Time; speeds up with enjoyment and slows down with boredom.
For me, my time at Otago Boys' has flown past and is close to its end. I have some great memories that I will never forget. But I also have moments that I look back on and wish I had approached differently. In these situations, I have forgotten to live in the moment and enjoy it while it lasts. Most mornings I roll out of bed and think I have a full day of class. Although that is true, it is the way you approach something that can make a difference. Instead of thinking about the things you don’t enjoy, think about the things you do. For me, it’s my sports practices and games, but for you, it could be something different. Your mind has the power to change your mood if you focus on the positive things ahead.
When we enter through the archway on the first day of Year 9, we only have a short 5 years inside these walls. In the big picture of life, OB's is a very small part of this, but these years can be some of your best ones. I have been told by many old boys that friendships made inside these walls last a lifetime, simply because we all share a connection that is bigger than ourselves as old boys of Otago Boys’ High School. Effort is a key attribute which can determine whether you enjoy or dislike your time at OB's. The effort you put in whether it be on a sports field or in a classroom will be repaid, purely because effort will challenge your limits to make you improve. Leaving things to the last minute is a very risky tactic. We have all been there before. We have all put internals aside and left them until the night before to hand in. This stress can be avoided if you put the effort in leading up to it. By listening to a teacher or coach for that one period or practice could be the reason you succeed or fail.
My parents sent my two older brothers and myself to this school because Otago Boys' is one of the oldest boys' schools in the country, and holds its traditions and values at its core. When I first started at this school back in 2018, I used to hate getting told to pull my socks up. I didn't understand why the seniors and teachers cared so much about my uniform being tidy. But with time in the blue blazer, I realise now that they are just proud to teach and learn at this school. Knowing people care that we hold these expectations to a high standard makes me and should make you proud to wear our crest.
Most of you sitting in this auditorium today are nearly finished school. We are already 3 weeks into term 3, and once you take the holidays, sports tournaments and days off we don’t have that long left in 2022. You would have heard the phrase "make the most of your time at OB's". People don’t just say this, they say it for a reason because once you leave that archway they don’t want you to regret your time here.
We have all looked back on past moments and doubted our actions, thinking should I have done that differently. When I was writing my Last Word, I did reflect on my time here, and it made me think about some things I could have done differently. There have been days when I have come to school tired and put in minimal effort into my school work and sport. Now, I can only imagine what I could have achieved through my academics and sports if I had completed everything I did to the best of my ability every day. Don't get me wrong, I have worked hard but there have been days where I could have done a little bit more work instead of saying “I'll do that internal later” and leaving it to the last day to complete.
In true Otago Boys’ tradition, I will finish with a quote from Benjamin Franklin, "You may delay, but time will not."