By Connor Boyle | Posted: Friday October 5, 2018
Todd Crawford participated in Farmhand in the first half of 2018. This is his story.
Before Farmhand I was at school, in year 12. It was a bit of struggle. Sitting down in class and writing for an hour was just not for me. I was so nervous and scared at school, always afraid I’d stand out for the wrong reasons. So I’d hardly ever ask for help. I’d just stay quiet. This was probably the main thing that made me struggle at school. I knew it, my teachers knew it. When I signed up for Farmhand I went and talked to my teachers about it and they were really supportive. They could see it was a good fit for me.
I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as confident as I am now if I’d stayed in school. I’d still be that guy sitting at the back of the class afraid to contribute my ideas. Being in the small group at Farmhand I learnt not to be afraid of being judged for what I say or what I do because of the tight group that went through Farmhand together. We’ve had some pretty amazing experiences together over the past few months and gotten to know each other really well.
I can see that my confidence has grown. I’m able to talk to people that I’ve just met. I can talk to big groups. I’m not afraid of doing new stuff. That fear used to push me away from doing new things, even if I had the opportunity. I’m getting better with all that. I’ve gained heaps of confidence through Farmhand.
I loved some of the community work we got to do throughout Farmhand. Volunteering at Orokonui Ecosanctuary was incredible. We got so much done and we could see how happy and thankful the team there was for our contributions.
If you’re just coming out of school, you might wanna know that Farmhand is probably 100 times better than school for some people as it was for me. You might learn a lot of stuff at school, but how much of that is actually relevant to you specifically? Some people are gonna go on to university and so there’s more relevance to what you learn at high school for them. But for some other people, how much of it is actually gonna help you out in the real world? I’m work-ready now and I’ve got a job. Farmhand is real. It’s actual experience that you can use on whatever job or study that you want. It’s probably the best course for anyone that’s not crazy about school and wants to be doing something helpful for their future. I get to work outside in the Botanic Gardens every day now, I love it! Heaps of people volunteer here and I get paid to do it! Farmhand is perfect for anyone who sits at the back of the classroom wishing they were somewhere else.