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Early January, we held our Lunch and Masterclass session, with the intention of inspiring UCL students to lead a community volunteering project. With a talk from a motivational speaker, sandwiches and some team-building activities, we hope that the attendees left feeling motivated to take action. Sofia, our student photojournalist, wrote an article on what she took away from the session - check it out, along with some amazing pictures! 

Already well into the year 2020, most of us — including myself — helplessly witness the casting aside of our short-lived New Year’s resolutions. Unsurprisingly, statistics show that 30 days after committing to them, more than 75% of people are likely to give up on their resolutions, while only 8% actually accomplish them.

But why is it so hard to stay committed to a goal?

The participation of Motivational Speaker Francis Koh at ‘Boost Your Degree’ has undoubtedly provided those who attended it, with greater clarity as far as this question is concerned.  The event was organised by the Volunteering Service’s Student-Led Project’s team and aimed to provide students with guidance on career aspirations and how to stand out from the crowd of graduates - and how leading a community project can complement these.

One of the first recommendations the event’s Guest Speaker made to us students, was for us to ‘find our way’. All of us have probably heard these words once too many times. Adults, in particular, seem to abuse them, as if finding our way were something easy to do. Rarely, if ever at all, people actually come up with helpful advice on how to do such a thing. 

However, Francis was able to add more to what would otherwise be a series of empty words. “You need to find your way”, he said, “but it has to lead you to what makes you you”, he added. His words led me to think that, perhaps, one of the reasons we struggle so much on our way towards success is that we often tend to set unreachable goals for ourselves. Quite frequently, we are willing to sacrifice our happiness in order to achieve them. But is it worth it? Most times, according to Francis, the answer is no. We strive to achieve something just because it is expected of us, or because it is what everyone else around us seems to be striving for.


“Know what you want, sit down with yourself and understand what makes you happy”. Learning how to take action and network are two relatively simple steps that anyone can take towards the achievement of this goal. If you’re willing to take control and want to stand out from the crowd, maybe leading a Student-Led Project is for you! 

Written by Sofia Esposito - Student Photojournalist

If Sofia’s article resonated with you to make a change, do check out our Student-Led Volunteering programme and if you’ve got an idea for change in the community, then get in touch