A very good afternoon to Mr. Stanley Tan, Senior Operation Manager of ASA, Dr. Julian Davies, Principal of Abbey College, our dear ASA agents who have worked very hard to organise today’s ceremony, parents and family members, guests, students and last but not least, my fellow friends of graduating class 2015.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of you sitting here for giving me the opportunity to speak on this special occasion.
Today marks the end of an era. We have officially completed yet another chapter in our young lives. As I reminisce, I think I speak for every one of us when I say that the days of A-levels as the last step of our secondary education were not all that easy. Indeed, they were filled with many academic challenges and self-doubt, nights that we counted on coffee for an extra push, the countless hours we have spent camping out at libraries and Costa and not to mention the fear of clicking on emails from UCAS. Having said that, I believe these experiences – challenges and rewards, have shaped us to who we are today, and we have emerged as stronger and wiser individuals.
Every step of the way, we have truly witnessed, first hand, each other’s highs and lows. Well, we have pulled through and here we are today, almost at the doorstep of university. Let us not disregard this journey: no matter how much of a struggle it might have been, these days are the evidence of our efforts in striving to earn ourselves a brighter future, one of which our parents hope for us.
Besides witnessing each other’s occasional mental breakdowns, there are of course many good times that we have gone through together over the course of these past 18-22 months. Some of us have contributed an incredible amount to the school, from assemblies to school clubs to charity fairs. I would like to say a special thank you in no order to Terence, Amanda, Chin Ter, Sze and Jian Wei. Thank you all for your efforts in trying to make our school a better place, and for that, it has. Some of us have been on trips around England together and to Malacca and Singapore next week. Some of us have been so fortunate to love and share the same passion, so as to travel 10 hours in a bus to witness history. From little things such as being each other’s alarm clocks in the morning, to celebrating one another’s birthdays and two Chinese New Years away from home together – thank you my friends, for your company and your friendship everyday.
I would also like to take the opportunity to say my sincere thanks and to remember some people who have been part of our journey here at Abbey, some of whom are not with us today. Firstly, I would like to thank our seniors, the graduates of 2014, for helping us settle down with ease in our first year being so far away from home. I can only hope we have been half as welcoming to our juniors.
To our friends and classmates from around the world – thank you for being part of our journey.
To our ASA agents – thank you all for your constant hard work in checking up on us and making sure we are doing well at Abbey.
To our teachers – Dr. Davies, our teachers have been wonderful to us. During my time at the school, I have been taught and inspired both inside and outside the classroom by truly some of the most selfless and enthusiastic teachers. We have learnt a great deal from them and we will not be here today without their kind guidance, compassion and constant dedication throughout this journey. I am also very appreciative to all the other staff members, our heads of year and house parents whom have taken great care of us and been part of our family away from home.
Lastly, to our parents – being the eldest child out of my two younger siblings meant that I was the first to leave the nest. I try to imagine how hard it must have been and still be for our parents that we are so far away from them. However, until I have children of my own someday, I will never be able to fully comprehend what our parents must have gone through. All our parents want is the best for us, and it is very important that we remember that everyday. On behalf of us graduates and children today, thank you mothers and thank you fathers for all the opportunities you have very graciously provided us with. I sincerely hope that we have, along the way been able to do you proud and could continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
As a final thought going forward, to all my dear friends, graduating class of 2015 – this is for all of you. My wish is that as we move on to greater things in life, to university and some day to the world of work, that we never lose our passion: passion for life, passion to learn and passion for what we want to build a career for ourselves from someday. As university gets tougher, may we remember the reason why we chose to study our courses, just as we wrote in our personal statements. If we believe in and hold on to our passion, it will get us through all times, alongside with hard work and perseverance. Live the life you have dreamt of leading and be the person you have imagined being. I wish all of you the very best in life and every success and happiness.
Congratulations and Happy graduation!