Alasdair on…Getting Out of the House

Alasdair talks about some of the things you can do to get out of your house and make the most of your free time.

Get out there

Get out there, try something new, meet new people, get the most out of your life.

There are lots of groups and activities young people can get involved with, and many of them are free or cost very little. Even transport to get to places is free, with the free bus travel for under 22s in Scotland.

Whatever your interests are, there will be something you can get involved with.

You may be shy or anxious about trying something new or meeting different people, but it's all about taking the first step - you don't have to go back if you don't like it, but I would say something may get better if you give it another chance. I know one group I went to, no one spoke to me the first few weeks, but then gradually I got speaking with them, and now really enjoy it.

Get involved

As well as mental health benefits from learning new things and socializing, volunteering and extra-curricular activities look great on your UCAS or job application.

Young Scot has various groups for young people to get involved with. There are opportunities to attend in-person events, and there are online meetings - you don't even have to leave your home and it's ideal if you are reluctant about attending in-person. You can even leave your camera off for the online meetings, to make you more comfortable.

One Young Scot group I was a member of, was the Climate Change Group - I even got to interview an Earthshot winner and finalists at the Glasgow Science Centre during COP26.

Consider a hobby

Once a week I go to a running club, it only costs £10 for the whole year, and they let you know about any competitions or events that are happening.

You can always go running yourself, but I find it helps to motivate you more to run in a group and you are more likely to actually do it at a certain time each week.

Also, if you live near a park, check out Park Run - it's free!

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great thing to do. As well as benefiting yourself, you're helping other people.

I volunteer at an Oxfam music and bookshop once a week for an hour and a half after school. It's not a big time commitment and I really enjoy it. I'm using it towards the Volunteering section of The Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Check out Volunteer Scotland for volunteering opportunities - you generally have to be at least 14 years of age.

More information

Check out more blogs and content created by young people on the issues that matter most to them and submit your own blog pitch on our Youth Loneliness blogs page.

If you're interested in volunteering, visit the #YSHive page to see what volunteer opportunities are available with Young Scot.

For more information about supporting your mental health and emotional wellbeing visit our AyeFeel page.

Young Scot supports young people to share their own voices, views and opinions and works with partner organisations and professionals who are experts in different topics. The views expressed in this blog are those of the young people, organisations and/or individuals who have taken part in the blog, not necessarily the views of Young Scot.