Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, your one-stop source for news about your son’s upcoming activities and events.

Message from Scott Cowie, Head, Senior Division

scottUpcoming Senior Division dates:

Monday, April 9: Spring arts assembly, Laidlaw Hall, 9:55 a.m.
Monday, April 9: Year 11 extended essay draft due
Thursday, April 12: Nuit Bleue and Spring Music Night, 3:30 to 9 p.m.
Friday, April 13: Battalion Ball, Palais Royale, 8 p.m.
Friday April 13 to Saturday, April 14: Unity (1918) Year 9 and 10 play, The Bishop Strachan School Lower Theatre, 7 p.m.

As our Year 12 boys look ahead toward their transition from UCC, I’d like to offer a few thoughts to the leaving class boys and their parents, although much of what follows is relevant for all of the Senior Division community.

In speaking with parents of Year 12 boys over the years, I’ve heard many concerns expressed around this time of year. Parent feedback often sounds something like this: “My normally academically sharp, responsible son is exhibiting some unusual behaviour … he seems distracted and is finding the transition back to school routine after the two-week March break and Easter weekend rather challenging”.

In my 19 years here at the College, I’ve come to understand the dynamics that are at play for our leaving class boys as they begin to look toward graduation. Here’s a short summary of some of what may be occupying their minds and serving as a source of distraction during the month of April:

  • University acceptance or rejection letters have started to arrive.
  • The Battalion Ball occurs on April 13 and, for some boys, that meant having to find a date to bring to the event.
  • International Baccalaureate final exams are about three weeks away.
  • Starting the next phase in life, which sits beyond high school, has, in itself, a number of potential sources of anxiety for some boys. These include: friendships in transition; moving to a new city, country or continent; and venturing away from the comfort of family and home.

Despite the differing tensions associated with the issues cited above, they all have one common denominator: each is emotionally demanding and could serve as an intense source of anxiety.

Thankfully, most boys won’t be impacted by all of the above issues. But chances are, if your son is in Year 12, he’s likely experiencing a combination of a few of these stressors.

So, as parents, how can we best support our children through emotionally charged times of transition?

I offer three suggestions:

  1. Let your son know that you’re aware of the issues with which he may be struggling. Sometimes just knowing that someone is aware of your anxiety can be a source of great comfort.
  2. Let your son know that your relationship with him isn’t in flux. Knowing that he has stability during this turbulent time will go a long way in helping him feel secure.
  3. Let your son know he’s loved. A hug from a parent, either physical or symbolic, no matter how old you are, is still one of the best remedies for any type of angst.

Thanks for reading,
Scott