The Last Word

By Nigel Chiruka | Posted: Tuesday March 14, 2017

Time. Its our most valuable resource. Its finite. We never know just how much time we have left in the bank. You cannot purchase more of it, you cannot ask for a loan, youve got what youve been given. So why waste it away? Instead, invest it. Invest it in bettering yourself, bettering those around you, and bettering the world for those who will succeed you.

Fill your time with meaningful moments. Whether it’s studying, practicing your favourite sport or even just doing something you’re passionate about. Spend time with your family, appreciate them, enjoy their company, they won’t be there forever. Enjoy and appreciate your youth. These years you are going through now are vital to your future. You are currently laying the groundwork for your future successes, where hard work now will start to show its dividends. Yes, this means you have to put in the hard yards now, but that’s not what it’s all about. Study hard, work hard, but also play hard. While it is important to study and expand your mind, this shouldn’t be your focus 100% of the time. Give yourself a break, have some fun now and then.

Addressed to the Junior school

All of you here have plenty of time left in your journey here at this amazing school. Take advantage of it. Explore your options, try new things and maybe find something new to be passionate about. Make use of the time you have, being in the junior school and not having NCEA rule over your life just yet. Once you get into the senior school, it’s a whole different ball game. You may find you don’t have enough time to do all the things you could in the junior school. You will have to sacrifice some activities in order to make time for study and other commitments. Therefore, apply yourself to as much as possible now so you can still have fun, as well as work hard.

You don’t realise just how fast time goes until it has already passed you by. I still remember being a junior, and thinking that the long pants and blazer was so far away. In reality, it comes so quickly that you may lose track. Junior school is the time to lay down strong foundations that will help you not only when you start to don the blazer, but in the years that come after. Find yourself a group of friends that you compete with in order to better yourselves, whether on the sports field or in the classroom. We as boys strive off competition. Whether you admit it or not, no one wants to feel inferior to their mates. Not only should you find a good group of friends, but also make sure you’re a good friend. If someone is having a bad day, don’t rip into them, cut them some slack. Save the roasting for another day. Spend time talking to them, see what’s up. It could be all the difference.

Start to build a strong work ethic. This will help massively when NCEA lays down internal after internal on you. But it’s not just about NCEA. A strong work ethic will help you battle through anything you go through in life.

Putting your time into these things is not only for the benefit of yourself, but for those around you also. Above all boys, don’t take for granted the time you have. Enjoy being as young as you are, it’s not going to last forever. Like me, in a few years, you will find yourself reminiscing over your junior years, so fill them with hard work and good times that you will never forget.

Addressed to the Senior school

Year 11s. Fresh off being the top of the junior school, now cast into the grown up world of senior school. Feels good to be in a blazer doesn’t it? You’re a year closer to finishing school and never having to look back. A year closer to being able to drive, atop of all the fun things you and I know come with growing up. Definitely look forward to the future, but make sure you appreciate where you are now, enjoy the present. Live in it. Don’t waste it. You’re still young, have some fun. The hard years are coming up. You’re getting the first glimpse of what it means to be a man.

Year 12s. Another school year has passed. You’re like the middle child now. No longer the runt of the family that gets looked after and seemingly has things easier for them. The answers once served on a platter are not quite so clear anymore. You may find you have less guidance than before. It requires a bit more hunting. No, it's not a fault of the teachers, they are preparing you for the future. You might find you’re not able to cruise as much. It’s frustrating, but it starts to instill a good work ethic and perseverance. You can’t always have someone holding your hand the whole way. Eventually a cub must leave the pack and hunt for itself. It’s a new experience, of course it will be difficult. But through these difficulties a man with character is formed. You’re now experiencing the transition from boyhood to manhood.

Year 13. The last step. The culmination of the previous 4 years is here. This is the apex of your school career. So make it the apex. Go hard in every single thing you do while you’re here, as next year it’s no longer here. Don’t waste your time and take this year easily, you will regret it. Not only from an academic standpoint, but you want this year to be filled with memories. Memories that make you proud to be an OBHS boy, memories that you will remember and cherish until you’re 90. Live in the present, look forward to the future, but also reflect on the past. I still remember my first day at this school like it was yesterday. I remember looking up to the Year 13s, but also thinking that was so far away that I wouldn’t have to worry about growing up. My point is, you don’t realise how fast time goes until it’s already passed you by. So Year 13s, I urge you to make this a year to work like you’ve never worked before. I want you go do everything 200%. I want you to make this a year with no regrets. I want you to be role models for the younger years that will come after you. Once you’ve done that, you’ve become a man.