“In a commencement speech at a US university Admiral William McRaven had the following to say:
“If you wanna change the world, start off by making your bed.
If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.
It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.
By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter.
If you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right.
If by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made.
That you made.
And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
One of my messages to the students, indeed to all at the start of the year, is perhaps this year we can all focus on completing what we set out to do. To tackle the scourge of procrastination that no doubt affects all of us from time to time. Many don’t want to make our bed, do the washing up, take out the rubbish, do our homework, complete that report, study for a test or exam, and so on. We often wait for the final deadline and then get moving on that task. Perhaps if we get into the habit of making our bed in the morning, every morning, we will get into a habit of completing tasks, the small tasks that will enable us to complete more complex tasks, until perhaps one day we will “change the world”.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all to school in this New Year. Especially a very warm welcome to our new students, especially those that have come from afar and those that have left home for the first time as boarders. We do hope you settle in quickly and that Waterford will very soon become a home from home for you. And to those parents who have sent their precious cargo to us from afar, please don’t hesitate to be in touch with any of the adults in your child’s life, the residential staff or the tutor. We are very keen to assist and make sure our students settle down as quickly and happily as possible.
I would also like to welcome back all of our staff. They are the backbone of the school, all playing a vital role in the life of the students, whether they teach Maths or history, clean the residences, look after the science lab and equipment or mow the lawns. I encourage all to appreciate and commit to an “attitude of gratitude” when dealing with the staff and indeed when dealing with anyone in our community.”