High School Valedictorian Speech, 2011
Today, I just chanced upon my Grade 12 graduation speech, which I had prepared for valedictorian selection.
Good Evening Respected Principal, members of staff, honoured guests and the graduating class of 2011. Graduation is such an auspicious day in the lives of students, which leaves its impact for all the times to come. I see smile and happiness on the faces of graduates. Congratulations on your great achievement. Time flies so fast, that the last four years appear to have passed in just four days. When I recall my first day at Emery Collegiate, I was a bit nervous, perplexed and even, sometimes struggling to locate my classrooms, but the senior students and teachers were so co-operative that they never let me feel any sort of embarrassment. I am sure all of you have different stories to share. In the past four years, we have learnt a lot from our teachers. They taught us the value of life and motivated us to recognize our potentials. Furthermore, they guided us how to achieve those potentials in life. I would say it is the teacher who builds the nation. If we students are the kings, then our teachers are the king-makers.
Let me tell you a story. Once, a blind man wanted to cross the road, but due his blindness he was not in a position to cross the road. A person standing nearby was watching the helpless blind man. He came to the blind man, held his hand and helped him in crossing the road. Similarly, we all students are blind when we come to seek education. It is our ‘teachers’ who help us in opening the doors of our wisdom. I, on behalf of the graduates, want to express sincere thanks to the teachers of Emery, who gave us enlightenment and turned us from lead to Gold. The entire staff of Emery is so humble, co-operative and diligent, which makes the students feel a homely environment.
Today, the end of our journey of four years at Emery is a mixture of joy and sorrow. The joy is we are holding our diplomas. The joy is we are going to universities and colleges for our higher education. The joy is we are going to meet new people and make new friends, like making a new nest in a new place. Yes, we are going to leave Emery very soon. It will be a sorrow, when we’ll depart from our teachers and friends of Emery. The sentiments attached to our classrooms, lockers, cafeteria, library…we’ll all miss it! Getting ready for the school and sometimes, getting late slips, listening to the lectures of teachers, laughing with friends, lunch time conversations shall always remain unforgettable moments in our life.
Dear friends, we can proudly say, that the bright future is coming ahead for all of us. It is holding abundant opportunities for us, but there is a need to grab it and that is only possible, if we have devotion and dedication. Friends, life is not only a bed of roses, but it’s also a bed of thorns, but it doesn’t mean that we should give up when we face thorns, impediments, and obstacles. Since life is a challenge, we must accept this challenge and face it valiantly. We should not let the problems dominate us and shatter us; rather we should face these problems and come out as champions.
My Grandfather used to say:
"Whenever you have work to do, do it with a will,
Those who reach the top, first must climb the hill,
Standing at the foot, gazing at the sky,
How can you get up? If you never try,
Those who stumble oft, never be downcast,
But, try and try again, till you succeed at last."
So, never feel downcast, because ups and downs are part of the life. In fact, one learns from his/her failures. If you ever feel down through failing, never underestimate your inner strength. When a horse gets injured, he gets up immediately to run again. Be like that horse; innocent from outside, but an iron from inside.
Education is not only confined to gaining and acquiring knowledge in different subjects, but it is also about morality and the duties of a human towards humanity. Knowledge is a treasure, which is one of the most precious things in the world. It cannot be washed away by the floods, can never be stolen and can never be burnt with fire. So, achieve it and keep it in the locker of your mind, but make sure you don't lose the key! To achieve any objective in life, simplicity is essential and we must not be attached to materialistic things. Our motto should be ‘simple living and high thinking’ and we should be rough and tough in any eventuality. We should use every moment of time effectively and purposefully, because time and tide wait for none, time once lost cannot be recalled.
After the completion of graduation journey, a very responsible journey is going to start and that journey has a mission of our future goals, expectations of our parents, our duties towards society and towards our nation. I have a staunch faith, that with the teachings and blessings of our teachers, the good wishes of our friends and relatives, we shall be able to fulfill the dreams of our ambitions and will become indispensable members of the society. Once again, I on behalf of the graduates express my utmost thanks to the teachers, who enlightened us and prepared us to move ahead. I would also thank all the esteemed guests, who managed to devote their valuable time for attending this graduation ceremony. Their presence will not only enhance our happiness, but will encourage us morally. Best of luck for your future endeavours and I wish and pray to God almighty for your happiness, success and prosperity in life. Thank you for your patience.