“There is no passion to be found in playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
I guess the key question that arises from the quote is how one knows what one is capable of doing and how one knows about the life that one has the potential to live.
Aspirations is the theme this week and it is a theme that comes up regularly in assemblies, in PSHE time, in lessons and in talking to students and teachers in general. What do you aspire to? What do you aspire to do? As the Michelangelo quotation that I referenced earlier this year says: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.” Why settle for second best? Or even third or fourth best? Ultimately, it will not make you happy. It may well be the easiest path to take, but that doesn’t mean it is the correct path for you. And that is the key.
The Year 13 students have got all or almost all of their offers back from universities now. Some of them have aimed very high, as they quite rightly should have, and have got very ambitious offers from very prestigious universities. That is great. The whole point of the UCAS system is that you can have a really high offer from a really top university and a slightly lower offer from a university with a lower entry requirement. If you get the first and go there, it does not necessarily follow that it is the best university for you. If you don’t get that offer and go to the other university, it might be the best thing in the world for you. The point is, so long as you have high aspirations, aim high with everything and know how to be the best you can be, you will do well wherever you go, whatever you do and however you live your life.
I always tell the students to aim high and be realistic. There should be no cap placed on ambition or aspirations. A dose of reality, maybe, but certainly not a limit. If they go to university A, life will go down a certain path and they will be happy; if they go to university B, life will go down a different path and they will be happy. The first one will never know what the second one was and vice versa. Sliding doors.
Let’s face it, where would we all be now if we hadn’t…
Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area