Give yourself time – lessons from a Youth and Community Work student

I’m Tom, it’s 8 pm on Sunday 7th February and I’ve had a fantastic weekend. As youth workers, we strive to make a positive difference to all the people we work with in our communities both in and outside of our work. 

As well as being a 2nd-year student on the Youth and Community Studies (BA Hons) degree, I also work as a National Citizen Service programme coordinator at YMCA Worcestershire and run an alternative curriculum session with young people aged 14-16 once a week.

Outside of University and work, I am a huge football and music fan. I have been running a local Under 12’s football team for 3 years now and it’s coaching my lads that really gives me time away from the demands of the University and work.

As people always say, you go to university to learn and better yourself as a person, you have to want to be there and be willing to read, read and read. Luckily for me, by giving myself this time away from University and work, I actually enjoy reading, listening to music and watching youth/people based films in my spare time.


A great example of taking myself away from a busy week is by going to support my beloved football team Wolves on a cold, wet and windy Saturday afternoon in none other than Reading. A 2 and a half hour train journey with the lads to watch a boring 0-0 draw is not ideal, especially when the highlight of the day was probably the KFC I enjoyed afterwards. Although the match wasn’t fantastic, it’s days like these where you have to remember to take yourself away from what can sometimes be the clutches of University and Work. If this doesn’t happen, that is when I find myself stressed and sleep deprived and let’s be honest, a struggling social life won’t help you in the long run.

Give yourself time to enjoy your week and enjoy your lectures! Unlike some people I know, I wake up every morning before work looking forward to the day ahead because I know that I am capable of making a difference to someone’s day.

Specifically, when assisting my colleague and co-ordinating the National Citizen Service Scheme in the planning of a 4-week programme for 150 sixteen and seventeen-year-olds across Worcestershire. To see the impact and difference we’ve made in not just the young people’s lives but also their family and community, it changes your life and gives a whole different perspective.


I look forward to the week ahead with another 30 plus young people and parents to contact to discuss our July and August programmes, but I literally cannot wait. I will have another week of also playing football, catching up with my family, friends and my girlfriend, coaching my Under 12’s and continually learning during my lectures on Tuesday and Thursday.

But I always remember to take time out and think about my own self-care. Manage your time that is personal to you and you’ll be fine!

If you want a feel of what my work consists of please take a look at the video.

Here’s to another fantastic, fun and healthy week with a strong mind!