26 May 2023

College Captains speech from Student Led Assembly

Article by College Captains | Ross de Lange and Matilda Stepto

College Captains speech from Student Led Assembly

Think back to the last time you did something. The VERY last time. This could be the last time you played whole school tag, running frantically as the tagger reaches out hot on your heels. This could be the last time you left out a snack for Santa before going to bed on Christmas Eve, waking up the next morning filled with anticipation to see what gifts had been left underneath the tree. This could be the last time you laughed with a friend that you have since distanced from, happy and relaxed with a warm joy filling your heart. If only you’d know that this was your last time. Maybe you would have run a little faster, left an extra cookie out for Santa, or even laughed a little louder with that old friend.

We do many things without realising it to be our last. Consider this, when was the last time you experienced the child like joy of listening to someone read a picture story book? Today is your lucky day, as Matilda and I turn back the clock and share a story that we feel holds valuable lessons for people like us. As you listen, immerse yourself in the story, as this opportunity may never come around again. This could be the very last.

This beautiful story highlights how dreams can make even the most desperate of situations bearable, and even hopeful. Sitting here today, you may have big dreams like travelling the world, pursuing a particular career, or significantly contributing to a cause close to your heart. Ella dreamed of simply seeing the ocean. Perhaps your dream, like Ella’s, seems smaller and less significant.

Dreams, whether big or small, matter. They must be carefully nurtured, as they reflect our aspirations and are instrumental to living lives that are purposeful and fulfilling.

The importance of dreams, however, goes beyond personal fulfillment. Dreams have the power to change the world. History is filled with dreamers who have turned their visions into reality and transformed the course of time. From inventors to artists to scientists to social activists, dreamers have changed and shaped the world we live in today.

Remember that dreams are not just for the famous or the exceptional. Dreams are for me, you, and Ella. They are the universal language of the human spirit, uniting us in our shared aspirations and desires. Every single person has a dream.

Sadly, many of us give up on our dreams. We dismiss them as unrealistic, unattainable, and sometimes even frightening.

In life, we meet people who challenge our dreams. Ella’s family dismissed her dream, describing it as dried up and cracked, tangled and knotted and even a waste of time. These people undermine our dreams, drain our energy and hinder our progress.

Ella’s grandma played a vital role in the realisation of her dream. As you pursue your dreams, surround yourself with people like this. People who believe in you, encourage you to take risks and push you beyond your comfort zone.

Ella overcomes the adversity of her family's disinterest in her dream. Seeing the ocean surpasses her expectations, and makes the difficulties she encountered in the pursuit of her dream seem worth it.

This links to the saying, ‘The more you put in, the more you get out.’ The more challenging the pursuit of a dream, the more worthwhile the outcome.

Think for a moment about a dream you have. What are the obstacles that stand between you and the realisation of this dream? So often, the happiness and pride we feel when a dream is attained is directly proportional to the challenges that we face along the way.

Your dreams are almost certainly challenging. Don’t shy away from this. Persevere through the hard times and try to enjoy the journey as you work towards attaining your dreams and aspirations.

Take a minute to look back over the year so far. What challenges have you successfully overcome? Perhaps you were challenged by starting a new school, assuming a leadership position or trying a new sport. Don’t underestimate the value of overcoming these challenges. Each one brings you closer to realising your dreams.

Ella dreamed of seeing the ocean. How lucky are we? The ocean surrounds us. From the top of the Loyola Centre, we can see the bay. The beautiful beaches along the Bellarine are easily accessible to all of us. It is hard for most of us to comprehend that people like Ella consider seeing the ocean as the realisation of a lifelong dream.

Think of the ocean as a metaphor. There are so many opportunities that we can freely access at school. Opportunities that we take for granted. Opportunities that others may only dream of. Put yourself in somebody else’s shoes to experience a newfound sense of gratitude for what we are so lucky to have. Upon reflection, you may find that the ocean is a little bluer, a little more vibrant, a little more radiant.

Lean into the wind as you follow your dreams, as it is in our dreams that we plant the seeds of our future. Make sure you see your ocean.