I am truly humbled and honoured to pen my words here on behalf of SHL’s Continuing Education and Training (CET) Class of 2021. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following lecturers who have believed in me – Mr Lyon Lai, Mr Aaron Angus Chen, Ms Low Pei Pei, Ms Choy Mian Yee, Ms Jenny Ng, Ms Trina Tan, Ms Genevieve Phua and my fellow classmates – without whom, I would not have made it!
My journey is one filled with numerous failures and mental health struggles whilst caring for my father with dementia and my mother with cancer. As the only child and primary caregiver to both parents, I knew I had to stay strong and not be afraid of failures. Looking back, it was the failures I had overcome that allowed me to grow. Today, I am the co-founder of EnableAsia, a local social enterprise focusing on enabling caregivers and their loved ones with dementia to live a life with dignity.
It is a new world out there and the worst of times calls for the best in all of us. Graduation marks the beginning of a new chapter in your life, you only live once, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Do what you feel passionate about and have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. When you have achieved your goals, reach back and pull someone else up. Don’t just aspire to make a living, instead be inspired to make a difference. Believe in yourself and persevere and stay committed to achieve your goals.
Recognise that there will be failures and acknowledge that there will be obstacles. But most importantly, learn from your mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. We do not need magic to change the world, we already carry all the power we need inside ourselves, so be true to yourself. Live well for the present and beyond.
No matter where you are from or where you live, no matter what limitations or obstacles you might be facing, when people tell you, you can’t, when things seem like they are not working out, when you begin to doubt yourself and when you need some inspiration and a guiding light, remember you will always have the support of your peers, fellow alumni and dedicated academics in Republic Polytechnic.
Congratulations to the graduating cohort of 2021!