The Last Word

By Max Chu | Posted: Thursday February 9, 2017

Morning lads. To the Year 11s, welcome into the senior school. Year 12 and 13, welcome back. Today is an important day. It is the first of Otago Boys 2017 senior assemblys.

However, for most of us, it’s just another assembly to sit through, hearing the same old speeches from a different seat.

This may have been last year but in 2017 I dare you to be different.

Sure we off start off strongly full of enthusiasm, but then by the 5th week we fall back into a routine of slouching out of bed at 8, idling into class with our shirts un-tucked and dumping ourselves into our chair with zero intent to learn about Shakespeare.

Who would be proud to maintain these habits year after year?

This year is different. I apologise for the cliché saying but it rings true. We have a brand new slate to write our story upon this year. Our 2017 school story will be shaped and defined by the young men who sit in this auditorium. Us. This will be our story. Ask yourself; do we want to be remembered as a senior school that slouches along? Taking the easy option. Doing the minimum.

Let’s set ourselves a challenge. Let’s take the unfamiliar path, the one that’s rough and raw. I will be the first person to put my hand up and admit that I fell into some bad habits last year and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying this. Whether it’s your grades petering off throughout the year, losing touch with your friends, or not performing on the sports field, this year, we challenge ourselves. To better those academics. To be a better mate. To work harder on the sports field.

To start this journey we must set goals, no matter how big or small, as long as they coax us down the track. The most important thing about these goals is not only what they will do for us but the people around us. My first goal is simply to talk less and listen more.

As seniors it is crucial that we are the pathfinders, the pioneers. If we are prepared to break our bad habits, we can write a different story.

We must be prepared to be uncomfortable and to do more than the minimum. We must become examples because when we rise, we encourage those around us to follow. Even if being uncomfortable or making a tough decision does not sit well with you, this year, I dare you to take the path less travelled- not only to better yourself, but also to bring out the best in others.

A wise man, David Lloyd George, once said, Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. 

Cheers.