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14 Jul 2012

News to Novels #24

A lot of my friends are graduating at the moment or leaving an important stage of their education.  A couple of my relatives and my colleague's daughter have finished college and will be leaving for university in September.  Pete's younger sister has finished high school and will be entering her college years while some of my friends have now completed their BA, Masters or PGCEs and are completely done with education.  July is always a big month because for me it has meant the end of something all my life.  The end of primary school and the transition to high school, the end of high school, the end of my first year, the end for my reception class as they wait to start Key Stage 1.

I went searching for a few graduation articles and hope these will be of some inspiration:

We don't need no graduation
It's that time of year when hearts race and palms grow sticky. With the A levels results out on Thursday, many a teenager is praying for the grades that will get them that coveted place at university. Yet, a significant minority have no intention of swanning off to college - even if they score top results. And far from 'dropping out', they're making a financially savvy choice.

Many young people don't want to start their working life owing money; the average student debt is £13,500, predicted to increase to £20,000 for students starting this September. What's more, recent research shows that the level of increased earnings that graduates could expect over a lifetime, as recompense for doing a degree, has fallen sharply.

Student collects degree at graduation ceremony... and then gets onstage proposal (and she says yes)
After four years of lectures, exams and essays, a graduation ceremony is a memorable event.  Yet for Sarah Cooper, from Marlboro, New Jersey, it will be particularly unforgettable - as it is also the moment she became engaged.  Her boyfriend of four years, fellow American University student Sam Miller, popped the question on stage after Sarah collected her degree.

'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' Dad's tear-jerking graduation gift to daughter is a book of messages from every one of her teachers... which took 13 YEARS to collect
For many teenagers, their high school graduation day is the opportunity to ask for a big, extravagant gift from their parents.  What Brenna Martin got was very different. It wasn't a car, a holiday or that piece of jewellery she had always wanted.  Instead, the senior got something much, much more special.

Brenna's father Bryan handed her the most 'moving, touching, nostalgic, and thoughtful' present she had ever had.  It was gift that was 13 years in the making which he'd managed to keep hidden the whole time.  The copy of Dr Seuss children's classic 'Oh, The Places You'll Go!' is adorned with a series of annotations.

Awe-inspiring courage of the boy paralysed in a car crash at 14 months old… but who fulfilled his dream to walk for his high
When Patrick Ivison was run over by a car aged just 14 months, his spinal cord was so badly injured that his parents were told he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.  But he has never let his disability hold him back, becoming a champion surfer at the age of 13.  And this week, he made the most amazing breakthrough of all when he walked for the first time as he attended his high school graduation.

To anyone who has graduated this year, congratulations and best of luck on your next journey! =D


  1. The classes I started the year with are entering reception and the class I'm with now are about to move into junior school. It's a huge change for all of them.

    The first story is right about the financial reality but no matter what, I don't regret going to university. I might have a completely unrelated job, but I would've missed out on some of the most amazing moments of my life without uni.

  2. I have to admit, if I was 18 now I may be more tempted to look for alternatives. I'm lucky I got through when the fees were less and not the insane amount they are now. But I do think students need to learn the truth about university. For me it was great in learning to be independent and live my own way but job wise it didn't seem to help at all. I liked the first article because it shows that university isn't the only key to a future like all my teachers made it out to be. There's still ways for you if you don't go through that route. I think that could make a good YA/NA story actually. Four teens who don't go to university, shock horror to their parents and teachers, and find a way to build their own career and successful future.