Some words of advice to our leavers.

The parting words to those leaving school at the end of the summer are intended to be remembered long after the intricacies of French grammar, Reformation politics and photosynthesis have been forgotten.

More school leavers than ever before pass from school to university. But that does not mean life is any easier for the leavers, nor that they require less guidance. The qualifications that they need to succeed may have changed, and the pace of life has certainly increased, but that makes a little considered wisdom all the more important as a parting gift.

Columnist Mary Schmich’s celebrated and much-imitated “commencement address” published in 1997 in the Chicago Tribune was perhaps a little too sentimental, not to say funky, to serve as a model for the educationalists of the UK (“Floss!”; “You’re not as fat as you imagine”; “Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements”; “Be kind to your knees”; “Advice is a form of nostalgia”). But the threshold of adulthood seems to cry out for some formal acknowledgement.

So what advice does your scribe have for Loretto School's Summer '17 leavers?

  • Be brave and positive
  • Get outside your comfort zone
  • Don’t be afraid to fail
  • Don’t stop learning
  • Know yourself and stay in touch with who you are
  • Learn from your mistakes and persevere
  • Look to the future; but take the time to get things right
  • Keep a sense of perspective

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