Good morning and welcome to special guests, Mrs Van, staff, parents, students and the Class of 2017.
We stand here today on the edge of a new frontier, a frontier of unknown opportunities, hopes and obstacles, just as so many before have, and so many after will. Every year, Waterfall College says goodbye to a group of matriculants that are unique in their own way. Today, it is our chance to bid farewell to these corridors and to the countless, unforgettable memories that we have made during our time here. Our journey together has had the occasional tear, but most times it has been filled with laughter and joy. Most importantly though, we’ve grown together ‘in height and in heart’ – as Brandon would say.
This year was undeniably challenging and definitely not as glamorous as we all had hoped. Don’t be fooled juniors and especially Grade 11s, listen to Mrs Lamplough when she tells you that ‘Matric will not be easy’ because we regrettably did not! That aside though, this year has been, without a doubt, one of the best years of my life, where I made lasting memories with the best group of friends I could ever ask for. Our Matric Hike and that vertical wall, our starry Matric Dance and the everyday struggle of the boys’ silly, yet smooth comments and the girls’ major fuss of trying to keep them subdued, comes to mind. Next year, we say goodbye to all that we know, to all these precious memories, and enter a new world, a whole new adventure, and we will relate, even more so than now, to the student life memes that we see on Facebook. I am here to tell you, as scary as it may seem, these will be the best years of your life. Enjoy them.Enjoy being young; enjoy being beautiful and free to do what you want, because one day you’ll look back and recall in a way that you cannot grasp now, the mounds of possibilities and opportunities that are lying before you.
Don’t worry too much, the race is long, and in the end, only with yourself.
Challenge yourself, every day to be the best that you can be, because, as Henry Ford said, ‘If you think you can or if you think can’t, you’re right.’
Make an impact on people. You do that by being like John Wooden, a UCLA basketball coach, who lead his team to win numerous national championships, yet during the week, he swept his own gym floor. He impacted people by being humble and having no pride. Pride is the burden of a foolish person.
Leading with a broom is just as important as leading with a title.
Always remember that failure is a requirement of success. Because rock bottom can be a great foundation on which to build and on which to grow.
Never give up. Keep standing no matter how rough the sea may get. Love with all your heart. Do things with passion and enthusiasm. Live life your way and in a way that you’ll never regret or forget.
And, my last bit of advice, Class of 2017, wear sunscreen.