Once again, the year has slipped away and we farewell another group of students. We set them on the path beyond school and pray for the future to be filled with the favour and grace of the Lord. As many people request a transcript of Adam’s speech I have a summary of our Chaplain's final address below and a link to the full document. It is a timely message for all of us.
To the amazing class of 2019! You have made it! Woohoo! Today marks the moment where one chapter of your life begins to close and another starts to open. A few short weeks of study and final preparations, last assignments will be handed in (hopefully), exams will be sat and then you are done!
There will be nothing more you can do to influence the outcomes of your endeavours this past year. Boundless opportunities will present themselves to you. It can be both an exhilarating and a daunting thing. Exhilarating because you have finally finished school! Daunting because you have finally finished school! Regardless of what you find yourself doing, or where you end up living, who you hang out with, whether you take a gap year or leap straight into more study, start working a job or lounge around at home saying, “I’m bored”, you will quickly realise that you must stand on your own two feet.
Finishing up your schooling IS exciting! You will be given more freedom than you have previously experienced, but also entrusted with greater responsibility. As you head into the work force, or take up an apprenticeship or a trade, or pursue further studies you will have to get yourself there, it is up to you to make sure you turn up, and be on time... Mrs Scheepers will not be calling your parents to ask where you are! The boss will be calling you; get to work consistently late and you may find yourself no longer having a job. If you do not turn up to a lecture, the lecturer will not follow you up. If you travel the world taking in experiences and forget something vital, you will have to figure it out. And it is not just in the physical space, you must account for your emotional, spiritual and mental well-being.
What kind of leader will you be? How will you lead?
You need to lead yourself, and invariably there will be times when you must lead others. If things do not work out because of your own inaction, you must take responsibility for it. You may achieve amazing success, climbing the industry ladder gaining respect, wealth and prestige. Whether you succeed or encounter hardships, how you respond to them is of paramount importance. You must lead yourself and lead yourself well. Clay Scroggins, a pastor from Atlanta, Georgia, has written a great book on leadership, where he says, "To lead yourself well, you need a plan. You will not lead yourself well by accident. It must be intentional." He goes on to say: "You have gifts, talent, experience, and education that got you where you are. Don’t try to fool yourself. You haven’t arrived! What got you there will not get you where you want to be."
Now by all means, work hard at whatever you put your hand too! We desire every success and happiness in your lives and we love it when we hear stories of the triumphs of past students, or see photos of weddings, or learn of scholarly success; but at what cost? Every time you take action, or inaction, you demonstrate to those around you, ‘this is the kind of leader I am, this is how I lead myself.'