When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are faced with the challenge to change ourselves.
Viktor Frankl (1946)
This may be a big challenge for our senior students, but it is possible to bounce back, withstand adversity, learn from experiences, and cope confidently with life’s daily challenges.
Student resilience and wellbeing are essential for both academic and social development, and are optimised by safe, supportive, and respectful learning environments. Our college shares this responsibility with the whole community.
Not only do confident and resilient young women with a capacity for emotional intelligence perform better academically, these skills can also contribute to their ability to create strong social bonds and supportive communities, and to maintain healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles.
Factors that make our daughters resilient are: maintaining a positive attitude, being optimistic about life after school, having the ability to regulate emotions, and seeing failure, at school and relationships, as a form of helpful feedback.
So, in the face of challenges, such as mental stress, transitioning from secondary school to work or study, managing workloads or exams, change in friendship groups, conflict with peers or family, loss, and grief, your daughter can learn to control her emotions through practising coping strategies. Taking a break from study and doing something simple that your daughter loves can foster a positive mindset, as can eating well and exercising, using relaxation techniques such as yoga, engaging in positive self-talk and, most importantly, modelling positive behaviour strategies.
Make it real! Have a conversation with your daughter, sharing moments where you have used strategies successfully to overcome your emotions, when faced with challenges. Just remember that your daughter’s resilience can be compared to a branch of a tree in a storm. When thunder, wind, and rain shakes their world, the hope is that their flexibility and strength will enable them to recover, to continue to grow, and recognise the impermanence of everything in life.
So let your daughter fall in the safety of school and family, so she is equipped to rise up and manoeuvre the tricky bits in everyday life.
The greatest glory in living lies, not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela (1993)
Resilience is the foundation of effective and enjoyable learning at school. It opens opportunities for growth and self-development as well as academic progress.
The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains in the scorching sun. Napoleon Hill
Caitlyn Goan and Mady York
Resilience is pushing or bouncing back from academic and social challenges. If faced now in our everyday life at school, we are able to carry this ability to respond in to the challengers beyond the College gates.
Seeking to be better is resilience. While it is difficult to receive critical feedback, we have to take it on board. Resilience is asking questions, identifying our mistakes, and seeking peer and teacher support or advice. Resilience is taking a breath and trying again.