Mrs Chilton
Head of Student Wellbeing

In a culture that suggests that young people suffer from increasing ‘learned hopelessness’, at Meriden we instead endeavour to instil in our girls a ‘learned hopefulness’.

There is a lot of conversation in the media about the impact of current world events, social media, and the pressure of a neoliberal environment on increasing rates of poor mental health. Young people are looking for meaning – but they find that the answers provided by the world fall short of their expectations. Our individualistic culture is not serving young people well.

At Meriden, we seek to regularly instil messages that will provide a robust and enduring hope for our students. A few staff have been wrestling with this topic recently and have been encouraged by the research of Leisa Aitken, who suggests:

  • Hope provides students with agency; that is the instinct to become involved and be poised to take action in the world.
  • Hope requires a belief in the future, grounded in a foundational worldview.
  • Hope provides both glimpses of that future in the present, and opportunities to connect to a bigger vision of the world.

This week, students are preparing for Easter Chapel services, putting themselves forward for service camps, mentoring new students, serving as Ambassadors of the School, preparing their Science research projects, and much more. In each of these, our hope is that our students are given tangible moments to stop and reflect on the world around them and their place in it. That they would gain a sense of how they can contribute, and why that matters.

As we look toward Easter this weekend, it is our hope and prayer that the girls in our community, and their families, will stop to reflect on the significance of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus for their lives in the here and now. We pray they might recognise that one amazing moment in history can provide a robust and enduring hope that will sustain them in an uncertain world.