Distinguished guests of honor, school administrators and Madam Principal, dynamic members of the faculty, proud and ever-supportive parents, dear friends, fellow graduates, and all who have gathered here today, good morning!
As I stand here today, I can still hear, even in silence, the same expectations and doubts I was first acquainted with two years ago. Doubtful, yes. That was how I felt the first time I had my feet on the campus and started carrying out what I believed was my part in meeting the demands and expectations of the evolving academic landscape, and others which I came to realize soon after. Yes, that was years ago, because here, I stand before you, a confident and self-affirmed young lady who is armed with all the knowledge and experiences, and who declares herself as ‘ready to face life’s challenges.’
Sometimes, our doubts become our reasons, not just our natural responses, to bring out the best in us. As we realize and push ourselves through, we become creative and resourceful in looking for alternatives, and hence we find inspirations to initiate and inspire change for the betterment of things around us.
Soon, my doubts became motivations which translate to moving forward, accomplishing tasks, breaking personal records, and hence, striving for excellence and accountable learning. I became accountable for my own learning that I exceeded expectations, not for numerical reasons, but for personal growth and the acquisition of knowledge and skills that may give me a ticket to the journey towards a more promising future of certainty and sustainability.
Our ultimate competitors are ourselves. Let’s all be competitive, without comparing ourselves against the achievements and success of others, for we may lose track of our journey and imprison ourselves in the shadows of others, rather let us be competitive upon liberating ourselves from enslaving complacency and fear of learning new things. Ralph Marston once said, and I requote, “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” Excellence is an attitude, an unconscious desire to accomplish things excellently that would make us not only meet expectations but surpass them. It is the attitude that we constantly want to surpass our past achievements and be the better versions of ourselves.
In my two years of stay at STI, I have learned the value of hard work. Those seemingly sleepless nights, energy-draining school days, conflicting schedules, and daunting project defenses and presentations have sharpened my physical and intellectual gears. As I experienced rejections, failures, and efforts that seemed to go to waste, I became even more eager, more driven. As I stood up again and all sacrifices and perseverance seemed to pay off, I was also gifted by chance sweeter tastes of triumph.
Without any doubt however, STI has been true to its promise of superior learning systems for real-life education. We have become fully prepared for what life awaits us hereafter. In its pursuit of academic excellence among its students, soft skills and other beyond-the-classroom lessons have all also been taught and instilled by our dynamic and highly competent teachers. All that we can give in return for now is our heartfelt, ‘Thank you.’