Honorary guest, lecturers, parents, fellow graduates, good afternoon. I am your valedictorian Oshane Thomas and I am charging you today to do the things you think you cannot do.
The important actions aren’t easy. They are hard because of our fears. No one is without them. One of my fears is being here today talking to you. On preparation for graduation, I was notified that I had to deliver a speech and the thought of actually doing it terrified me. Will people want to hear me? What will I say? Will my mind go blank in front of my audience? These are the thoughts that came up when I was writing my speech. These thoughts are just fears of overcoming an obstacle and you shouldn’t pay them much attention. You must visualize completing your challenges. Do not let fear prevent you from making the next uncertain but so desired step in life. The great Eleanor Roosevelt so wisely said:
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Facing my fears has been a big part of my life. I can remember when I was in grade 5 at the Pigotts Primary School and my teacher at the time Mrs. Knight said to the class; “class, in two years you’ll be doing the common entrance exam.” My first thoughts were, “I wonder if it’s hard?” Then the teacher said, “Students you all must start working harder, because this exam is not easy.” I placed my hand to my face like this (display with actions) then in a soft tone I whispered a favorite quote of mine, “Bugz (my alias then) one man can so sall?” Now at that point I didn’t know if I was physical or mentally able to overcome that obstacle of common entrance but I already started being negative. We should never be willing to give up so quickly. Instead of being negative we...