Ivy House is a ‘life coaching’ programme giving exercises to transform you as a person and raise awareness of our responses, actions and responsibilities to society and how we can improve on ourselves.
I applied to Ivy House to help me make better decisions once leaving school, help me cope with the adversity I have faced in the past and find solutions on how to handle situations better, and also to be a better friend to my friends and be able to support these people when they are in need. I found through the Ivy House course I achieved my aims. Whilst also gaining insight into other aspects that I had never considered before.
When reflecting on session one; ‘My Element’ I thought about what I wanted in my life and out of my life with keeping into account my relationships and where I sat with those people in my life. Furthermore, I also visualised where I wanted to be in fifteen years. This included; a happy family, kindness in my life, success and friends that cared for me. Through the sessions, when I finally reached session 20, I reflected on what I wanted my life to be and visualised what I would advise myself as an eighteen-year-old from my fifty-year-old self.
These types of exercises stayed with me and gave me motivation for my goals as I had clearly outlined them and allowed me to find solutions for myself to be able to attain these goals. From speaking with friends that I had formed through Ivy House
Furthermore, Ivy House taught me valuable lessons that I will be able to apply and take away and use in my life. One of the things that I have been taught that have completely transformed me is “doing your why” and living the life I want to intend. We were told to remember to impact other people’s lives and build our legacy by remembering why we are here. This advice is something that has resonated with me finishing the course as it has inspired me to strive for those aspirations and goals that I had set out for myself at the beginning of the course.
From this, you will see why Ivy House impacted my life and hopefully will get you to consider what YOU want to make or do in YOUR future. Ivy House is an amazing experience and opportunity which will teach you in so many different ways and get you to consider your actions and change your behaviour to form better and healthier relationships. It will get you to challenge yourself and your thinking to prepare you for that final transition to school whilst teaching valuable lessons that takes people years to learn. So speaking from experience if you want to create an impact on our lives, better yourself or find a way to complete your goals regardless of whether they are short or long-term. Then I would completely recommend the Ivy House course as you will make new friends and realise your impact on your life. Which will make you become a more courageous learner, reflect on your behaviour and make you deal with situations that are tough but have a more balanced perspective. Don’t forget “Event + Behaviour = Result”. This is one of the most valuable formulas I have learned and it will mean more to you next year when you join Ivy House!
The Ivy House programme was nothing short of eye opening. From the moment I sat down in that first session titled “My Life” I could tell that the course was going to take me on a journey to discover who I really am and the person I want to be. Over the course of the next twenty sessions, this expectation was fulfilled and more. I can say with an honest heart that the Ivy House programme has developed my character, drive and ambition beyond what I thought was possible. I hope to take these lessons onwards with me in life, and use them to shape my future into one which I will be satisfied with.
We were extremely lucky to experience a live coaching session with Rachael Taylor for the session of ‘My Pitch”. In which we were taught both the importance of a good introduction and how to go about delivering one. This completely challenged my thinking around first impressions, and that in order to stand out there is a way to go about it other than just politeness. This session taught me that to stand out you must really engage with your audience. This means find something relatable about yourself, whether it be a story or a fun fact, and build from that. A few of us were given the opportunity to pitch ourselves to the group, including myself. This was a great opportunity for all who got involved as it put us out of our comfort zone and into a situation where we had to be very open about ourselves. It also opened up great connections for later in life, something that I’m sure will prove hugely beneficial.
Personally, I fall very guilty of negative thought spirals and overthinking. Prior to taking part in this course I had no real idea of how to cope with these and keep moving forward with a positive attitude. However, the Ivy House programme has helped me massively by giving me coaching on how to keep a level head and avoid the kind of irrational thinking that leads to these spirals. This lesson sticks out to me as something that has had a huge impact on my life, as I now feel more confident pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of without having so much doubt in my ability.
Finally, Ivy House will shape you into the kind of person you want to be. The kind of person you see across the class who seems organised, has their lives together and is honest and accountable. All these characteristics help build the leaders of tomorrow, so if you want to be more accountable, show good leadership skills and be a well rounded person, I would strongly advise signing up for the course when you get the chance.
Since I started the Ivy House Award course, I saw how my leadership skills developed as a whole and how I have changed as a person since then. I have become more confident, outgoing, conscious of my surroundings and other people, as well as adapting how I see myself. This has encouraged me to throw myself into tasks I would never dream to do before this award. I significantly struggled with my confidence before, backing out of any public speaking, terrified of presentations, and therefore losing experience that would help me in my future life. I looked purely at the negatives of every activity thinking that I was going to mess up or make a fool of myself, but in Ivy House I was taught to look at my positives and discuss with myself that these activities are difficult and I won’t get it on the first try. Since then I have thrown myself into public speaking in front of many people that I would have thought were too much for me to handle, and I am capable of discussing with strangers about my future so they can help me to get experience, jobs and recommendations. As a whole, I have grown so much as a person and stood up to challenges, and it is all because of what I was taught in the Ivy House Award.
In Session 19 of the course, we had live coaching with Rachael Taylor, the Head of Future Leaders & Schools Outreach at Ivy House. This session focused on pitching yourself, being given a minute to describe your passions, hobbies, goals and questions that would make you interesting and memorable to the person you are pitching to. At the start of the session, my pitch seemed shy, rather boring, and lacked any personality at all. Rachael talked to me and my group through the whole process, giving us tips and aiding us to produce pitches that made us seem like we had been doing this for years, giving us personal feedback and learning about us so that she could help with our pitches and therefore our futures, and it made such a difference. With the structure and advice that she had given me, I was able to produce a well described pitch about myself, seeming more confident as a whole and more engaging to the audience. The session was extremely interesting, working with my peers to see their pitches develop as well as helping each other with our own, and Rachael made the session compelling by showing us her own pitch and overall making this difficult task an enjoyable, fascinating and a memorable process. This will definitely be used to aid my future by telling strangers my interests and passions whilst also being confident, to hopefully get opportunities that will aid my studies in University, work experience, and my future career.
Ivy House has adapted so much about me since before I began this award. I have learnt to appreciate myself and the world and people around me, and adapt my thoughts and feelings about these things. I had intended to produce a meaningful life so that I would be remembered, but I did not think about how I would do this. Ivy House taught me that I had to plan my life and lead it in a way that I enjoy and that I want to be remembered so that I can therefore love my life and what I’m doing to improve it. I have learnt ways to deal with problems in my life, help others with problems in theirs, change how I view my relationships with people, how I work and learn, and how I can believe in myself and drive towards goals so that I can own my future. To any Lower Sixth pupil considering of doing this award, without Ivy House I would not be able to do any of these things, and I am sure I would be struggling with simple problems that could impact opportunities for my future, but now I can thrive and appreciate my life that I am living currently whilst driving myself in the right direction towards the future that I want and believe in. It has changed so much in my life, it can do the same to yours.