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Student Blog: Control the Controllables

One of the many important things that Ms Webb has taught me in PDHPE is to ‘control the controllables’.

This phrase has now been adopted by many girls in Year 12 and is something I use when putting situations into perspective.

Over my time at Wenona, I have come to understand the things I can and cannot control. I have learnt that I can’t control the workload of Year 12, but I can control the way I manage my time. I also can’t control other people’s actions, but I can control how I react to them.

Year 7, you can’t control that you’re the youngest in the School, but you can control the amount of people you introduce yourself to and the opportunities you take.

Year 8, you can’t control that you’re no longer the babies of the School, but you can control your ability to get to class on time.

Year 9, you can’t control that your friendships may change this year, but you can control the way you treat those around you, making sure it is with respect and kindness.

Year 10, you can’t control that you have entered Senior College, but you can control your effort to expand your friendship circles, both within and out of your year group.

Year 11, you can’t control that this year will be a massive step up from Year 10, but you can control the way in which you support each other through it.

Year 12, you can’t control that we only have two terms of school left, but you can control your approach to these final two terms by making the most out of the close bonds and friendships that we have created as a year group.

For those of you who focus on trying to control the uncontrollables, you need to put your time and energy into the things you can do rather than those you can’t. You need to understand that life isn’t simple or perfect, so sometimes the things you thought you could control become uncontrollable, and that’s okay, because even the smallest things can make the situation just a little bit better for you or a friend. For example, you might not be able to change a friend’s circumstances, but you can control how good a friend you are to them by simply asking them how they are.

In terms of sport, there are many things that are in and out of your control. You can’t control how well your teammates perform, but you can control the effort you put into games and training. You also can’t control any injuries or setbacks you may face, but you can control your mindset towards these situations. A girl in my soccer team unfortunately tore her ACL at the very first training after our four week break. She had been working hard, completing all the fitness work, so obviously she was very upset when this happened, as tearing an ACL is a dreaded injury for anyone playing sport. A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to her and she had a really positive attitude towards it. She understood that she couldn’t control what had happened. As she said to me, “It’s happened now and there’s no point me getting angry about it, but there are obviously days when I’m down and wish I could run.” Despite her injury, she still comes to training every night. She still stands on the sideline supporting her teammates rather than dwelling on the fact that she can’t play for the rest of the season. And in the meantime, she is doing rehab exercises to ensure she recovers properly. All this shows her ability to control her attitude towards this unfortunate situation.

I have also learnt that I can’t control the coaches’ decisions or what we do in training. Growing up as a kid, I was playing in a team where the coach expected us to be nothing but perfect even if we were only 10 years old. If we were chewing gum, talking, or even if we made a mistake or did a play wrong, we were made to do intense fitness. Playing under these strict rules as a young kid, I found that I wasn’t enjoying the trainings or sport anymore because we were expected to be perfect players. I was afraid to leave the club because I thought I may regret it, but I knew I wasn’t enjoying the sport as much as I could’ve been. So four years later, I ‘controlled the controllables’ and made a decision to stop playing for this club in order to focus on other sports.

So in having said all of this, if everyone had the power to control the uncontrollables then we would all be perfect. But as we all know, nobody is perfect and no one can control the uncontrollables. You must learn to accept this and focus on the things that are within your control, as there is no point in dwelling on the things you can’t change.

I would like to leave you with these wise words from Ms Groundwater: “Don’t waste your life on the ‘what if’s’, go for what you can do!”

Thank you.


Lily control

Lily (Year 12)
Sport Prefect 2018/19