Monday, February 21, 2011

CBHS Academic Achiever Nabeel Sima's Speech - Feb '11

Good morning Mr De Korte, teachers, honoured guests, matriculants of 2010, prefects and Camps Bay High School. For the new Grade 8's who don’t know who I am, I was a past prefect and a matriculant of 2010.

It would normally be the honour of the Top matric pupil to make a speech to the school. This year, however, our top candidate, Nicola Soekoe, who is also our former head prefect, is currently in Brazil on a gap year. So this year, it is an honour for me to stand here and make a speech on her behalf.

I want to start off by saying you are all extremely privileged to be attending such a remarkable school as Camps Bay High. There are so many schools out there that don’t have the same facilities that you have access to. A newly renovated swimming pool, a field, tennis courts, a computer lab, a library, a gym, and more importantly, a team of dedicated teachers who want nothing more than to watch you succeed.

It honestly seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the same cold floor, right there where the new Grades 8's are sitting now. Little did I know that five years later I would be standing here as a past pupil, giving a speech to my old school.

There are a number of things that can contribute to a successful high school career. For me, these are my own personal keys to success, and I hope it can help you too.

The first key to success is Balance. It’s vitally important to find a balance in everything you do. Your sports, academics, culture, social life, these things all work hand-in-hand and it’s your job to make sure that you don’t concentrate on one thing more than the other. If you’re a sporty person, make sure you don’t forget about your academics. If you’re an academic person, try to do some exercise, a healthy body really does equal a healthy mind.

The second key to success is Goals. Set realistic goals for yourself. Perhaps it’s getting into the Top 10, learning a new sport, making a new friend, passing maths or even getting a distinction in matric. It’s good to compete with other people, but it’s more important to compete with yourself. Always try to beat your previous records. If you know you can achieve 60% for a test, don’t aim for 60, aim for 70%. If you don’t set any goals, you have nothing to work towards, and if you have nothing to work towards, you have no reason to work.

The third key to success is Prioritise. Do the most important things first. If you want to go out in the evening, make sure you are able to get your homework done or get an hour of studying. Don’t leave things till the last minute. Trust me when I say this, cramming does not work, especially before a test.

The last key to success is Motivation. Keep yourself motivated. If you study for an hour, go take a break for an hour. Your brain isn’t a machine; it needs to rest as well. Reward yourself for working hard. Spoil yourself when you accomplish your goals. It doesn’t help to work without motivation.

To the Matric class of 2011, this is it. For the past 11 years, this is what you’ve been working towards. Your final year has arrived, and there’s no going back. So make this final year one to remember. Sooner than you know it, it’s already going to be your June exams, your matric dance, prelims, finals, and eventually your last exam in high school. It’s important to work extremely hard this year, from the first day, because what you put in now will ultimately affect your entire future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in class. Your teachers are there to help you. Trust me, in the end its worth all the screaming, tantrums, early mornings, and pulling those all-nighters.

To the new Grade 8's of 2011: I can see some of you are looking a bit scared and nervous, not knowing what’s going to happen next. I want you to take a good look at the people sitting next to you, in front of you and even behind you. I want you to do yourself a favour, make it your goal that by the end of today you’re going to make at least one new friend, and tomorrow two, and the next day three. Because these are the people you are going to spend the next five years with. So get to know them well. And who knows, you may even end up being lifelong friends. Try to get involved in many aspects of school life, academics, sport and culture. Try a new sport; join a few societies, participate in Sport Day, in Gala and the inter-house plays. So much can happen in the next five years, you might as well enjoy it!

Whether you’re in grade 8 or even in matric, I hope you realise that this school presents you with a tremendous number of opportunities to do great things. When you’re in high school, all you hear is people saying they just can’t wait for school to be over. Now that I’m in University, all I hear is people saying they just can’t wait to graduate, so when will we ever be happy with where we are right now? So don’t just aim to finish matric, enjoy, and treasure the journey that comes with it, because the journey is more important than the destination. Set goals for yourself, and when you’re ready, try to reach those goals. Make mistakes, but more importantly learn from those mistakes. Open your mind to new things, to great new possibilities. Step out of your comfort zone. Go out there, give it your all. Work hard, play hard. Be the best, unique person that you can be. Never be afraid to ask for help, it doesn’t make you any less of a person. Dare to dream, make a wish, set a goal. Then step into the future with confidence and always be proud to be you. And remember, the only one stopping you from reaching your goals, is yourself.

Nabeel Sima
Former Prefect of CBHS

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