Storm joined our Creators programme in 2019. Joining from a traditional Catalan school, Storm embraced change and embarked on a four-year journey of discovering and following his passions at Learnlife.
Not only did this lead to personal growth and the creation of lasting friendships, but resulted in Storm fulfilling his dreams and enrolling at Harbour Space University in Bangkok to study Computer Science.
Below, you can read Storm's inspiring graduation speech, which he shared earlier this month. It tells his incredible story in his own words.
Storm's story, as told in his own words
“Easy it is to avoid the troublesome impressions and stay in tranquillity and peace with oneself. But hard it is to crawl through and overcome the unsuitable. The rewards personal growth wise of taking the hard or troublesome path are often much greater than of the easy.”
That’s a quote I wrote that I feel expresses my journey here.
Around two years or less into Learnlife, I felt very lost because all of my Spanish friends were going to get their diplomas, and I knew I wasn’t going to get one with the same value as theirs, and because of that, I felt like my options were going to be more limited. That set me into a spiral of sadness.
Amidst that, my mind was inundated with thoughts telling me that I will never be successful and that I won't be able to fulfil my dreams, and, after reaching a breaking point, I had to make a decision. Was I going to take the traditional route again? Or was I going to take the different and unusual route that would become a truly unique adventure for me? As you can see now, I took the decision that I wasn’t going anywhere.
This goes without saying that that wasn’t an easy decision for me to cope with, it was very hard, and it did not help that I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I just let it marinate in my head and let my overthinking do the job for six months, more or less. But now, when I look at it as the past, staying in Learnlife was one of the best decisions I ever made, as well as it being one of the decisions I’m most proud of.
I feel like with many people that have joined Learnlife, they reach a point where they think they need a diploma to be successful in life and, as a result, they may decide to leave the community. While it is true that certain career paths may require a diploma, I want to shed light on those individuals who possess skills that go beyond the need for a traditional diploma. In my case, I instead started looking for new interests, and when I found them, I worked on them 24/7 just to see if it would spark the tiniest bit of interest because the world has so much more to offer than a diploma.
In my perspective, Learnlife is not a place where you go to get your diploma. I feel that idea gets misinterpreted, and it's beyond understandable that it happens. Parents want their kids to have a diploma because, in some cases, they are necessary. But that still doesn’t change the fact that by expressing who you are, your skill set, and your capabilities can easily be more powerful than a diploma.
In my opinion, hard work applies everywhere, and if you pour your heart and soul into something, if you give it your all, you will get something in return, even though it might not be an instant win or an immediate reward. You WILL still get some form of return on your hard work because, let me tell you, people notice when you give your blood, sweat, and tears to something because they can't help but take notice of your dedication and the effort you've put in. Sure, it may take time, patience, and a whole lot of perseverance. But in the end, the return on your hard work will be worth it.
I also believe Learnlife isn't just a pit stop on the traditional path where you can idly pass through without taking any meaningful action. It’s a place that gives you a sense of community, a sense of value, a reason to wake up every day, a community that values your unique contributions, gives you the freedom to expand your learning horizons to your utmost limit, and most importantly, ignites a sense of purpose within you. It’s a rare opportunity few get, and once you get that opportunity, it's crucial to make the most of it.
Not only that, but change is also necessary, and you should not stand in the way of change.
Because change isn’t bad, it’s natural, it's part of life, just as there is nothing good about things enduring or persisting. Entering into change or coming out of change is neither good nor bad. It’s simply a feature of life. Everyone experiences change differently, and there is no concrete or singular way of describing the change. But most importantly, everyone undergoes it, no matter your stage or position in life. But what’s important is that entering or coming out of change isn’t bad, or good. It’s simply natural and part of life.
When I joined this community, I have to say it felt quite weird. To be honest, I was a little bit scared of this change, also nervous, shy, and a little bit embarrassed, like everyone must have felt. But immediately, it had this warm welcome that I had never felt, especially in a school environment.
As many of you know, I have been here for quite some time, I’m not an official OG, but at this point, I might as well get to take part in that title.
I have seen this place grow, from a handful of Creators to a whole bunch of them, every half a year I would see more and more people join, and I would often ponder, "Will our community lose the cherished sense of closeness, respect, and empathy as we continue to expand?" wow, was I wrong. Undoubtedly, like with any journey, we have encountered our fair share of challenges and rough patches along the way, but that isn’t what’s important, that shouldn’t take the spotlight. The most important are the good times, times when I think, “wow, this place is incredible”.
And as a lot of you know, it is extremely incredible how this place is filled with teenagers and kids that all respect, care, and are vulnerable to each other. I feel like that’s something you don’t see every day…
For me, this place has done and given me so much:
This is the place that taught me what learning really is.
This is the place that taught me about relationships with family and friends.
This is the place that introduced me to my skills and passions.
This is the place that taught me about my skills.
This is the place that taught me that change isn't bad, but it’s encouraged.
This is the place that allowed me to flourish in a way no one expected, not even me.
This is the place that encouraged me to grow, and not lessen or contain the passions growing inside me.
This is the place that taught me about friendships, and most importantly, this is the place that gave me those friendships.
I can proudly say that being a part of this community has been an incredible honour. It fills me with immense pride, knowing that I have made a positive impact within this community. And I hope everyone manages to feel that way, too at some point.
As a closing statement, I want to say something that has resonated and has been on my mind a lot, and that’s the following: you are the one that is responsible for your future. If you want something done, don’t wait for someone to hand it to you (and this applies to anything, like learning a new skill, finding a job, or applying to a new school). YOU have to take action, pursue it and speak out loud because if you don’t, no one will hear you. Because the only one that knows what you want to do and achieve is YOU.
Breaking the status quo
It takes courage to break the status quo, and that makes us so proud of Storm and all the learners at Learnlife. Our purpose is to inspire all people to love learning and flourish in life and Storm's story is a perfect example of that.