The Last Word

By Jake Burgess | Posted: Monday March 15, 2021

Each day I appreciate being at this school.

Each day I am satisfied to put the blue blazer on and wear the crest. Over my four and a bit years I have learned that to attend Otago Boys' High and to wear the hoops is a privilege, not a right. Because of this I could not picture myself achieving what I have done now if I was still stuck in my small hometown of Owaka. Otago Boys' is rich with opportunities whether it be sports, academic or cultural. Most of these are under our noses and are therefore taken for granted.

Seize these opportunities. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way, whether it is big or small. You never know how it may play out or whether the same opportunity will come around again. Say yes and stay busy. To stay busy is a good thing because it fades and combats worries and neglect. It puts the niggles behind and enables us to focus more on the things we have in front of us. When plans are in progress we are a lot more eager and confident, therefore, we have a positive mindset.

When seizing these opportunities do not be afraid of failure. Some of the world's greatest campaigns and successes have progressed from failure. Once you have started your journey you must progress and focus on the road ahead, overcoming the bumps, the winds and the cyclists that are in the way of the road to success. As the great Michael Jordan quoted “I’ve missed 9000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the match winning shot, and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over in my life, and that is why I succeed.”

Do not be afraid to take risks. Do not be afraid to fail. Everyone fails. Everyone makes mistakes. It is life's way of character building. Understand to be courageous and carry on. Your ability to bounce back from a failure is a skill. Boys being boys, we feel at times that we have to be perfectionists and it is frowned upon to fail. Failure is a success if you learn from it, it relies on either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is - I have failed. I am no good. A growth mindset is - I have not failed. I have just found a way that doesn't work. How you comprehend a failure is mindset, it is an illusion only controlled by yourself.

So boys, make sure to seize these opportunities Otago Boys' has to offer, say yes and do not be afraid of failure or the risks ahead. You may fail at times but keep progressing, learn and bounce back. Know that patience and character is needed when arriving at your destination on the road to success.

'Success is not final.
Failure is not fatal.
It is the courage to continue that counts.'

Winston Churchill