Letter to EMIS senior year students (Dec, 2018)
"It came to our attention that your class is in a bad state. That you feel overwhelmed and discouraged. I am hearing you have started to describe your situation by using words such as "collapsing", "hopeless" and "dying". So, I must stop everything and tell you that:
You are doing fine.
I am saying that you are doing fine not in a mindful, new age, breath 10 times, kind of way, but as a solid observation as your principal. I know you may like to hear me say that you are doing great, that you are excelling, but it is much more important to note that you are doing just fine. Even when you don't excel, even when you fail, you are still doing fine.
The fact that you are are going through hardships and difficulties does not mean you are doomed. The fact that you don't excel now does not mean you are going to fail in life. Life is long and there are many opportunities out there for you.
I understand you want to do your best, we want that for you as well. I understand you want to succeed and get to your dream Uni and your dream job, we want that for you as well. But, please remember that if you won't get it, it is not the end of the road. You can improve, you can try different options, different tracks. There are many ways to fulfill your dreams, to be who you want to be. It is not all about your grades, it is not all about your diploma, it doesn't have to happen now or next year.
The short and familiar path isn't a guarantee for fulfillment or success. It is just the one more known to you. It may seems as the clearest way, but it isn't necessarily the best one.
You are doing fine and it is crucial that you will acknowledge that. You are doing fine because you are talented and smart, because you challenge yourselves, because you work hard, because you have a solid ground to stand on and high aspirations. These things won't fade away because of your diploma. However, undermining who you are can hurt you in a fundamental way, much more than any exam.
Knowing your academic, social and even financial status, I can easily tell you that there is no correlation between these factors and the different levels of destructive stress and anxiety people here are experiencing. It is just the outcome of your perception and expectations.
It is about the way you see the world and the core confidence you have in yourself. So, it is my duty to tell you that your are doing much better than you think, that you are much more capable than you think and that life is much more flexible than you think. Life is long and you will find your way with time. And for now just know this: You are doing fine".