Dear Grads

This is it. The Year 12s are about to graduate and it's another bitter-sweet moment for us, their teachers.

It’s like softly pulling closed the door and heading back down the stairs after moving your child into their first home away from home. You know you’ve been working towards making them independent their whole lives, but saying goodbye is hard. 

You feel good about setting them up with the stuff they'll need for life: a fridge, the old couch from the downstairs rumpus room, sheets and towels, and insightful tips like keeping their red shorts out of the whites wash. You gave them your favourite throw pillows with the hope that, just maybe, they'll spare you a thought and drop by once in awhile.

You smile as they laugh and make jokes with their friends, you wonder what they’re going to miss most. That warm smile they flash your way as they rush towards the next big moment in their lives will stay with you. Your job is done. 

As always though, you have one more piece of advice (You do remember how long it takes to hard boil an egg, don't you?). 

So here goes…

Dear Graduates,

We will miss you. And as we've been saying all week long, we want the very best for you. Let us give you some last parting words of advice (until we think of more tomorrow ;)).

1. NEVER STOP LEARNING

You’re about to leave school, but that doesn’t mean the learning should stop. Whether your next stop is further education, a trade or a gap year, never stop learning. You want to learn a new language? You want to know more about politics? You always wanted to hula hoop? Go for it! Never.stop.learning.

2. FIND A CAUSE AND SUPPORT IT

If there’s one thing BAC has taught you, it’s that service to others is your higher calling. You won’t have us reminding you of this from now on so make it a part of your regular routine. Find something you feel strongly about. Maybe it’s homelessness, clean water for third world countries, tutoring refugee kids… You're always welcome to support StormCo or SonShip, but strike out on your own. Phone your local councillor and find out what community work is going on in your local area. Be a regular volunteer.

3. GET OUT AND BE SOCIAL

Is this a redundant piece of advice? Maybe for some, but we teachers see lots of school friends lose contact after they've walked through those gates for the final time. Maybe you feel you’re outgrowing each other a bit, but don’t forget to invest some time in your old school mates. Next year we hope to have a College alumni page, so keep a lookout on our college Facebook page because you will be notified there. Be a friend collector. Make new friends everywhere you go because, one day, you’ll look back at your assortment of friends and it will bring you great joy. Take it from us old guys — we should know!

4. ALWAYS HAVE A BOOK ON THE GO

Just because you’ve read your last English novel or play doesn’t mean you should forget books. If you don’t have a favourite author or preferred genre, keep an eye on the best sellers lists and start a valuable life-long hobby. Also, write a story and have another go at writing a poem — this time, choose your own topic! 

4. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES, BUT YOU WILL BE OKAY

You know the old adage 'measure twice, cut once'? It’s good advice for decision-making. Whenever you have a problem, calculate your options until you get the best answer, then calculate again. If the answer is the same both times, you're probably onto the right choice. However, like us, you will make mistakes! In times such as these, never  forget that you are immensely loved by your creator. No mistake you could ever make, will ever change that!

Finally, Graduates, go out into the world. Make your way using all the resources your parents and teachers have given you. We believe in you! And if ever you feel like popping around — our door is always open!

With love,

Your teachers

AUTHOR: Debbie Cosier is a former teacher at BAC and now works for the College as an education writer.