40 quotes for graduating students

13 June 2019

Social media can have both positive and negative effects on our lives but there are some times when it can prove very useful indeed. ISTA artist and teacher, Debbie Kidd (@DebraKidd) turned to her twitter following to gather 40 pieces of advice (as part of our 40th birthday celebrations) to give to young people graduating from school or college. Here’s just a small sample of what they had to say:

1. ‘Do voluntary work – it’s because of the voluntary work I did that I ended up in the career I have. It helps you to figure out what you’re made of.’
@nmgilbride, academic researcher

2. ‘Never say never – if you want to get there you will, it’s not always a straight line but it is always possible.’
@blondebonce, headteacher

3. ‘“To thine own self be true!” Integrity drives everything. Don’t lose sight of your values.’
@DebbieHepplewhite, phonics consultant and author of early reading books

4. ‘You can spend a long time making sacrifices & working all hours, trying to prepare for the future, only to realise that the future has become the past while you were preparing. Remember to enjoy yourself. Pleasure, leisure, friends & family should be treasured. Live a good life.’
@Disidealist, politician and activist

5. ‘There’s no rush! Give yourself some time to work out who you want to be, what you want to do! Gap year shouldn’t be a dirty word, it was the making of me!’
@jonnieriordan, actor and director – Frantic Assembly

6. ‘Work hard to pursue the things that intrigue you. Follow your instincts and be patient – as your technical skills take time and dedication to catch up with your passions.’
@Act2Cam, filmmaker and actor trainer

7. ‘Register with a doctor!’
@NiamhSweeney, president National Education Union

8. ‘Do a job that truly interests you – we spend a lot of time working. And look after your teeth!’
@EAnoukBec, policy advisor

9. ‘Work hard, respect your elders, explore, read, travel, be compassionate, show integrity and remember everything happens for a reason and nothing you learn is ever wasted.’
@MissVoodvard, teacher

10. ‘Travel!’
@AlisonIredale, senior lecturer, Leeds Beckett University

11. ‘Don’t be scared of revisiting a decision, admitting it was a mistake and changing your mind. I did it over my degree subject at end of 1st year and the experience taught me a lot.’
@NuttySalt, science teacher and senior leader

12. ‘Sleep, eat well, exercise. Everything else, no matter what it is, follows.’
@AFosterTeach CEO of Tougher Minds

13. ‘It’s not really a hangover until you’re over 25.’
@JamesMcEaney, lecturer and journalist

14. ‘As you enter the community of adulthood it brings great opportunities but also responsibilities. But work to neverlose the gifts of childhood: to stare at the night sky, a valley from a peak, hear a skylark or a city from its streets & permit yourself to feel wonder at it.’
@AndyDay, geographer

15. ‘Life isn’t about stumbling into a job at 18 and doing it until you retire. See the world!’
@NastyOldMrPike, maths teacher

16. ‘Work hard and don’t worry about the big “life plan” – life has a funny way of getting you where you need to be. Lots of people wind up working in unexpected fields, having a great time.’
@klbwood, teacher of Textiles and Graphics

17. ‘It’s the things you do every day that count. Choose them well.’
@JamieF, CEO Reading Wise

18. ‘Two things: 1. If you’re not excited by something, then don’t do it. 2. Be nice.’
@MattPearson1991, physics teacher

19. ‘Believe in yourself, you will get there one way or another. Don’t beat yourself up about mistakes, learn from them. Cherish your friends – those who support as well as those who challenge. You can go back to uni/Edu later if not already going.’
@rrunsworth, CEO of a multi academy trust and hospice trustee

20. ‘Do a StrengthsFinder profile and spend your life building on what you are strong at and love. Life will tell you to only improve what you are crap at. This is a waste of time – build on your strengths as a focus and framework for joy and purpose.’
@Penny_Ten, challenge adviser

21. ‘Worry less.’
@JoeHallg, education consultant and former head of education at the Royal Society of Arts

22. ‘Don’t let a system, designed to meet the needs of the average student, define you by your grades.’
@TeacherToolkit, author and trainer

23. ‘Don’t be afraid to turn everything on its head and start again if the original plan isn’t right. Also: TRAVEL!’
@_Zooks, English teacher

24. ‘At 18 you are an adult now. You have a choice – who you are friends with, where your career goes, who you allow into your life. As E Roosevelt said: “no one can hurt you without your permission”. You have the control.’
@MalCPD, leadership coach

25. ‘Think about what you want to DO in life, rather than what you might want to BE—you’ll find you’re constantly catching up with the latter, but it’ll be easier if you enjoy the former.’
@LakelandRuth, academic researcher and lecturer

26. ‘Get some sort of a job while you’re studying. It doesn’t have to relate to your chosen career – the experience will still be worthwhile.’
@flyinghuntinis, teacher

27. ‘It’s never too late to change, retrain or start a new career. I started off in the legal sector and am now a happy headteacher!’
@JamesField83, headteacher

28. ‘Every day, try to do at least one kind thing for someone else. Even if it’s just a small thing. If you’re having a terrible day you will make them – and yourself, feel better.’
@LizinWales, librarian

29. ‘Vote.’
@lindsayjskinner, deputy headteacher

30. ‘Be kind – to yourself and fellow travellers on whatever path you take. Most upsets are thoughtless rather than deliberate so the more you share, the more there is as food for thought.’
@FiDaisyG, structural engineer

31. ‘Remember your hobbies, interests, family & friends – fit them in to your work/life balance.’
@KaisraK, lead teacher of Science

32. ‘Your first job doesn’t have to be your career. You can change your mind – go in a different direction at any time you want.’
@Jet1577, archivist

33. ‘Follow your heart and not your wallet. Don’t head into a course/career for the money EVER. Whatever the pressure.’
@RusselTarr, International History teacher and author

34. ‘Life throws many opportunities at you when you are young. Say yes to anything that allows you to grow and use this time to define who you are and what you stand for.’
@f4rheen, careers and employability adviser

35. ‘Learn. Be kind. Move on. Meet the needs you identify.’
@PeterHJ, international change consultant and author

36. ‘Always be intellectually curious, give yourself time to think, broaden your horizons, accept nothing as a “given”, read fiction & make sure you develop empathy.’
@AynieLR, cat lover and feminist

37. ‘Everyone has imposter syndrome.’
@stupotwakefield, sociologist

38. ‘Phone home. Friends will come and go. But your family is your family is your family is your family…’
@TeacherHead, author and teacher trainer

39. ‘Do what you love even if you have to graft at something you don’t love for a while, to pay for it.’
@LouMycroft, writer and activist

40. ‘Start building your safety net. Identify where the points of support are should you need them. Ask what services are available and make notes of numbers to call. Make this a priority even when there are exciting distractions and you feel fine.’
@_NatashaDevon, journalist, mental health adviser and MBE