I posted the following commentary last year at graduation time, and so many people wrote to thank me for it and asking to quote it, that I have decided to re-post it. And every word of it applies just as much to my students this year as the ones last year...

 Today marked the graduation for a number of students who I have tutored or taught in the past, and I want to send out my congratulations. And to thank you for letting me be a small part of that journey.

I know how hard some of you have had to work, and how much you have managed to overcome in the last years. I have more respect for those of you who worked hard for a good grade than for those (like myself) who can get great grades drifting through courses. You have worked very hard for your degrees, and every one of you deserves them!

I know there are some among you (don't worry - I won't give names) who feel inadequate because at this time of year you see articles in the newspaper or on the TV about how great some new graduate is. How they maintained perfect marks while being an international celebrity and earning their third PhD before the age of five. As someone who has been on both sides of the class, I can assure you that they are no better and no worse than any of you.

Sometimes these people have pushy parents who find opportunities for their children, while other children are struggling just to have a safe home life. A student who has been coached their whole lives is not the same as a student who can't afford to get in the game. And in my experience, the coddled and coaxed students are the ones who will have more trouble later in life - because they have never learned how to overcome real hardships to achieve their goals.

So to every single student who I have had the privilege and honour to teach or tutor, enjoy this time of your life. You have earned a degree, and are ready to make your mark in the world!