WE were all in your place once upon a time.
The editor of the Waterford News & Star still remembers the exact black ribbed vest top and jeans she was wearing to walk up to school to get her results – and the warmth of the day.
It was a good day. Not because of the total number of points achieved – which were satisfactory, but because it was the start of a whole new chapter, the start of adulthood.
It had the taste of anticipation. Hard work on the leaving certificate meant not a simple, guaranteed path to a defined career, but the courage to know that if you could cross that hurdle, anything was doable.
‘You are of Waterford, you are more than capable’
So to the Déise Leaving Cert class of 2020, you’ve overcome a hurdle many of us could never have imagined. You’ve graduated your schooldays during a pandemic. You’ve endured all the challenges that has presented – the uncertainty of the last number of months, the constantly changing goalposts.
You’ve had to grieve the physical exams you couldn’t sit and make peace with the fantastic graft you put in – all of which lays a strong foundation for your future.
That effort and work has carried you through, from the early days when you first learned to hold a pencil properly in junior infants.
You have accumulated a stunning amount of education that you will come to appreciate more as you grow older. Thanks to advances in technology, education and the vast amount of knowledge in the world now, you will give more than all of us older people to society. And in future years, you will be an inspiration to the much younger children following in your stead.
For now, enjoy these first steps into a new beginning, whether that is studying for the course you dreamed of, diving into the world of work or apprenticeship, or taking the time to repeat – a difficult and mature decision in itself.
You are of Waterford, you are more than capable.
Holding firm against Covid-19
WATERFORD has seen a significant jump in Coronavirus figures over the past month, with the largest portion of them announced in the last week. It is more important than ever that we all remain vigilant, whether for our children or as adults in the work place, in the community and socialising.
Covid-19 can only be passed by contact between people, and at this stage we all know the drill in terms of how to minimise its spread. We can’t all possibly escape it but we can effectively keep it suppressed.
Don’t dismiss a cough or temperature, you may not get seriously ill but the person next to you could. Covid-19 is not elsewhere now, it is among us. Keep alert, wear your mask, take your child’s temperature, be responsible.
Don’t presume it’s not Covid, presume it is.