As we begin to truly settle into our school routines and the first round of assessments creeps closer, we need to reflect on our goals for 2023, both personal and academic. Though this message rings true for every student in each year group, to my fellow Year 12’s this year will be the last of our Highschool careers and we should all strive to achieve the potential that is in all of us.
As we come back from our last Retreat as a cohort, I encourage everyone to further explore what we learnt; the importance of Hodie, Cras, and Heri (Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow). Reflecting upon these teachings will help us to grasp the importance of being connected to the world around us.
Reflecting upon the ‘roads of life’ and genogram activities, highlight the significance of the relationships we have with one another, between our family, our friends, and our communities. Our connection with each other is essential to our wellbeing and strong relationships enable further self-discovery. Being able to understand healthy relationships facilitates us in all aspects of our lives. When we can trust and share with others, we enable everyone to build from ideas to help us grow into well-rounded contributors to society. Although connections with each other weren’t the only important teachings of Retreat, we learned that we also need to be connected to the Earth and our own emotions something to believe in.
Relating to the Earth means that we are in tune with the natural world around us. We recognize our place within it and the impact we have on the environment. It’s important to respect and care for the planet so that we can continue to live and thrive on it, as we are made to be Stewards of the Earth according to God’s image. This means living sustainably, reducing waste, and being mindful of our consuming habits. When we relate to the Earth, we also benefit from its healing properties, such as spending time in nature, which can reduce stress and improve our overall emotions and well-being.
Our emotions are another essential part of our human experience. We need to be able to identify and express our feelings to maintain good mental health. When we are in touch with our emotions, we can better understand ourselves and communicate effectively with others. It’s also important to recognise and manage negative emotions, such as anger and sadness, as they can have a significant impact on our well-being and relationships. Understanding why we feel certain ways and how to healthily act on these emotions is an essential step to living our best life and surviving this final year of school.
St Paul held that in order to be fully formed as compassionate young men we must “… consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another” (Hebrews 10:24-2.) We are put on this Earth to support and care for everybody around us, to value the planet’s vitality and to always accept our emotions. By working together to care for our environment, fostering meaningful relationships, and addressing our emotional needs, we can create a more just and equitable world for all.
Damian Jelfs-Smith – Vice Captain (mission)