The Last Word

By William Turner | Posted: Wednesday May 5, 2021

It’s not often that someone like myself gets the chance to stand up in front of all you lads and give a speech about anything, so I intend to make the most of it.

I vividly remember the first time I had the pleasure of walking through the archway in Year 9 and being welcomed into the school by the Year 13s. I was nervous and unsure about what the next 5 years of my future in the hoops would have in store for me. Luckily, it all turned out pretty well. I’ve met new people, tried new things and made many fantastic memories. Whether it was playing football across the country or simply yarning on Littlebourne at lunchtime with the boys, I’ve appreciated every moment in the blue and white. However, as the year rapidly goes on, my time at Otago Boys' High School is slowly grinding to a halt. The question of my future is again starting to look me in the eyes, and I find myself in a similar conundrum as the one year 9 me was in all those years ago.

The future can be a scary thing to think about, but it is inevitable. We can't all stay as children forever, and at some stage we need to grow up, make a decision and get on with our lives. Knowing this does not make it any easier though, and I still can’t help but worry due to uncertainty. The idea of ‘what if’ keeps popping up in my head. What if I choose the wrong path or course, what if I lose touch with all my mates? What if, what if, what if....

It is easy to let things like uncertainty sit in the back of your mind and stress you out until you boil over, but what if there was an easy way to stop it from getting to you.

There's a book that I have in my room at home called “Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff” by Richard Carlson. Now I’ve never actually read this book, nor do I have the slightest clue who Richard Carlson is, but the title has always stuck with me. If you think about it, almost everything in our lives is not as important as we think, so why do we let these things weigh us down so much and control our lives?

I can almost guarantee that in your last days when you're on death's doorstep, you won't care in the slightest about the things that plague your mind today. What will matter is the memories you’ve made and the people you’ve influenced. In simple words, live in the moment, go outside your comfort zone and don't worry about the small things.

In traditional Otago Boys’ manner, I will end with a quote.

From a Swedish proverb,

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”