24 Nov 2018

Speech by BSc Student Representative, Afifah Binte Azman at the MDISSpeeches

Good morning,

Guest-of-Honour, Mr Ang Wei Neng, Member of Parliament for Jurong GRC;

Dr Eric Kuan, President of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;

Dr R. Theyvendran, Secretary-General of the Management Development Institute of Singapore;

Dr Kevin Robertson, Faculty Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor, Learning & Teaching, Faculty of Health & Life Science, Northumbria University;

Dr Wai Pang Ng, Director of International Recruitment and Development, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University;

Ms Ruth Crabtree, Head of International Development, Faculty of Health & Life Science, Northumbria University;

Dignitaries,

Distinguished guests;

Fellow graduates and parents;

Ladies and gentlemen.

My name is Afifah and I am honoured to be standing here today to deliver an address on behalf of the graduating class of 2018.

As I look out into the crowd before me, I sense a wave of emotions from everyone present. For family and friends, the sense of pride you have in the accomplishments of your loved ones is immeasurable. For parents, a sense of joy in knowing that your child has achieved this major milestone. But nothing can top the feelings that we graduates, have right now.

Every graduate present here is deserving of high praise and recognition and I would like to congratulate each one of you on reaching this milestone in your life. I speak for my fellow graduates when I say that this is a moment we have always imagined and one we will remember for the rest of our lives.

Although we are all very excited at this moment to be finished with a chapter in our lives, that same fear we felt as freshman still looms in our stomachs. The fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, the fear of the future.

Some of these fears are derived from something said about you. But let me tell you this; the best motivations sometimes don’t come across as sweet as honey.

Sometimes it is covered in splinters; sometimes it is losing the one you love or in failing in one aspect or another. Some of the best motivations and lessons that we need in life are covered with thorns. We need to change it into a flame; a burning desire we can use to make ourselves stronger so as to overcome our fears. This is what my parents have always told me.

At this time, I would like to thank the most important people in my life that encouraged and supported me throughout this incredible journey. They taught me the value of education and gave me the building blocks needed to become who I am today. They encouraged me in all of my endeavours, provided me with emotional support, and spoke highly of me to anyone who would listen.

They are my parents. Mama and Baba, thank you for all your hard work, support, and love throughout these difficult and exciting years. I love you both very much.

My fellow graduates, I know the road has been filled with obstacles and the path has not always been smooth. Don't look back and regret, look forward and smile. I know that this room holds the next great business leaders, doctors, politicians, scientists, Elon Musk, Bill Gates and that all of you will contribute to our society and future in one way or another.

Before I conclude, allow me, on behalf of the graduates, to thank our families for their love and support. We also want to express our gratitude to all our lecturers for their determination, dedication and tireless guidance. Although we didn’t always appreciate it at the time, we want to thank you for pushing us to persevere and succeed.

Congratulations once again to my fellow graduates and I wish each of you; health, strength, prosperity, and happiness now and in the future. Be kind to one another and peace to the world.

Thank you.

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