For me, its been a year of two parts at Young People Insight. Part of it was on a downer and the other part was on the up, which I think had more to do with me than the platform itself.
I struggled a lot with YPI at the early stages of this year and was ready to pack it in, shut the whole thing down once the end of July came around. I questioned how much difference I was actually making and what the point of the platform was anymore. I felt I had plateaued.
The saddest thing of all was that I had fallen out of love with YPI. I didn’t want to be at my own events, I wasn’t enjoying organising them and I questioned the point of putting in work when numbers were dwindling. It was like I was failing and carrying tirelessly on with something that was not wanted.
However, I eventually came to the realisation that this had a lot to do with me and my fragile mental state, rather than YPI itself. Once I saw how broken I was, I decided to take some time out (particularly from YPI) to heal and make time for me. After making that decision, it was like a weight had been lifted and I suddenly felt a lot better.
I began to enjoy my events again and found a revitalised energy, ready to put in work to take YPI to another level. Most importantly, I found my love for it all over again.
What’s funny is that once I got a new-found energy, the events seemed to gain a lease of new-found energy as well. The conversations at The Kickback have gotten richer and richer, which is brilliant to witness, although it has been hellish for my hands to keep up with everything said.
There were was stand out after stand out conversation this year, delivering some stellar gems, but if I was going to choose a favourite for 2018, it would be the conversation on Peace in June. I was slightly concerned about how a conversation on the topic of peace would go, but it ended up being amazing. The perspectives of peace were mind-blowing and thought-provoking, definitely making me look at peace in a new light.
Poetic Insight has continued to be inspiring in 2018, with the different poets who have taken to the stage bringing a different feeling to the event each month. I’ve already made it known that my favourite for 2018 was last month’s event, when some beautiful young people blew me away with their bravery and honesty.
I already cannot wait to see what will come from The Kickback and Poetic Insight next year, especially as the YP Insight Family continues to expand and strengthen. I think that the conversations are going to get even deeper and richer, and I know that more inspiring, brave young people will bring their poetic talents to the stage.
I also love that we’ll have a brand new logo, designed by a young person, going into the new year, revamping the YPI brand, which I have been wanting to do for so long. This is definitely a major step in moving YPI forward, which you all have been a part of. I can’t wait to announce the winner next week.
But what I am really, really excited about is how YPI is going to develop as a whole in 2019. The team is finally going to expand, beyond little me. I’m going to have even more great support behind me, advising me along the way. I’ve also started planning from now and have some fresh ideas in mind that I cannot wait to start executing, as it is going to take this platform to new heights and do even more to empower young people.
It’s going to be great for young people, it’s going to be great for creatives and it’s going to be great for Croydon. Watch this space.