Stand up Straight!
Amazing how taking or not taking this simple pearl of wisdom from a teacher or parent can affect your life. Children who do so are invariably on the path to realising their worth and who – literally and figuratively – tower over slouching mediocrity and posturing arrogance.
‘Stand up straight’ is often associated with being an order. But when presented as advice with love and an empathetic understanding of its long-term advantages, it’s a gift.
It means looking at the world straight in the eye, dealing with dangers, grasping opportunities and discovering strengths. It’s about balance. “Being balanced and well-rounded is essential, but finding your strengths is key,” says Tony Potts, AISL Assistant Principal and parent. “Play to your strengths. Everyone excels at something. Find that ’something’ and push yourself to be the best at it.”
We asked a few teachers and parents what advice they wish they had listened to when they were a student, read what they had to say below.
“So! The advice I wish I’d listened to?” asks Anne Jennings, an AISL parent. “I was a pre-med who excelled at the programme. In hindsight, I wish I would have thought a little harder and looked a little deeper at related options.
“I realised I didn’t want to be a doctor. That is a decision I don’t regret at all. Still, I failed to realise I could look at related professions and related academic programmes: physical therapy, nursing, medical research, public health. It took me 25 years to come back to medicine.
“When thinking about your future after high school and university, be open to a full range of opportunities. Take some risks and follow your heart even when you get rejections. Stand up straight! Even when doors are closed, keep knocking or try a different door.
“Think less about finding the BEST school, the HIGHEST RANKED programme, ” continues Anne. “Think more about finding the right ‘fit for your needs, for your personality, for your lifestyle, and your family’s budget! Always stand up straight, look at the positive side and see opportunities, even when things don’t go what you think is the right way. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can come together.”
Chad Moore, an AISL parent, has this to say. “Explore what interests you, not just what you’re already good at doing.” While Russel Menard, Director and Parent, shares this regret; “I wish I had spent more time developing stronger study habits because I would have had an easier transition to university – where I had to develop them FAST!”
It’s never too late to heed the advice you’ve been given at school. In the words of C.S. Lewis, ‘You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.’
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