THE WAY I SEE IT #1 : By Darren Murphy

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INTRODUCTIONS have never been a strong point of mine. I just can’t seem to introduce myself to people without telling a bad joke or doing something embarrassing. I often wonder what people’s first impressions are of me? They can’t be that good!

It’s much easier to write, though, so ladies and gentlemen without further ado my name is Darren, and welcome to my mind.

Admittedly, greeting every person I meet with a piece of paper saying “Hello there, my name’s Darren” would be rather odd, so it’s something I’ve had to work on over the years.

Anyway, enough about me, as I’m sure you’ll get to know me pretty well in due course.

A young child ran past me the other day grinning from ear to ear, and it got me thinking of when I was a youngster and wondering why he was so happy.

Had he just been given his pocket money? Was he on his way to buy his favourite sweets? Or was he simply en route to meet his best friend?

The answer soon arrived as the young lad screamed at the top of his voice: “School’s out for summer!”

For a split second I was amazed. how could a kid so young be into Alice Cooper?

Then it hit me, how could I be so stupid? School is actually out for summer. Let’s hope summer comes out for the school children.

It got me thinking, though, I mean they’re a huge upheaval the summer holidays, aren’t they?

I’ve no children but I’m damn sure seven weeks off gives mum and dad more than a few problems. Who looks after the children while they’re are at work for a start?

The holidays are essentially a huge time of transition: for younger children it’s about new beginnings as parents stress and prepare about sending them to school for the first time. Then there are the older kids moving on to secondary school, but for one group of kids it’s the end of an era and the end of life as they know it.

For one group, school’s not just out for summer, it’s out forever!

It seems patronising to call this group kids, so from here on they’ll be known as “young adults”.

SURE, some of these young adults will further their educations at university or college, studying various subjects, but not all of them.

Some will be make their first steps into full-time employment, while some of the more adventurous personalities might even be off to serve our country or feel obliged to travel to the developing world and give assistance as aid workers. Who knows?

Some, though, will simply be caught in limbo with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over their heads, unsure what to do or where to go with life.

If this describes the way you feel, listen up closely because I’ve written this piece specifically for you.

It’s a daunting prospect the big wide world you are about to face but don’t rush things, I’m speaking from experience. Some of us just take a little longer to make our minds up about where we want to take our lives.

Take me, for example. I was 21 before I realised captaining my beloved Arsenal was never going to happen. My ambitions are much more realistic now I’ve matured, and I now know I want to be an astronaut!

Joking aside, the point I’m trying to make is not to rush things, only you can decide who or what you want to be. It’s a defining time in one’s life; always thing things through thoroughly, and remember, the world’s not going anywhere in a hurry.

Oh and good luck!