Last week my daughter Courtney completed the final day of her four year university degree in Occupational Therapy. This wonderful milestone marked the end of what has been 18 years of formal education for her. While there was certainly an element of relief and celebration on her last day, unfortunately this feeling of elation was very short lived as it suddenly dawned on Courtney that life as she had known it for all these years was about to change significantly. The joy of having successfully attained this new qualification was quickly replaced with a sense of apprehension and trepidation about what lay ahead. All of a sudden the routine and relative predictability that comes with being linked into some type of educational institution was replaced with uncertainty and a fear of the unknown.
Having been in that same situation myself some years ago I could absolutely relate to how she was feeling. I was quick to reassure her that she is not alone and in fact there are probably hundreds if not thousands of students who going through exactly the same thing right now. My words of motherly advice proved to be of little comfort or consolation to her as she then began to ponder the prospect of having to compete with these hundreds of other graduating students for a job. I decided to change strategies and began to empathise with Courtney pointing out that it was completely understandable that she would be feeling this way and a level of apprehension at the uncertainty about her future is completely normal. However, I also encouraged her that she should be confident in the fact that the education she has received and the work she has done over the last 18 years have placed her in a great position, equipping her to take the next steps along her career path.
As we reach the end of another year I am conscious that there may be other members of the Cedars community who, like Courtney are feeling apprehensive about what the next year will bring for them. Whether it is our own graduating Year 12 class who are awaiting their Higher School Certificate results and university placements or perhaps parents of students transitioning to Prep, Kindergarten or Year 7, change can bring a level of uneasiness. At Cedars we are intentional about providing support for students and their parents through these points of transition. Over the last 2 weeks there have been a number of Orientation Days and activities for both students and parents to provide important information, introduce key people and make positive connections with others who are in a similar situation.
We value and recognise the importance of being part of a community where we can glean support from each other during times of change. Even though our lives will be pitted with periods of uncertainty the knowledge that there are others journeying along beside us who are willing to assist and provide support brings a level of comfort.
I don’t know what the next few years will look like for my daughter Courtney but what I do know is that whatever path she takes she can rely on the the loving support of her family and the wider Christian community every step of the way. I also know that God’s plan for her life is a good one and He is faithful in keeping his promises.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11