Autism Awareness

Sam Storey (Y10) has written a piece on what life is like for him. Sam is very open about his autistic traits and wants to educate people, to help them understand him. He has also been reading the book "Atomic Changes (Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results" by James Clear. After Sam's story, there is a video on neurodiversity. We at towers believe in the potential expertise, passion and great achievements of all our neurodivergent students.

Why you could and should be better

by Sam Storey (Y10)

Think to yourself for thirty seconds about anything, whether it be your favorite memory or of you lying on a warm calming beach abroad. You could have thought about anything. However I guarantee it wasn't anything productive. Maybe you proved me wrong. However I have written this for you to read, or if you may be listening, in order for you to realise why and how you could and should be and get better. I have learnt a lot during these last couple years and I’m going to tell you some of the key things.

Before I talk more in depth about that, you probably already have that typical stereotype and think you shouldn't listen to me because I'm only 15 and that's where you're wrong. Although young teenagers may not always be knowledgeable and mature, that can be the same with adults. So if you don't want to listen anymore then that's fine as I don't want to waste your time. But I may change you as a person.

First you need to know me to understand me. When you first see me, sometimes in loud and crowded environments I can be loud and typically do some stupid things, but when you get to know me in a more calmer environment I can be far from the opposite. This is because I have some issues with me and one thing I struggle with is being around lots of people and, even worse, people that I don't know. Like many other people I have ways to cope and help lower the stress. One of my methods is that I wear hoodies as it helps me feel like I'm blocking the world out. Whereas in certain situations this won't always be possible, like being at school or if you're at work. Therefore, I have had to adapt and have other coping mechanisms and, overtime, one of these ways is stimming. If you don't know what stimming is, I'm here to help you learn. Stimmming is a behaviour consisting of repetitive movements of a type. Some examples of stimming that I do at school are rubbing my hands under the table, chewing on pens or shaking my leg. Originally I was unaware that these were signs of stimming and it's important to know that stimming isn't just a thing that people with sensory issues do . Stimming can be done by anyone, if they are anywhere, from feeling excitement or if they are bored. There's a lot more about me. However, I hope you're already starting to see a side you can understand and if you don’t then that’s fine.

Now that the introduction is out of the way, let's start talking about why you should be better. If you're confused about what I mean by being better, in a short, simple sentence, by being better I mean to be reaching your full potential. To give an example, I believe if you don't take care of your health or if you are not working as hard as you could have, then that's not reaching your full potential. And now why should you be better? Competition is everything in life. But not only is competition important, competition within yourself in life is arguably more important. It’s you versus you. Being better than others may give a slight satisfaction. However, if you care about being better than other people more than yourself then what’s the point? You have been born as you and no one else. You only live once and that’s why you should focus on yourself and change. Every second that goes past is a second closest to your death. It’s deep but it’s reality. Time is one of the only things in life you can’t buy but many waste it.

So quit these lazy, clichéd excuses and change your mentality because always remember, that excuses make today easier and tomorrow harder but discipline makes today harder but tomorrow easier. Mentality and mind over matter is everything in life. If you can’t fly then run and if you can’t run then walk and if can’t walk then crawl but always keep on moving. Just start somewhere. Even if you read one more page, do one more push-up, eat one less snack, then overtime these things add up. Discipline beats everything. I mentioned that specific word discipline for a reason because this word is usually interpreted in very different and incorrect ways. You may think discipline is doing something brilliant or doing something well for a couple weeks but that’s not discipline. Discipline is showing up day in, day out showing up when you want to and showing up when you don’t want to. Discipline is also doing the right amount. Doing too much can cause burnout and fatigue and doing too little can do nothing. Yes that’s right, doing too much when you shouldn’t can be bad. Here’s an example. I run five times a week (as well as other workouts within those days) and in running you don’t work 100% every day and this is because you have things called easy runs. This is where discipline is key as, when I first started running, I would either try to do too much or too little and that resulted in consequences. These consequences were sometimes injuries or things like making little progress. However, now that I’m disciplined, even on those days I feel like running longer or running less I stick with the schedule and don’t give up.

Following on from mentality and mind over matter, I want to talk about dreams, commitment and being interested in something. Firstly, we will start with dreams. Many people have dreams and if I asked you what your dream was, you would already know or at least have an idea. However, if I asked you to tell me what you have done to achieve those dreams, I’m sure that’s a different story. In fact, there’s probably not even a story. So next time you want to achieve something, think to yourself whether everything you are currently doing in your life is working towards that. Linking to dream,s I want to talk about the difference between being interested in something and being committed. If you're interested in something, you want something and like the idea of it, maybe your dream. But if you were committed, then you would do abosultely anything it takes to achieve that, even if that means staying disciplined and making sacrifices.

Finally, one of the first things to succeed is something that many people forget about and I’m going to give an example. If you have a jar and you put gold balls into it, is the jar full ? No, it’s not. It may look full but it’s not. However if you take a bag of sand and add the sand in there, then it will now be full. Think of your golf balls as your fundamentals, things such as your mental health or physical health and then the sand represents other things you prioritise. So if you put the sand in first over the balls then all the balls won’t fit. However if you put the balls in first, then the sand will fit. Many worry about others and their friends before they even sort out themselves.

As Mike Tyson once said: “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”. It’s therefore how you react to that situation. Your past is in your past and you can’t change it, so forget about it and move on. It’s how you react to the situation now.

Overall, I could talk for longer however I don’t want to overload you with information and you forgot it all. But I want to finish with a quote that helps me in life and that is: ‘It’s not over when you lose, it’s over when you quit.’