Adaptability, a sense of purpose and critical thinking: the future looks bright for the Class of 2022

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. Whatever you choose to do in the years to come, you will certainly demonstrate the skills and mindset needed to contribute to a better future.” – C. S. Lewis

In so many ways, the Class of 2022 has lived this philosophy, navigating their Lauriston education through the challenges of the pandemic, becoming accustomed to change, disruption, new words, and this year, embracing the excitement and subsequent fatigue of sustained face to face learning once more.

Principal Susan Just offers the Class of 2022 ten pieces of advice to take into 2023 and onto the next phase of their lives:

  1. No one expects that you have a life and career plan already mapped out. Sheryl Sandberg said that there is no straight path from your seat to where you are going and if you try to draw that line you will not only be wrong, but you will miss out on big opportunities. I encourage you to consider the squiggly career path. It is filled with both uncertainty and possibility but will better suit the time in which we are living and provide you with career fulfillment.

  2. Be flexible and adaptable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable because you will always be learning on the job and in your personal lives. It is important to understand that you will not know all the answers and you will need to continue to learn and work with others to find innovative responses in your workplace and personal lives.

  3. Always be on the lookout for those things that give you a sense of purpose and will serve others. I would encourage all of you to continue, as you have here at school, to look for opportunities to work with others and help each other to find your purpose.

  4. Be a good critical thinker. We live in a time when we are navigating our way through endless streams of data and content. We must be able to think clearly and rationally as we evaluate information in order to make good decisions. We always need to dig deeper and ask: What is happening? Why is this important? Where did the information come from?

  5. Collaborate often. You will need to be self-aware in order to know how you can be a positive contributor to any team you may work in. What are your strengths? What are you good at? What should you seek out in somebody else who you are going to work with? Start with the mindset that your team members will have differing views and come from different backgrounds to your own.

  6. Pay attention and take notice. When we pay attention and take notice, we are actively looking and listening. We all too often take things and people for granted and do not ask ourselves how things got to be the way they are.

  7. Be brave and resourceful. Know that you have the skills and personal attributes needed to adjust your actions to suit your current situation. You can adapt to new conditions and turn situations around which makes you more confident to respond when an event is different than expected or planned.

  8. Always remember that belonging comes from relationships where you are valued for who you are and where you value others as well. For those of you who completed our Howqua program, you have had time to think about who you are as a person and what your personal values are. You know what it is like to navigate relationships with individuals who may look at the world differently to yourselves. You have a head start for work and life.

  9. Take responsibility for yourself and continue to learn and grow as an individual. There is as much to learn from your mistakes as there is from your successes. When things do not go your way, you have learnt to get up and keep moving forward.

  10. Mahatma Ghandi said: “Even if you are a minority, the truth is the truth.” While it is difficult to do so you must speak up when you do not agree with the actions of another person or institution. If you do not, then you give power to those words and also an implicit acceptance of those actions or words.

The Lauriston graduate has strength, optimism and integrity in her DNA, and each member of the Class of 2022 is an exemplar of this. Indeed, these characteristics have been instilled by the parents and the staff who have generously supported our students throughout their journey – it is because of these efforts that Lauriston boasts such a strong community. Lauriston Girls’ School looks forward to the positive changes that the Class of 2022 will make in our world in the years to come.

Susan Just, Principal