Graduation: What Now?
Graduating from high school is an important milestone. With our Year 12 students recently graduated, many will have a clear idea of what they want to do after school and will be super excited about the next chapter of their lives. However, others will have no idea and might be feeling confused or uncertain about their future. So, how do our students find a career pathway that will bring them the greatest joy?
I have had the opportunity to chat with, and mentor, many students in my role as Mission Leader and Religious Education Teacher. It has been a privilege to share my own fears and confusion about my own career choice when I too was their age. Although 38 years ago I did not have half as many opportunities to explore as our current leavers do. I too was very confused about what I was meant to do with the rest of my life. Many students laugh at the fact that I wanted to be a nun, a pilot, a journalist or a lawyer. Teaching was never a consideration.
It was while travelling on a bus home from another boring law lecture that I expressed my dissatisfaction to a fellow passenger. This lady was a nurse at a local tuberculosis hospital. She spoke to me with so much passion about her work that I wanted to find something that would animate me as much as her job did for her. What she told me that day changed the course of my life. This is what she said, “Do what you love, and what you are good at. Consider your gifts and use them to make a contribution to our society. Money is not everything.”
The very next day, I withdrew from the law course and decided to enrol in all the subjects I loved, such as the arts and sociology. I had no idea where this would take me, but I trusted my instincts and excelled in my course.
It was only in my third year of studies that a friend who was in her final year of teaching convinced me to consider education as a career pathway. She reminded me of the many relief lessons I had taken for the class when our teachers did not show up. I was not convinced, but as the year drew to a close and I asked for God’s guidance in my life, the answer became more apparent and I enrolled for the Diploma of Education. This was truly the most memorable year of my university life. I loved every moment of the course and had finally found my life’s purpose.
So, what advice do I have for parents?
- Be patient and supportive of your daughters as they figure out their career path.
- Tell them it’s okay if they don’t yet know what career path to follow; sometimes time is all they need.
- Don’t force them into a career that you think is best for them. They need to discover what their God-given gifts are. You can only guide them in this regard.
- Help them to see God at work in their lives, especially as they figure out their future.
What advice do I have for our graduates?
- Do what you love and are good at.
- Ask God to reveal to you what you are meant to do with your life.
- Trust God and the plans He has for you.
- Use your gifts to make the world a better place, knowing that God walks beside you.
You are all special, with unique gifts and talents. Give thanks to God for all you have received. Remember that God loves you and cares for you, so look to your future with hope. And finally, seize every opportunity to enrich our world so that through your contribution, you become agents for transformative change.
Jillian Landers | Head of Mission