Class of 2021

Dear Graduating Class of 2021,

Congratulations for reaching the end of your schooling at HeadStart, for the grades you are yet to receive, which I am confident will be just what you aimed for. I want to take this last opportunity to wish you farewell and to reiterate a few points I made in my speech to you on your graduation.

I am in awe of how you have navigated your way through a tumultuous year. You chose your attitude wisely this year. You chose to get on with life rather than wallow in what was wrong with it. Despite the difficulties you faced, whether personal, exam or COVID related you chose how to respond to these. You chose to exercise optimism. You maintained a sense of fun and your ability to give to each other. I am very proud of you for that. Whilst I would rather you hadn’t had to jump the hurdles you have this year. I also know that you have grown as a result of them. Over the course of the year, you have become young people with what is termed grit. This is, in truth, one key quality you need to succeed in life. Herein will lie your success in years to come. Remember too that in every adversity you encounter there will be a gift, a treasure of sorts. Look for it. Find it. This year you found the best treasure of all. Friendship. It has been wonderful; to watch your friendships grow and solidify. Hold on to this treasure. Whilst you have officially left HeadStart now, you know that you have not left empty handed. You have your friendships that will transcend space and time and they will go with you.

The connections and memories you have made in school and in the Common Room over the last few years are the things that will make you smile in the years to come. The kindness, empathy and compassion which you showed each other through your school years, will have left their mark on you and this will be your blueprint of what community looks and feels like. A final word on success, when we think of success we think of grades, money and recognition. These are all tangible things our society puts a lot of value on but it isn’t necessarily what makes your life fulfilling or meaningful. Connecting with others, being part of a community and contributing to it are also critically important; so when you next go to measure your success, look around you and see just how many people you touch and how many people appreciate you and what you have given them. For that too will be your success. Hopefully, you worked that out for yourselves this year in the way you gave to each other and other members of your community.

It is the relationships I have formed with you which has made this role a fulfilling one for me this year. It has been an honour to hear your dreams and aspirations and play a part in planning how you will achieve these. I wish you strength (AKA grit) Year 13 as you begin your journey on uncharted waters with love and friendship to keep you company.

-Ms Indu Bedi

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