The excitement of 27 St Ursula’s secondary school graduates at the prospect of facing the adult world has been tempered by words of caution on the realities and the advice to keep close the spirit of the institution’s teaching.
The girls bade farewell to their Collymore Rock school in a ceremony that involved rites of candle lighting and passing on the light to the younger ones in the auditorium of the St Ursuline Convent School last weekend.
Vice-Principal Brenda Cumberbatch said that the ceremony marked “the successful end of their secondary education, and the commencement of other great journeys ahead”.
She added that the students were “leaving their school with their Ursuline values held dear here and all over the world with Ursuline institutions”.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have courage to lose sight of the shore,” Cumberbatch said, telling the young ladies of the need for perseverance because “there will be low moments in life when you feel you will not achieve”.
Guest speaker for the Saturday evening event, former student Claire Haynes, told the girls that it is precisely during those low moments in life and times of other real world challenges that some teachings in the school that might have seemed meaningless at the time will show their meaning.
“What you learn in school prepares you in a way that you would never understand until you experience it,” she said.
Haynes, a fitness and wellness consultant, sought to encourage the ladies to take good care of their bodies from young adulthood.
“We live in an illusion that we will not age….You will. So what you do now, how you exercise, how you eat, how you pray, all of this affects how you will age one day. Do not be fooled,” she said. “You have your body for the rest of your life. Take time to read and understand what it is going through….the signs and the symptoms.”
Haynes further warned them that “when your health is gone, everything is gone. You can’t enjoy any of what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Without your health there can be no wealth or prosperity.”