Say no to shortcuts

Guest blogger James, millennial and Marketer at Outward Bound shares with us how times have changed and why saying no to shortcuts may be a good thing for the next generation.

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Distant are the memories of drawn out school holidays where I’d once cycle for miles to my mates, just to see if they were in or wanted to hang out. That’s what WhatsApp is for.

Lost are the countless days of anticipation when I had to wait for family holiday snaps to be developed, many of which were awful. That's what Instagram is for.

Heck, even renting a film used to be a time-consuming mission! Racing to the local video store before anyone else, just to make sure you got a copy of the latest film. That's what Netflix is for.

These days everything seems to be a lot more ‘convenient’, which is great. But with that there also comes a niggling sense of impatience. A feeling that everything must happen quickly and if something requires time, effort or (heaven forbid) conversation, it’s often easier to look to our screens instead.

So what?

Who cares right? This generation has never had it so good, or so the story goes. They’ll never know the pain of having to wait until THE NEXT DAY to catch up with their mates at school, or a letter to arrive from a loved one. Even parcels took time (no Amazon Prime), and video games took waaay longer to load too!

But maybe we’re missing a trick here… Maybe, just maybe waiting was a good thing?

During those long periods of time, what did we do? We had to get outside and actually run, walk or cycle to the shops, the post-box, or our mates house. Often, conversations would spark up while we waited at the bus stop, for that game to load, or the film to start.

It’s not that these things don’t still happen, sure we all get outside and of course we still talk to each other. But these days, especially for Generation Z and beyond who’ve never known life without their smartphone, it’s a whole lot easier to fall into the trap of shying away at home and not talking to anyone. Especially when there’s the immediacy and warm, loving embrace of social media and subscriptions to turn to.

Jetty Jump

Say no to shortcuts

No to shortcuts? What does that even mean?

It means taking your time and challenging yourself. Because nothing worth doing ever comes easy… or quickly.

Take the longer more adventurous route home, start that project you’ve been daydreaming about, cook that recipe, study for that exam, organise that get together, climb that mountain! So what if it takes time?

And once you’re done arrange a real-life catch up with your mates to tell them about it, don’t send a snap, DM or a WhatsApp. Savour the story and share your successes (and failures) in person, you won’t regret it.

Say yes to adventure

That’s what Outward Bound is all about. You’re put in situations where you have to take your time, engage your brain and speak up. Because there are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Making friends, planning your expedition, setting up camp, reaching the top of the mountain, enjoying the view – these things all take time and none of them require social media, a subscription, or a smartphone.

Outward Bound reminds you what ‘convenient’ really means and how everything fits in with your life. It’s not about speed, it’s about you and what your own personal needs, goals and ambitions are, and if they seem like they’re on top of a distant mountain… we’re not going to stop you. In fact, we’ll do everything we can to help get you there!  

Outward Bound’s longest and most impactful programmes are our 19-day Skills for Life Award and Ultimate Expedition for 15-19 year olds during the summer. For anyone who takes part it feels like they're over in a flash, but don't worry we don’t take shortcuts either, especially when it comes to life changing adventures.

Find out more about our summer adventures.