Natalie Kan's Speech in the Junior Assembly
Dr. Ng, Ms Chen, teachers and my fellow schoolmates, good afternoon. My name is Natalie Kan. It’s my greatest honour to be presented with this award and I’m extremely excited to be back here, seeing my friends and teachers. And of course, a warm welcome to the new S1 students. You may feel excited, but perhaps with a little uncertainty, as you will start a new page of school life in HKUGAC and soon become familiar with the new environment. Today, I would like to take this opportunity to share with all of you some tips on how to enrich your secondary school life.
S1, a year of adaptation. 6 years ago, when I was still a S1 student, I felt insecure and frightened as I had to find my own lunch buddies, communicate with teachers using English and sit in the same group with my new classmates. The two things I did to assimilate into this new environment are participating in different activities, and treating my new classmates with sincerity and kindness. I enrolled in the same ELAs with them, invited different classmates to be my project groupmates and gave support to them during exams and tests. As time passed by, the seeds of friendship were sown, and they have all become my besties. In addition, be brave to ask questions and seek help from your teachers and peer counsellors. Ask them for tips on how to study well in secondary school or assimilate into your house. They are always there to give you a helping hand and believe that you will feel the warmth of this school very soon.
S2, a year of reflection. Reflect on what you did in S1 and think about what you missed or what didn’t go too well. Owing your concerns about not being able to study well in secondary school, you might have chosen to give up on your interests or to quit an ELA that you used to be very passionate about. Maybe because you were not very familiar with the school last year, you were afraid of volunteering for house competitions, even if you’re good at something. Try to take a step forward in developing your interests in non-academic aspects this year. Don’t overthink or let your fears take over; you’ll never know what you’re capable of unless you try. Be self-motivated in terms of stepping out of your comfort zone and seizing opportunities. Once you miss these opportunities again, you will regret it, as this is the last year when you can study not as intensively.
S3, a year of transition. Going for the right elective subjects was something that everyone dreaded when I was in S3. My peers and parents all gave me opinions and I started to forget what I was passionate about from the bottom of heart. Among all the criteria that you are going to consider, choosing something based on your interest is the most important because it serves as a source of motivation that pushes yourself to review the learning content regularly and strive for excellence. Apart from choosing the right elective subjects, taking up leadership posts is also what you can start to consider about. Three years ago when I decided to be the vice house captain of Copland, I was utterly incompetent; No one would listen to me on Sports Day and I knew nothing about holding competitions or big house meetings. In the two years that I led Copland, the bad times always woke me up to my very own weaknesses that I had never paid attention to. I started to learn from other student leaders, and this experience had, out of my expectations, helped shape me into the person I am today. Therefore, S3s, go explore different leadership teams and set a target for yourself; although taking on more extracurricular responsibilities requires further commitment, effort and time, you will find the whole experience unforgettable and rewarding.
In the past 6 years, I have grown a lot and I would like to take this opportunity to show my gratitude to my teachers. Thank you for your undying effort in teaching me: marking all the extra work I did before DSE, inviting me to debate, science and sports team and supporting me when I felt dispassionate. Apart from teachers, I must also express my deepest gratitude to my past house captains, for giving me the opportunities to develop my interests and serve Copland. I feel so proud of being a member of Copland and this is certainly what I miss most about secondary school. Thank you for the ones who have helped shape me into an all-around student and walked with me on this journey.
To all of you, the beginning of a school year is always the best time for setting goals for yourself. You ought to make attempts to reach remarkable achievements in different fields. The result of your endeavor will be a meaningful gift for yourself that serves as your motivation, as well as your source of confidence to continue to learn, work even harder and strive for excellence. To end my speech, I wish everyone a successful, productive and enjoyable school year. Thank you.