TikTok-famous boyband, Here At Last, has visited Newbury College for an important talk on bullying, online safety and mental health.
The band has an impressive 2.9 million followers on the social media platform, has been in the Top UK artists on TikTok for 3 years running and can boast an incredible 40 million hits on one of their viral videos.
James, Pedro, Ryan, Tommy and Zach, all aged 18 and 19, performed a live set, including covers of tracks by Niall Horan, Olivia Rodrigo and Shawn Mendes, interspersed with stories about the issues and hurdles they have encountered on their journey.
In front of a packed audience of students and staff from across the College, the popular performers explained that although they are grateful for their success, being in the social media spotlight has disadvantages too.
They described how negative comments often border on hate speech, and although they try to ignore them, their mental health has been affected. If something does affect them, they will talk to each other about it, saying that mental health is an important topic which doesn’t get spoken about enough.
During a Q&A session after the performance, the group also talked about the sacrifices they have made in order to achieve their goals, emphasising the importance of engaging in activities you enjoy, spending time with family and friends, and having a good sleep routine.
Jane West, Head of Student Support and High Needs, said: "It was great to see so many students coming together to enjoy an incredible performance and receive some really valuable advice. The messages the band delivered are extremely relevant to our students who are growing up in a rapidly evolving digital world.”
Newbury College marks one of the last stops on the band’s tour of schools and colleges as they focus on their sold-out gigs in Manchester and Bristol, and a potentially record-breaking concert at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in February. Tickets for the London concert are limited and available online.
Mental health and online safety are key components of the College’s tutorial provision, helping students to understand the pros and cons of engaging online. To find out more about how Newbury College keeps students safe, visit newbury-college.ac.uk/safe