Peterborough teen stresses importance of work/life balance

Laura Church
Laura Church
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A Peterborough teenager is urging parents to ensure their child has a good work/life balance.

Laura Church (17) is urging parents to speak to their teenagers about the importance of finding a healthy balance between studying and socialising, in order to better prepare them for their future in higher education or employment.

The call follows research from National Citizen Service (NCS), the country’s flagship youth empowerment programme, which reveals that over half (57 per cent) of 15-17 year olds feel schoolwork must come before anything else if they want to do well in the future and only 39 per cent of teens in this age group think being happy is more important than good grades.

The new study of 1,000 teenagers age 15-17 and 1,000 parents with children of the same age, as well as 100 senior business leaders, shows that just 16 per cent of young people see trying to achieve a healthy balance between studying and socialising as a priority, yet only half believe they currently have that balance right.

Laura said: “Finding the right balance between school work, additional responsibilities and hanging out with my friends has been tough. During exams I go into study mode and that is all I focus on – it can get quite stressful at times. It also means that my social life and hobbies including playing the violin and singing in my local choir completely take a back seat.”

To support parents in advising their teens on ways to stay happy, healthy and balanced during their critical exams years, NCS has worked with a number of business leaders, celebrities, experts and teens and parents themselves to create a free advice guide, which is available at www.ncsyes.co.uk/ncs-for-your-teen.

Laura added: “I was a little nervous about going on NCS as I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m now so glad I gave it a go and that my parents supported and encouraged me. The friends I met and team leaders that ran the programme really helped me see the importance of having a healthy balance in life and the brilliant activities also helped me to learn how to prioritise and build my confidence – all things I know will really help me in the future.”

Laura’s mum, Lynda added: “Teenagers today are under so much pressure to do well in exams and this can have a negative effect on their emotional wellbeing and opportunities for personal development. That’s why something like NCS is an excellent way to teach them that, whilst their education is incredibly important, there’s more to life than exams. Although it was strange having Laura out of the house, I knew it was the best thing for her and was the experience she deserved and needed to help prepare better for life after school.”

Places are currently available for 16-17 year olds to experience NCS and develop their teamwork, leadership and communications skills before they start applying for jobs or submitting their UCAS application. To find out more information or sign up visit www.ncsyes.co.uk.