Students at London South East Colleges’ Bromley campus descended on its Sports Hall to welcome TikTok-famous boyband, Here At Last, for an educational session on mental health and cyberbullying. The band has an impressive 2.9 million followers on the social media platform and was in the Top 4 UK artists on TikTok in 2022.
Here At Last – Ryan, Zach, Pedro, James and Tommy, all aged 18 and 19 – performed live and shared the issues and hurdles they have encountered on their journey. They have been fortunate to work alongside CBBC and Radio One since creating their band just before lockdown hit in 2020 after meeting online. They explained that although they are incredibly grateful for their success, being in the social media spotlight has disadvantages too – they are on the firing line of negative opinions and comments.
Tommy, Here At Last, said: “Although there are great benefits to the internet like meeting genuine, like-minded people… there are also dangers as it’s as easy to fall for a fake account as it is to make one. If you are meeting someone online, take precautions.”
They try to ignore the negative comments, mentioning that the pros of being visible online with a large following outweigh the cons. If something did affect them, they would talk to each other about it. This was followed up by a warning that any negative comments made online could possibly impact that individual’s future – in education, and even career prospects.
Beth Moore, Deputy Principal Student Experience and Group Safeguarding, London South East Colleges, said: “It was amazing to see the students coming together to enjoy an incredible performance. The key messages from the session were extremely relevant to our student demographic. Cyberbullying is an issue in this generation, and it’s important to keep the topic of mental health going. Having Here At Last deliver this message to our students has been fantastic – the band and our students are of similar ages, so they’re extremely relevant. There’s a real buzz in the college, the students are extremely happy with the visit.”
Jessica, Level 2 Digital Media Student, said: “I managed to share my song and I got his perspective on it. I’m very happy, I have more confidence now – it was inspirational and good to talk about those things.”
Another student added: “It was great, so inspirational. We don’t normally get things as big as this happening at the college. The performance was amazing – I really enjoyed it.”
Mental health is an important topic which doesn’t get spoken about enough. It was amazing to have such a lovely group coming in to reinforce such meaningful, important messages to our students.
Zach, Here At Last, said: “Always make time for family, friends, and your hobbies. If you do experience bullying, speak to someone. Never suffer on your own – talk about it.”
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