The Valedictorian Speech

See me in this picture? I was at my graduation ceremony, so so year (Dont worry, its not so far back lol). Well, I don’t know if you all can tell but I was really pissed, I could have exploded into a million bits there because of how angry I was. I was in no celebratory mood. I knew this was going to happen so I initially didn’t want to be in attendance. J obviously changed my mind lol.

So you know how at every ceremony like this, there are rewards for academic excellence and the like. I am intelligent and I know this and at that particular school, we had quite a number of hot brains so you can imagine how tough the competition was. The competition is always stiff lol. Well, term examinations and then mock examinations and the Senior School Exam. In all of these, I had splendid results but someone was always at the top of it all no matter how hard we tried. It alternated a bit maybe but well it was there. We all knew who was going to be valedictorian and as friends we were happy for her. The percentage difference wasn’t wide to show that we were all up to the task. Well I received no single award on that day and at some point, I was willing to be called up for “most well behaved student”. I was willing to settle for that or anything. It was so annoying, so sad and devastating. I was so angry that day. Angry at myself because I felt I could have done more. I think majority of the anger was channelled to me and minority was channelled to stupid thoughts lol.

Well, I was so angry that I failed to cherish the small successes along the way that led me up to that point. I was so angry that I forgot to celebrate the reason I was in that room in the first place. I felt so embarrassed, I thought if I was to feel happy then I would have been stupid. I was so angry I didn’t take so much pictures as I had wished and I didn’t get a do over ceremony lol. At that point, I just wanted to leave and feel sorry for myself. Poor me.

Trust me that feeling of being called out as the overall best is the best feeling of all. I felt that in junior secondary school downwards and as those classes seems irrelevant when compared to the senior classes, it meant a whole lot to be recognized as the best. That feeling is awesome. The feeling of winning in such a stiff competition of equally bright candidates is superb. And as someone that has felt it, I could understand why I was so hurt.

So you should also trust me when I say, there is more to that feeling. Trust me when I say that feeling isn’t everything (again its pretty awesome and I would always work to remain the best at everything). I would always do my best, put my best foot forward and work my ass off! So Im in no way saying that its okay to let someone else keep outshining you. This life is to shine, be outshined and reshine lol.
There is more to that feeling. Celebrate the little successes on your journey and celebrate every step up that ladder. I have learnt this. Im a medical student and I celebrate myself every single day. Moving from one level to the next is worth the celebration, passing an exam is worth the celebration. I had a 51 in an anatomy exam once, 50 being the pass mark. This is nowhere near where I want to be( I have made significant progress since then), but I was happy I passed. I wasn’t comfortable at 51, I knew I could do more so I went on and did more but I still celebrated myself. ‘Like so, next level?’

I was going through my gallery and I saw this picture and I decided to drop this here. Hope it blesses someone. Don’t forget to celebrate yourself and be thankful to God. Each time you aren’t satisfied, go back and re strategise and don’t ever settle for less. Don’t stop till you reach your goal, till you feel fulfilled, not till everyone else thinks you are fulfilled but till YOU feel fulfilled.

Bless up.

Afoma.

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4 thoughts on “The Valedictorian Speech

  1. This is a beautiful piece.👏 I’ve learned to be grateful in everything, even when my expectations aren’t met. And just as you said, each time i am not satisfied, i go back and re strategise.
    In addition, i’ve learnt to compete with myself and not others, to never put a limit on my abilities or the height i can attain and never allow anyone else to set a limit for me.

    God bless you dear.😊 May we always remain grateful beings.

    Liked by 1 person

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