parliament. Sam lives in Milton, Portsmouth. 
Follow him on Twitter @shjpoole.