Adversity, trauma, challenge–these are all incredibly difficult to not only deal with, but move past, especially for an adolescent. Teaching young people to cope with arduous moments in life is one of the best therapeutic boarding school lessons we can offer to our students. Whether you like it or not, there will always be another challenging day in your future after you’ve gotten past one, which makes it essential to have the tools to work through it productively.
Learning from Maya Angelou
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” —Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was familiar with the effects of trauma. Due to her neglectful mother, she was mainly raised by her grandmother. As if a neglectful parent wasn’t enough, Angelou experienced an intense traumatic event at only 8-years-old. As a young girl, she believed that the fallout of her speaking up about it was her fault, leading to her refusing to speak for a number of years.
During all of this, her brother acted as support and eventually got her to begin speaking again. Through all this adversity and struggle, she came out with a strong will to share her voice and her story. She even reconnected with her mother, who also acted as support during stressful times later on in her adult life. Angelou’s success in working through her hardships is just one example of how adversity can end up strengthening someone–and it’s an example that can be used in some of the best therapeutic boarding school lessons.
Turning a loss into a win
When I refer to “loss” here, I’m referring to a mistake or failure. For many people, mistakes and failures are nearly impossible to accept or deal with. It even keeps adults up at night, turning “what if” scenarios ‘round and ‘round in their heads. This practice in and of itself is a mistake. Every mistake, every failure, every challenge is a learning opportunity. An opportunity to look at what you did wrong and improve yourself so that you may perform better next time around.
Losing isn’t the end of the world. Many teenagers–and many adults–have difficulty grasping this concept. Let’s take the game of chess, for example; the best way to learn is to play someone better than you. Yes, they may defeat you every time, but each time you learn something from the interaction: a new move, a new strategy, a new way to go about a problem.
Now life is not chess, but it is full of decisions, mistakes, and challenges. Much like chess, we may lose some pieces, but that doesn’t mean the game is over. The best therapeutic boarding school will help its students come to understand the importance of learning from mistakes–which is why we include this type of thinking in our programming. Adversity can strengthen you, you just have to know how to get to that point and sometimes it takes a little guidance to get there.
The best therapeutic boarding school can help your daughter
Asheville Academy for Girls is a therapeutic boarding school for young girls, ages 10-14, struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and other behavioral or emotional issues.
For more information about how Asheville Academy for Girls can help your daughter, call 800-264-8709 today.