School is something that most young people can relate to; the stage that marks the beginning of our lifelong careers but almost always seems to drag on forever, especially as we reach our senior years. We are often taught by our teachers, grandparents and even our friends that during our school years it is not possible to achieve anything outside of our own education. However, this is indeed a trap that our youthful souls jump into assuming these people are right, putting us down a one way street of sorrow as we drag our lifeless bodies to the finish line. In spite of this, our thirteen years at school do not need to be like this and with ever increasing pressures from the workforce for employees to stand out, we need to think differently and we need to think bigger. This is my story of how running a business in school rejuvenated my passion to learn.

It was 2017 and I was heading into my twelfth year of school, I had just slid through year eleven by the skin of my teeth – never seeming to pass grades higher than a merit. I knew this year was only going to be worse as I had grown increasingly bored of this institution. I stayed up till three in the morning, researching ways to get out of school – constantly searching for new hospitality jobs or looking at the latest tech internships. But, the reality was none of these would ever be for me and I realized that the answer lay in front of me this entire time. My friend came to me with the idea of joining the Young Enterprise Scheme and whilst I was weary at first, we eventually came to form the business Clearfree.

I am not here writing to prove my efforts to you. Instead, I want to set this as an example that you do not need to drop your education in order to run something you feel passionate about. Admittley, Clearfree was a journey that took a lot of self-motivation to achieve with our team experiencing multiple failures to get to the level we are at now, but, it all hinged on the inner determination each human possess that empower us to survive. I know from experience how easy it is to become caught up with our education as we often let it bury us into the ground, however, running a business actually enabled me to learn how to get around this through learning useful time management skills from some of New Zealand’s finest business people.

Obviously, I am not telling you to suddenly open a business and I am not expecting you to as I know we all have different qualities ranging from creatives to leaders. I am instead urging you to follow your dreams now and begin your future career immediately- not waiting until you have finished school. At the end of the day, the earlier you begin means putting yourself one step higher than every other candidate when it comes to being chucked into the rat race to find work. I encourage all people to find their hobby and make something larger out of it, even if it’s simply getting a part-time job. Focusing on something you love is key to leading a successful life due to you being able to learn your own self-management.

Find your passion and pursue it!

Will Cole is a year 13 student with a passion to write and is pursuing a career in journalism. When he’s not at school, he runs the communications for his healthcare business with two friends. See his weekly blog pieces here where he talks about the journey of a young entrepreneur and New Zealand’s current affairs.

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