Tuesday, 7 July 2015

What about Hull?

As the academic year comes to an end, it is a really good opportunity to take stock and reflect upon the year.  I will be continuing with the football metaphor because I believe that in the new season, my beloved Leeds will rise and reach the play-offs.  "What about Hull?” I hear you ask - I think that it depends on many things!

I have mentioned before that as a College, we also have to plan and prepare for the next academic year.  This involves ensuring that we have excellent staff in place to replace the staff who are leaving, that all of our courses are well prepared and that we are 'ready' for the start of the new academic year.  All of our staff appointments have been made and as always, I have been delighted by the student engagement in the whole process.  Your comments and observations have been very perceptive.  Like my beloved Leeds, I think that we have an even stronger team and one that will ensure that our success continues.  I anticipate some excellent results and look forward to seeing you in August when you can celebrate in style.

Many of you have had some excellent offers and I know that they are well deserved.  I do hope that you have not slackened off because you may have had an unconditional offer.  I believe that this type of offer can lead to a lack of motivation and in the long run, be harmful to your life chances.  Indeed, one of our sons was shortlisted for an interview for graduates where only graduates with a UCAS points score of 300+ were invited.  So the message is, regardless of what the University offers, always aim to get the best possible grades.

For those of you who are leaving our College, I would like to wish you well and to thank you for your contribution.  I hope that you will remain a friend of our College and that you will have great memories of your time here.  The David Bowie song comes to mind:

"Golden years, gold whop whop whop
Don't let me hear you say life's taking you nowhere, angel
Run for the shadows in these golden years".

As always, the year has passed very quickly and become a blur: images of successes in academia, sports, arts, visits, competitions, fancy dress and national accolades come to mind.  Throughout all of this, the one thing that has remained constant is the energy and drive to achieve your potential – maintaining your focus about the next stage is crucial.  Do not be distracted, as Paulo Coelho said,

"Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure that you know exactly what it is that you want.  No one can hit their target with their eyes closed".

Do not be fooled by those who 'pretend' to accept mediocrity or can only think of reasons why we should not do something:

"People pretend not to like grapes when the vines are too high for them to reach",
Marguerite de Navarre.

"Nothing…will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome,"

Samuel Johnson.