Perseverance, Patience, Purpose


[Eighth in a series: Valedictory addresses from the different colleges of the University of Northern Philippines are here featured as excellent graduates reflect on the journey behind them and as they forward to the next.]

“Perseverance, patience, consistency, and dedication lead us to success. This can be attested to by today’s occasion, marking another milestone to our journey called ‘life,'” Stephany M. Gajasa, cum laude graduate of the BS Community Health Management, points out in his valedictory speech in the College of Health Sciences Commencement.

These are not mere platitudes; they are the hard-earned lessons of a journey fraught with challenges, but ultimately crowned with success. The valedictorian’s speech is a testament to the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

The road to this moment has been paved with obstacles, both academic and personal. “Financial instability, health crisis, self-doubts, and some different circumstances tested us and witnessed how we crawl up here.” Yet, through it all, the valedictorian and their fellow graduates have persevered, refusing to surrender in the face of adversity.

Overcoming Obstacles

She acknowledges the role of educators and administrators in shaping their success. “How sensitive, appreciative, and supportive have they been to the struggles of every so-called ‘slow learner’ trying to keep up with the class?” This empathy and understanding have been crucial in fostering an environment conducive to learning and growth.

Gajasa also recognizes the importance of individual effort. “Slow learners don’t always mean na hindi tayo magaling. Laglagipen tayo. Nalaing tayo amin!” Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, and true success lies in embracing one’s unique abilities.

The Importance of Support

Beyond the classroom, she pays tribute to the unsung heroes of their journey: the parents. “How deep is their longing for their dear sons and daughters to successfully finish their tertiary education? How supportive and perseverant have they been to the dreams and aspirations of their beloved sons and daughters?” The valedictorian acknowledges that their success is not solely their own, but a testament to the unwavering support of their loved ones.

Looking to the Future

As the speech draws to a close, the valedictorian shifts focus to the future. “Beyond the confines of the university is the real world of human activities that translate to human survival and meaningful existence.” The knowledge and skills gained during their academic journey are now tools to be wielded in the pursuit of a meaningful life.

Her message is clear: the journey does not end here. “Our life story, and the adventure ahead of us, is the journey to fulfill our own purpose and potential,” she exhorts her fellow graduates.


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