Fatima Muhsen's SHS Graduation Message

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed faculty, proud parents, and to the exceptional class of 2023, good afternoon and welcome to SISFU’s 6th Commencement Exercises.

Congratulations, graduates! This is a momentous occasion—a day to honour the countless hours of hard work and dedication you have poured since you’ve started. You've conquered mountains of papers, a sea of exams,and the occasional tornado of stress-induced chaos when it all felt like it would never end. To that I say: Welcome to the finish line! Here you all stand, champions in your own right, having weathered the storms of deadlines, conquered the realms of extracurricular activities, and navigated the enigmatic labyrinth known as a social life. I believe that requires a big round of applause.

Now I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I’m sure you all already know - the finish line we’re standing at today is not the end of the race. Let’s call it a checkpoint; a pit stop on the path to greater heights. Time to catch your breath and bust out a little celebration dance as we celebrate today’s win. But as you bask in the glory of this moment, remember that the next leg of your journey awaits. College is right around the corner with open arms, ready to challenge you, test you, and prepare you for the next big thing: the rest of your life.

Now I know that the idea of the future may be daunting, but I have confidence in you. I trust that all of you will thrive for you are not entering this new chapter unarmed. Oh no, quite the contrary. You are diving into it prepared with the best weapons and armour you could potentially have.

Throughout your senior high school years, you have been honing more than academic knowledge. Your professors served as your blacksmiths, forging your intellectual capabilities but it was your experiences that acted as your crucible, moulding your mentality and mindset. You were building habits. Habits that shape who you are and who you could be. Habits that will guide you to make intentional and deliberate decisions so that you always choose to do what’s right for you and your continuous development. You have to choose to be better. Your mindset determines what kind of information you pay attention to, how your brain handles errors and mistakes and how you interpret success or failure. If there’s one thing that my time with Procter & Gamble has taught me it's that a growth mindset breaks barriers. Worry less about looking smart and put that energy into learning. There’s always going to be somebody smarter than you but not everyone understands that intelligence evolves. It is the ability to acquire knowledge. It’s knowing how to absorb information and converting it to actionable and applicable ideas that suit the situation.

Now, I won't lie to you and say it will be easy. The future is vast, unpredictable, and unforgiving. The road ahead may be paved with new mountains to climb, rivers to cross, and the occasional thunderstorm of an existential crisis. But let me assure you that you have what it takes to thrive. Life will not get easier but you will get better. Your armour gets tougher. The armour you now wear is built to weather any storm. Instilled in you is the spirit of perseverance. The grit to embrace change and push through whatever hurdle is in your way. Those are not roadblocks but rather stepping stones that will lift you higher soon as you build the endurance to climb it. One of my favourite spoken word poets, Rudy Francisco, has a brilliant piece that he performs called “Complainers”. In this piece, he says something that I’ve never been able to forget. He says, “Muscle is created by repeatedly lifting things that have been designed to weigh us down. So when your shoulders feel heavy, stand up straight and lift your chin – call it exercise. Remember that life is a gym membership with a really complicated cancellation policy. Remember we are never given anything that we can’t handle. When the world crumbles around you, you have to look at the wreckage and then build a new one out of the pieces that are still here.” Sometimes we feel as if everything rides on what’s happening now but we forget that now is just the predecessor of what we could achieve tomorrow. Be patient and think long term. Don’t get stuck in the tyranny of NOW, focus on the power of YET.

So, dear graduates, as you embark on your next adventure, embrace the growth mindset and let the power of grit push you to climb every stepping stone meant to test your mettle. Push beyond your comfort zone and unlock the full extent of your potential. Through all of this, I hope that you allow the 5cs to be your guiding principles. Let your character shine through your words, actions and thoughts. Live with integrity and lead with empathy. Always go for the hard right over the easy wrong. Let your competence be the foundation upon which you build your success. You may encounter people that will doubt you along the way but pay them no mind so long as you continue to deliver high quality work. Let your commitment to achieve propel you forward. Never settle for mediocracy. You are only as good as you set out to be. You play a big hand in the heights that you will reach. You are capable of great things. Let your creativity spark innovation. ________________________. And finally, let collaboration be your strength that will transform your level up your skills. Learn from others. Seek guidance when needed and work with other people. Take in other people’s experiences, along with your own and use that to make better decisions. Surround yourself with individuals who inspire and challenge you. These experiences will add layers of richness to your armour, making you even more formidable.

So, my brave graduates, wear your armour proudly as you dive into the abyss of college and the rest of your life. This is the time for personal growth, self-discovery, and building a strong foundation. May this today serve as your launchpad to new beginnings. College will be a whole new different marathon. You’ll further discover your passions, challenge your assumptions, and broaden your horizons. All I ask is that you seize every opportunity, learn from every setback, and cherish every success. With the foundation you've built, the 5Cs deeply ingrained in our beings, and the unwavering support of your entire support system, you are ready. You will not just survive, but thrive.

Congratulations on reaching this significant milestone, and may the armour you wear carry you to new heights of success and fulfilment. The world awaits your brilliance.

Thank you, and best wishes for the thrilling journey that lies ahead!

Written by Fatima Muhsen

Login to post comments