Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Dr. Marl V. Ferenal, Ms. Marjorie Gutierrez-Tangog, Marie Vic Suarez, management team, parents, teachers, guests and fellow students, Good morning!
First of all, I would like to congratulate the students for what you have achieved. Back when I was a grade school student in Southville, I remember going through the trouble that is PASS, the anxiety of the defense and week-long studying for the term exams.
I know you have had your share of difficulties to reach where you are right now. I commend you for all your hard work. As you advance to the next stage, I would just like to share with you this reality.
Learning never ends.
It may seem tiring at first, but we can always keep the 5Cs in mind to guide us on how to persevere for all these years. Competence, Character, Collaboration, Commitment to Achieve and Creativity will not only lead us towards our goals but also help us leave a mark in our fields. After going through many years of school, I only have three pieces of advice: enjoy it, do your best and leave it to God.
So let’s go to lesson number 1: to enjoy it.
Enjoy what you do, without thinking about the results or the recognition. Rest assured the honors will follow. But work hard because you love what you do and because you have passion for your craft.
I assure you, your skills and abilities will be a measure of the things you invested your time on. If you aspire to excel, you must spend time to study. But in order to be able to devote much of your time to it, my advice is that you enjoy the process of learning.
Let me illustrate by sharing my realizations on study habits. Enjoying studying has sustained me and helped me to do well in exams. When I enjoy studying, I have the chance deviate from the topics, ask questions then research and relate it further to other concepts. These connections make me remember the topic longer and gives me concepts to apply in the long run.
Also when I had to live away from home and was homesick, taking joy in the process of learning itself helped me concentrate. By befriending the topics we had and considering studying as something that is fulfilling in itself and not something I have to do in order to be fulfilled, I was able to overcome negative distractions. When you’re tired and when you’re distracted, your love for what you’re doing fuels you to go on.
Moreover, enjoying can also help you fulfill Southville’s vision, that is: to make a difference.
How? It is because if you fall in love with what you do, you would naturally seek ways to improve yourself.
This leads me to point number 2. Whatever you want to do in life, always strive to be the best you can be.
Admittedly, it’s unavoidable to compete and aim for being the best. The idea of competition is so thrilling we are challenged to come out as the victor. Not that it is bad, because we can push ourselves to the limit and we learn from other people in the process. But don’t be distracted. Keep in mind, as Kaoru Shinmon says, that your greatest competitor is yourself. We must challenge ourselves each day to be better than we were yesterday.
As I have seen in medical school, everyone is unique. Everyone has his way of learning that works only for him. Everyone has his own set of weaknesses and strengths. The purpose is to figure out yours and focus on them.
That’s not easy. It takes sheer determination to push yourself to the limit. To be able to do that, can be considered an achievement in itself.
Certainly, you will find so much fulfillment in knowing that in whatever you do, you have given your 100 percent.
Finally as for my third lesson, what sets you apart is not what you do or how good you are at it. It’s how you do it and why.
You will you encounter people who will have a common goal with you, who is as serious and as dedicated as you are. What sets you apart is how you do it. In endless waves of exams, what makes your mark is how you interact with people while you’re stressed out, how you are able to help those who are having difficulty, how you are able to go out of your way to offer a word of encouragement and how you invest your time in spite of the workload. That’s how you will be different from others.
I urge you in whatever you do, to do it for God. As it is written, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain” Doing it for the Lord gives guarantee that your efforts are not put to waste.
Also it is said in Galatians 6:8, a man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please the flesh will reap destruction but whoever sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us strive to have a meaningful life that will count, by making sure that we work not for earthly desires but for God.
I encourage you all to have passion for your craft, work hard to improve it and do it for the Lord.
Once again, congratulations to the graduating students. I wish everybody in Southville all the best. Thank you for inviting me here today.