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True talent: Reading, Writing or Singing?

How do interests affect academic results? 

Many people feel that a student with more studious hobbies such as reading excel in school. But could being a member of the Scouts help you in History? What does a love of Chemistry have to do with financial skills? 

The 4th - 9th March is National Careers Week and so many high school students are now faced with the decision of what to pursue in their futures. Year 9 students must choose what to study at GCSE level. Many will be influenced not only by grades and aspirations but by their own interests and hobbies. Now, a series of interviews within our school shows that many feel that these two things directly relate to each other. 

Miss Riordan of the History department said that hobbies ‘bring a wider knowledge to what we’re studying. For instance, if we are studying The Hitler Youth, people can bring in their experiences of being in Scouts or Guides can help them understand why people would want to be in an organisation like that.’ To this, two Scouts and Year 9 students replied, ‘I agree that it could help understand but there is also a lot of other skills you can learn.’ 

Controversially, yet predictably, another teacher had a different opinion believing that interests were often helpful but at times, ‘hobbies and interests can take over instead of working and students struggle to find a balance.’ 87.5% of students agree with this in part but feel that ‘balance is easy if they remain organised.’ 

Moreover, if a balance is key, how do students juggle academia and their passions? Should they choose educational subjects, which will lead to the highest paid and most respected professions or choose to study the courses they will truly enjoy? Perhaps they should learn how to apply the analytical skills learnt in History to their work in finance or realise how closely linked their favourite song is to the poem they’re studying in English. Opinion is divided but in the words of one student soon to choose her GCSE options, ultimately ‘you must do what makes you happy’. If the thing that makes you happy can lead to academic success, as these interviews have shown it might, then that is all the better. 

With so much uncertainty about how jobs will change in the future, perhaps the pursuit of subjects we enjoy is better. After all, if you can’t predict your career, you can at least ensure you are following your passions.

By Lucy