From school trips to scholarships, educational opportunities allow young people to broaden their horizons, stretch themselves to limits they would have thought impossible and seek new grounds.

The brain is still developing until the age of 25 which means that until that age, all possibilities need to be sought out to allow a person to be the best version of themselves that they possibly can.

Educational opportunities are something that come very close to my heart due to the sheer amount that I have been offered throughout my life. During primary school, I was offered the opportunity to attend a week away at PGL, an adventure camp. This helped me to develop many different opinions about certain aspects of real-life skill. For instance, I found a passion for orienteering and direction-giving but discovered that I disliked heights and water-sports — without this opportunity, I may have been, just short of 10 years on, still in the ‘black zone’ where I didn’t know what my forte was.

During secondary school, so many more opportunities were offered to me (which is understandable considering the major difference between primary and secondary). I was given the chance to explore Italy — Rome and Sorrento in particular — and even Berlin/Krakow, which, given my home circumstances, may not have been possible as my family was only able to afford one trip rather than four. I was able to view many landmarks and popular tourist attractions such as the Colosseum, the Vatican City, Auschwitz-Birkenau and even the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Without this opportunity, the only landmarks I would have ever seen in my 16 years of life would have been Norwich Castle/Cathedral and various London sights.

My secondary school also offered me three opportunities to attain a scholarship to three different independent schools within the East of England — I was unsuccessful in the first two that I had applied for but succeeded in the final one. I gained interview techniques and experience, essay-writing experience and, through my success, the independence that comes alongside boarding in a brand-new place.

I don’t want to go on too much about myself, and sound arrogant, but I want to make the point that educational opportunities, no matter how big or small, are crucial to the existential development of young people’s minds and the way that they come to view the world. Young people need the chance to develop their own thoughts and feelings about the world. They need the chance to discover new places and they need to be taught in a real-life classroom.

An anonymous character once said that ‘not all classrooms have four walls’ and I believe that really captures the whole vibe and essence of this article. Education is a right not a privilege and the opportunities that come with it should carry the same principles.

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