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Changing Pressures on Teenagers: Lecture Report

On Tuesday 24th September, we had the privilege of watching and listening to a thought-provoking lecture by the quirky Dr Nick Baylis, who has lectured at the University of Cambridge and has previously written for ‘The Times’ newspaper. Dr Baylis explored many aspects of mental well-being and he encouraged the audience to consider personal relationships, fulfilling our potential and how to cope with stress. He gave a range of inspirational examples of how well-known individuals have channelled potentially over-powering stress into positive attributes and managed to stand up to high pressured situations rather than run away when they almost reached breaking point. Dr Baylis went on to give us his view that humans thrive off of stressful situations and such instances are likely to extract surprising levels of accomplishment from us and sometimes the most remarkable outcomes. In addition to building courage within ourselves, he also juxtaposed his use of high pressured scenarios with relaxation techniques and reminded us that in order to do well we must relax and stay calm. He involved the audience in his teachings by presenting us with an array of ideas on how to maintain a tranquil state of mind, and soon The Large was taking part in his deep breathing exercises!

As new pupils to the Sixth Form, we found this lecture particularly insightful as it gave us a new outlook and different approach to handling our stress, whether it be induced by a heavy work-load or teen related peer-pressure. Dr Baylis struck a chord in both of us due to his accessible, charismatic and personable presentation style. We both thoroughly enjoyed meeting the inspirational Dr Baylis and his talk will surely influence us on our journey through the education system and further on into our lives.

Chloe Mettle (Lower Sixth, Atkinson) and Sophie Ward (Lower Sixth, Cedars)

Sophie Ward, Dr Nick Baylis, George Sheppard and Chloe Mettle