20 Jun

Headteacher’s June Update

By: Mrs Burnett, Headteacher

‘The road to success is always under construction.’ – Lily Tomlin, US actress, comedian, writer and singer

Last week Ballakermeen hosted the annual Isle of Man Higher Education Fair, welcoming delegates from 65 universities into our school. We first held the event 32 years ago with a simple aim – we didn’t want Island students to be disadvantaged when making choices about which universities to attend. So we brought the universities to them and gave students and parents the chance to meet representatives from the universities and ask the questions that were most important to them.

Last week’s Fair was another great success, and I would like to thank all those involved in organising and running the event, and everyone who attended – students, parents and the delegates. The feedback we receive from delegates about Manx students is exceptional. One of the main reasons the event has grown over the years is the word of mouth between universities and their delegates, impressed by the standard of students who they meet in the Isle of Man, from across all the high schools.

If you were a student who attended the Fair – or indeed will be looking to attend in future years – an important aspect, and something that I want everyone to take away with them, is the need to be open to new ideas. Young people often have ambitions, some from a very early age, about what they want to do in their lives, as their career, which is great. However, if you asked a random group of 100 people aged 40-50 if they are doing now what they had planned while at school, you would find that many had taken a different path.

By all means aim high, at whatever path you decide to take, but be open to new ideas, alternative paths that might open up in front of you, ones that you didn’t realise were even there. The road to success isn’t a set path. As Lily Tomlin says, it’s always under construction, and your particular path isn’t set in stone and can veer off in ways you had never imagined.

Lily first found success in the 1970s in TV and film, and has won numerous awards throughout her career. If you have Netflix, you might know her from the series Grace and Frankie, which has run for last few years. Yet back when she graduated in 1957, it was from a technical high school, and she went on to study biology at university. Then one day she auditioned for a play, and everything changed for her.

That is what I mean when I say be open to new ideas, to new opportunities. The road to success has more than one route you can take.

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