Good Morning Everybody,
I hope you had some great holidays and are ready to begin this 2011 with all your strength.
When I was told I had to write a speech a couple of days ago, I honestly didn’t know what I would say.
But then I remembered something a friend of mine once told me, and it got me thinking about my life at St Andrews: Life isn’t just about finding yourself, she said, but about creating yourself. I’ve been a student here for 14 years already. I grew up here, as most of you students did. And as I did, I began a journey towards finding myself.
There’s one particular thing I’m really grateful for about the school, and it is a vast number of opportunities it grants, and their diversity. All the way up from plays to sports, community service, choir, band. We are offered amazing trips around the world to Russia, New York City, France, the UK, filling us with remarkable memories and lessons. We are given the chance to try ourselves, test our limits in extreme situations when we go to Patagonia. To put up plays highly praised not only within the school but outside too. The School invites us to see beyond the walls of social prejudice and lend a hand to those in need through the Community Service department.
On top of that, students from years 10 and 12 sit for international examinations which are respected and recognized worldwide, opening numerous doors for anybody hoping to study or work abroad.
Having the chance to try different things is, I believe, the only way of finding what we truly love and enjoy. It’s all about trial and error, because there’s no manual handed to us when we are born, for the simple reason that each and every one of us is different, and no one will ever get to know us better than ourselves. We shouldn’t be afraid to take risks, or make mistakes, because it implies learning from these and growing along with them. Elbert Hubbard said, and I quote: The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
I strongly believe that in what we love lays the journey towards finding ourselves. And the opportunities given to us are but the tools needed to create ourselves upon our own best judgment.
And now a few words for my classmates in year 12. It is our last year in school, we should try to embrace every opportunity, to enjoy and make it a memorable year in our lives, consolidate friendships or maybe even open ourselves to those we don’t know much. Let’s make the best of it.
Now you can all here mark my words, I hope you do, and take a chance. It’s a new year, a new a break, get involved in some extracurricular activities, try outs for the senior play are today; for choir, this Friday. Give international exams the recognition they deserve or even make new friends maybe by participating in house activities or community service.
… or you might as well just walk out those doors and forget everything I said. It’ s entirely up to you, still here´s a small piece of advice, don´t be afraid to try new things, build your own judgments, grasp every opportunity on hand, be it within school or outside, and just remember Wayne Gretzky’s words:
You miss 100 % of the shots you never take.
Thank you very much.