The Last Word

By Jaxon Benington | Posted: Monday July 27, 2020

What does one say for Their Last Word to a room full of teenage boys?

Just last week at our senior assembly Mr Hall spoke about work done by the late Celia Lashlie, who was an expert on boys, and others in this field agree with her; they say, “When speaking to boys - Keep it simple, and Keep it short.” So that’s exactly what I intend to do.

I have heard a lot of deep and meaningful speeches and quotes during my time at school and they are buried deep in my long term memory. But when I think about what I will remember most fondly about my secondary school years at OB’s, it will be the simple, everyday things.

As a hostel boy I will always remember my home-away from home:

· The yarns with the boys late at night

· The games of pit cricket played

· The longing you had as a junior to go first in line at the dining room

· The pride you had as a senior when you walked the short cut across the field to school

· The joy of selling your hostel lunch for a good profit so you could go to the canteen

At school I’ll remember:

· The life-long friendships formed

· The periods learning about WW2 with Mr King

· Being told to pull your socks up as a junior

· The sports played with your mates

· The expectation to work hard and gain 100% completion

Yes all those simple everyday things. This leads into my next point.

The most important value to me and the most basic I believe is Hard Work. It’s simple - work hard and you will get results. It may not be tomorrow, or the next day or even in a month but stick at something, anything, and you will improve. Progress will be made. It may not be earth shattering, record breaking stuff but as long as you have worked hard to be the best you can be then you are winning.

Sometimes things become too hard and we can’t be bothered, but that’s when you have to give yourself a stern talking to. It’s straightforward - we have to take responsibility for ourselves. Don’t compare yourself to others, challenge yourself and work to the best of your ability.

Just as the year is marching on and final internals and exams are getting closer, we Year 13’s have to start thinking about life beyond school. We knew we had to do it one day, and then all of a sudden one day is here. We may have no idea yet what we want to do, do I join the workforce or do further study? But once again, keep it simple. Don’t overthink it - thinking too much can create problems that were never there. Simply work hard through it and answers will be found.

I want you to appreciate the simple things, so, I am not going to finish my last word with a deep and meaningful famous quote. I am going to finish with some good old fashioned words which I have often heard and learnt from our own rector Mr Hall and I know I will always remember:

Always greet someone with a firm strong handshake, always look the person you are talking to in the eyes, and always remember boys, presentation is important, so have a haircut from time to time.