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2016 Prefect Samuel Dippie

The Last Word

Samuel Dippie —

The last five years between these walls have been some of the best years of my life. But one thing I have been noticing recently, is the contrast between myself as a fresh faced year nine, and now the present me, in my final year of school about to make decisions that will effect the outcome of my life.

When I arrived here as a year nine, I was incredibly excited. I would jump out of bed at 7:30 every morning and walk to school half an hour early just to play touch before the bell. This may sound odd, but I actually didn’t look forward to the holidays.

Fast forward 5 years and I roll out of bed at 8:30, get changed, drive to school and rush to find a park to make it into class on time. Sometimes I even skip breakfast just to get some extra sleep.

Don't get me wrong. I still put my all into everything I do, and I’m still the best possible ambassador I can be for this school. But there is simply no denying the excitement is gone. After five years of constant structure, the enthusiasm can understandably wear off. The same teacher, teaches you the same subject, in the same class room, in the same seat, surrounded by the same people, each and every day.

As I said these have the best years of my life, but the general vibe I get from year 13 is we are more concerned about our plans for next year, rather than our upcoming exams and finishing this year on a high. I’m sure the year 11s and 12s will know exactly what I’m talking about within the next few years.

It’s an inevitable part of high school that no one really wants to talk about. Frankly for a lot of us level 3 NCEA can be hard to get motivated for. Our applications for Halls are well in by August. Our applications for university, polytech and scholarships are signed sealed and delivered before we even go into external study leave.

This brings me to the value of the term, perseverance. It's a well over used word in schools, and therefore the actual meaning can at times get lost and blow right over our heads. But when I reflect and think about the speech Mr Hall made at the start of this term I realised the one constant trend within successful people is perseverance. Having a hunger and purpose is what separates the boys from the men.

Persevering I don’t think is always about pushing through challenge, but I think its also about keeping your personal standards high when there is little short term reward. Sure, the end of the year, especially year 13 can be a drag. But it's also an opportunity to continue to develop as a person and continue to prepare yourself for the real world that is right on our door step for some of us.

We need to keep our standards high. Don't be the one to trip on the final hurdle. Enjoy this term lads, study hard, prepare well for exams and let's finish this year the Otago Boys' way. I have made a commitment to shake off my year 13 slump and plan to finish my time at Otago Boys the same why I started it in year 9. With excitement, passion and a hunger to take the most of every opportunity that comes my way.

As per tradition I’ll finish with a quote. “Movement is life, stagnation is death, as long as you're trying to make some kind of progression you will be alright” - Rick Williams