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The Journey of Life

What will you become?

by James Lamont (revised, originally published in 2011)

Suitable for Key Stage 4/5


To look ahead to the future while also looking back on our time in school.

Preparation and materials

  • None required.


  1. You may already have discovered that many people view life as both a journey in itself and as a series of smaller journeys. Most of you will make great changes in your lives, such as moving to a new class, a new school or even a new town. As we enter the month of July, many students will be preparing for the biggest journey of all: the journey into independent adulthood.

  2. Of course, this is a road upon which we have already walked. Everyone changes, every year. You will, let’s hope, be more mature than when you started at this school. But the transition from school or college to work or university is likely to be the biggest change that many will have had to face. Not everyone loves every minute of their time in school, but a good education improves our chances of success and happiness in life.

  3. Imagine yourself in ten years’ time. You have been invited to give a talk at our school/college, giving an account of your incredible success, which you worked hard to achieve. You walk down the corridors of our school/college. It looks slightly different – there is new art on the walls and perhaps a new building – but the atmosphere is the same. You meet new teachers, as equals, and maybe even catch up with a couple from when you were here. Their hair will be greyer, but they will still be the same people.

  4. How do you think you will feel? Maybe a little uncomfortable, as if you were back in a place that you had once been happy to leave. Maybe glad, because of the chance to relive the best days of your life and be regarded as successful. Maybe just reflective, asking yourself, ‘Have I done everything I wanted to do since stepping out of those doors for the last time?’ Such a visit would provide a great time to reflect on your own life and happiness.

  5. So, to all those who are about to leave – to go to jobs or university, near or far – we wish you the best of luck. Remember that it is you who are responsible for yourselves. Do your best to become a better person. Maybe one day, you will come back and tell us how you have got on.

Time for reflection

Take some time to reflect on your years at school/college, and the primary schools that you attended before coming here.

What are you proud of?

Pause to allow time for thought.

What do you wish had gone differently? Can you put those things right?

Pause to allow time for thought.

What friends have you made? How will you maintain those relationships?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Who would you like to thank before you leave? Maybe do that today.

Pause to allow time for thought.

What are your hopes for the future? How will you achieve those dreams? How will you become a better person?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Remember that who you are is much more important than what you gain materially.

We give thanks for all those who have helped us on our way:
For teachers, friends and colleagues.
Now, we look to the future,
And we say ‘yes’, with hope and anticipation.

Publication date: July 2017   (Vol.19 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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