The Last Word

By Peter Crosson | Posted: Tuesday February 11, 2020

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds, cannot change anything. - George B. Shaw.

I have to say that it’s good to be back into the swing of things, as enjoyable the holidays were. As much as we love to waste the hours away on Disney plus and tiktok, there is familiarity that comes with setting the alarm for 7am. To those who achieved what they wanted to last year, congrats, and to those who didn’t, well better luck next time. No I’m kidding, if you found last year a breeze, or only just managed to squeak through, it doesn’t matter. 2020 is a new year. For some of us, we’ll vote, some of you will start NCEA, or maybe you’re starting Otago Boys' for the first time. For all of us, this year will come with change.

And that, is my first point. Change is constant, especially as we grow from boys to young men. You’ll find that you have to deal with parts of your body dropping lower, and yes, I’m talking about your voices. You’ll stutter and stammer in front of girls, feel the need to impress your mates, and you will grow to become independent men, ready to face the world. Except, you won’t think you’re ready. The pressure adults love to put on us just never seems to stop. And to be honest, there’s good reason, at least in their eyes to increase the stress of our day to day lives. We’re meant to figure out when and where we’ll be in 10 years, and if we’re honest 90% of us have no clue. The societal pressure we as young men experience is often a disruptive way of trying to push us to success. So, I guess it’s a good thing that they’re not in charge of us. Embrace what this year will bring, and don’t let others pressure you to follow what they think is your path. The only person who will change your actions is that good old man in the mirror.

So, secondly, it’s up to you lads to decide if this will be your year. You are going to decide if you’re going to pass or fail. You decide whether you’re going to make the firsts for whatever it is you love. You decide if you’re going to strive to reach your goals. So that’s why I challenge you all to seize this day, and the next, and the next, and the next. Have fun. Make the most of what is a limited time here. In Year 10 Mr Hooper said blink and it will be year 13, and well, I’m not even sure I’ve blinked. It goes by that quick. Personally 13 years of adding, dividing, writing, reading, camps, PE, it’s almost all over. What started as an epic journey for a chubby, short sighted 5-year-old, has reached its ultimate year, and I intend to not let it slip by without squeezing out all that it has to offer. You’ll have to work hard to get what you want from this year, but it will 100% be worth it.

Remember that time flies when you have fun. The friends that you make now, are the ones that memories are made with. So finally, I want all of us to have fun. Make the most of it, live life and all the other clichés you can think of. I’m not saying throw away studying, and I’m not saying that you should work any less but open your eyes, take it all in. Value this year. Value your year. Don’t take it for granted. You will regret it if you wake up and you realise you’ve spent your time with your nose in a book the whole time, or your face to the screen. Enjoy it, or at least let everyone else enjoy it without being a pain.

Don’t fear what’s to come, make things happen, have fun while doing it, don’t be an ass.

Is this your year?