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Hey guys, it’s Diamond again and as I’m sure you all know, I have been working with Future Foundations as an apprentice for almost a year now. It has been a real journey, true to the principles of FF, and I have enjoyed it near to every step of the way.

Now why on earth would I say ‘near’ to every step of the way? This is simply because, I had several milestones along the way that were difficult to overcome, but once they were the sun began to shine in my world again. I will be sharing just a few of those, and where my time at FF as left me, now that I am nearing the end of the road.

Milestone Number 1: I Grew Up

This is something that life will throw at you anyway, but as an 18 year-old fresh out of college; I did not expect it to happen when it did. I was thrust into the working world where I had to:

  • Manage my own time
  • Regulate my time off (annual leave), where I usually got regulated holidays in school
  • Understand different disciplinary measures where I would have formerly been given a detention
  • Learn how to work with different ages and personalities, where I simply would have distanced myself if our personalities clashed
  • Learn how manage my finances wisely

The first three on that list were touched upon in both secondary school and college ( study leave), but the last two were somewhat more difficult. It taught me a lot of patience in terms of how people communicated with me both socially and in the working environment. I made a conscious effort to adapt myself appropriately to the different lines of communication and work ethic that each member in the team had. As a result, I started producing work at a higher quality and a “monstrous” rate of efficiency as a colleague later informed me.

The message about finances was drilled in quickly enough on pay day when I saw my colleagues still bought packed lunches from home. Making sure my money lasted the full month was something that has rubbed off!

Milestone Number Two: I Learnt to Balance my Two Worlds

I joined FF near the end of an EPIC and very busy Summer of delivery and needed to learn quickly how to balance my two worlds; work (academic and employment) and church, which is pretty much my social life. With the arrival of summer, and a change in the way we would be graded for our assignments saw a dramatic change that even I couldn’t keep up with. Regularly I had very late nights as I tried to uphold the ‘outstanding’ criteria of work for Step Forward as well as being a diligent employee and keep up my church responsibilities.

If you’re waiting for this super hero story of how I overcame- you’re wrong. I broke down. Simple as. Why am I being so blunt and honest? The fact of the matter is everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has to come to the point where they realise that they are not a genetically modified being; that we’re not emotionless beings; that we’re not robots. We’re human and that’s actually okay, sounds silly, but sometimes that profound understanding goes over people’s heads, and can lead to demotivation, lack of direction, high levels of stress, anxiety and even depression.

This process made me realise I couldn’t do things on my own, I sought support my pastor, church and faith in God. Have you ever sat and thought who your support network is? I also learnt how to do things in capacity with my physical strength and not my time. There is time to do a lot in one day, but can your body keep up?

So Diamond… what’s your point?

My point is that these milestones have shaped me. I am now more punctual, pragmatic, efficient in my academics and have a diligent work ethic to get both tasks and assignments done on time and to a high standard. The Diamond that I am today is refracting a bit more light now that a bit of dirt has been wiped off. Regardless of whether you’ve been names after a gem, the process of life is a cycle of being polished and buffed, so you can shine brightly wherever you go.

I will be leaving my position at Future Foundations in September to head onto a new challenge; University. I came into here feeling there was only one road, go to uni, get a job, get married and so on. That life isn’t boring, but now I know, through the core FF team and the network, that there are many more roads available to me, and that my life has only really just begun.

Remember, every closed door is just the opening of another. So what opportunities are heading your way? What steps can you take to reach them? If necessary, what doors do you need to allow to close, so that greater ones can open?