Out of the classroom, into the school of life

Congratulations to all the Year 12 students across Goulburn Mulwaree who have graduated from school life this month. You are now enrolled in the school of life.

Sure, many have the Higher School Certificate ahead, and others will no doubt go on to tertiary endeavours, but even those who’ve passed through the school gates for the last time will go on to be life-long learners.

Or will they?

It is an exhilarating and somewhat daunting time, young adulthood. Having completed 13 years of primary and secondary education, it’s exciting as it is frightening to step away from childhood routine and embark on life as an adult.

You need only a quick chat with a new school-leaver to realise there are many things they most look forward to leaving behind in the school years.

Homework, regular exams and assessment tasks, uniforms, strict dress codes – including makeup and jewellery rules – a regimented schedule five days a week (sometimes more, for advanced scholars) and being answerable to teachers are usually top of the list of what they won’t miss.

More independence, the chance to earn big bucks and travel are usually high on the list of experiences they await with great expectations.

To be honest, regardless of whether you graduated last year or many years ago, most would agree an end to restrictions and a chance for greater freedoms is something we all looked forward after high school.

There is little doubt these new graduates will find that sense of freedom, but the reality is they will still have to follow rules and regulations. Regimented schedules will still be a part of daily life – and they will always be answerable to someone.

They have spent 13 years learning maths, English, science, geography, history and more, but some of the greatest lessons are yet to come.  

While they may not realise it yet, their time in the classroom and how they handled discipline, rules, regulations and interaction with other students and staff will actually play an important role in their adult life.

If they try hard, present well, embrace the guidance of others and develop the skills to interact harmoniously with the different types of people they will encounter, then this life-long learning should bring A-grade results. Good luck to you all.

- JACKIE MEYERS