THE month of July will be an exciting one for secondary school leavers. This is the month when most, if not all of them will be graduating from their alma maters. And this is the reason why we are focusing on them today, as they will be crossing from one portal to another, a life changing experience for them.
This transition our fifth formers will be making – some moving from the wearing of ribbons to wearing make-up, from having casual friends to engaging in serious friendships. Crossing from adolescence into womanhood and manhood, comes with its joys and sorrows.
Some, not knowing much about love, will fall into it headfirst without a thought, only to find that the love they thought would be all sweet and lovely, can be a wrongful turn in their lives that can keep them trapped in a life of endless struggle, not the image of love they had when they embraced it.
And we are not wishing doom and gloom on our young adults as they transition from secondary school life into other endeavours. However, examples are all around us of too many of our teenagers falling into a life not foreseen and the difficulties they encounter trying to come out. Our society is too close knit for us to be unaware of what is happening around us. WE KNOW!
But for now, we call on our fifth formers to remember all the times they had together, as their lives change, and it will, from what was to what will be.
Yes, we admonish you to still be friends forever, because as the years roll by it may be one of your graduating friends who may give you that helping hand when you most need one later in life, experience has taught us that.
You will not remember everything you’ve learned in school, months or a year from now, this is why you must continue learning. Never believe that your education ends after graduation night or prom night. As sang by Vitamin C, “Keep thinking that it’s not goodbye (from educating yourselves). (But) keep on thinking it’s a time to fly.”
To all our secondary school graduating students, we call on you to gird yourselves for lifelong, earnest labour to country and to yourselves. There are many lines of legal work to choose from, therefore whatever your calling, apply yourselves diligently.
Yes, you will make mistakes, but mistakes you should not dwell on, rather make them learning experiences. Be faithful in your employment as unfaithfulness in responsibilities will not serve you or your employers well.
People who do nothing for their employers except that which is commanded them, when they know that the prosperity of the work depends on some extra exertion on their part, will fail to be accounted faithful employees (Messages to Young People by Ellen G. White)
Remember, unfaithfulness in your employment is an abhorrent form of selfishness. In fact, it can be called corruption. You see, corruption is not only dishonest or fraudulent conduct by persons in power. It is also a form of dishonesty undertaken by someone who is entrusted to do a particular task, who finds ways and means to underperform, yet give the impression of having performed the task assigned exceedingly well, and then is first in the queue to demand better wages.
Your upcoming graduation is an important and significant landmark moment in your lives, one we believe you should thoroughly reflect on and enjoy.
And for the parents of those leaving secondary school this year we say take a bow. Some of you really had it tough these past five years. Celebrate your child’s accomplishment as you look forward to the next phase in his/her life.
We encourage you to be proud of what your child has become as you watched him/her accept that diploma, even as you note that this graduation marks the end of one chapter of your child’s life and the beginning of another.
Take a step back but do not take your hands off the wheel completely, as the world is filled with influences which could easily cause your child to lean in the wrong direction where he/she could lose focus.