Kudzai Bosha Speech

Weird For A Reason-Valedictorian Speech

In 2021, I had the incredible honor of being selected as the class valedictorian. It’s worth noting that although I wasn’t the student with the highest GPA in our grade, circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic led to me being the one with the highest GPA still on campus. Initially, I hesitated and declined the offer, as I was swamped with my graduation project and felt unprepared to deliver a speech. However, after some consideration, I decided to embrace the opportunity and write the speech. Looking back, I’m so glad I did.
The process of crafting the speech was truly enjoyable, as I had the chance to collaborate with my colleagues and class counselors. Their input and support were invaluable, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about the experience if I could go back in time. Now, without further ado, I present to you the speech that we created together. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
“Distinguished guests, esteemed educators, proud parents, dear friends, mentors, and esteemed members of the graduating class of 2021, both present here today and participating remotely, I extend my warmest greetings to every one of you. Welcome to the prestigious 2021 graduation ceremony. I would like to express my gratitude to the International College for allowing me to represent the graduating class of 2021. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the International College at our esteemed university, and I am humbled to have been entrusted with this responsibility.
Today I am extremely honored to be standing in front of you, a day unlike any other, a day that we, graduates have been waiting for, ever since we arrived at this school as freshmen. A day where the result of all our hard work can finally be realized and we can walk out of this hall as engineers, scientists, economists, and all the various professions our degrees allow us to pursue.
Time moved way too fast over these past four years, it seems like just yesterday we were being shown around the school which seemed so big and intimidating, and now here we are, how we got here is a different story for each one of us a combination of joyful times and hard times and those experiences have shaped us into the people we have become today. I for one was a completely different person when I came to this school, I was quiet and shy and liked being in my shell, I definitely would not be able to stand in front of a crowd of people like I am today but over the years I have grown and learned how to be more outgoing and open with the constant help of my friends and teachers
If you think about it throughout our stay at this school, we were becoming something, we have been growing into the people we are now, with every decision we’ve made. I have watched as you guys my classmates have sleepless nights studying for exams, I’ve seen you form friendships with the people that might last the duration of your lifetime, I’ve seen you go through the pandemic adapting and changing to fit your situation, I know it couldn’t have been easy but here you are and you’ve also learned skills in and out of the classroom that you would never have learned if it wasn’t for ZJUT. In essence learning at ZJUT has made us weird, let me explain what I mean by that, being weird in this case is not a bad thing, the dictionary defines weird as being out of the ordinary or beyond the norm, and looking at all of you today I can safely say that none of you are ordinary, each experience that we’ve had has made us less like anyone else and more like ourselves becoming unique individuals that the world cannot simply replace, we have become extraordinary there’s a place specifically for each one of us in this world the question is will we take it.
Some people might view Graduation as an end and in some ways, it is, I know it’s the end to those sleepless nights asking ourselves where we’re ever going to use the physics and calculus equations that we were learning in (I also know that I won’t miss that), but we can also view it as a new beginning we’re closing one chapter so that we can open another where we can use all the things that we’ve learned and unleash our raw potential on the world. As international students, we have the privilege of seeing life from different perspectives we have seen a side of China that is unique to us, we have seen the good things that can be offered by more than one country, and as certified weirdos, we are in a unique position to take what we’ve learned in this chapter of life and to use it to shape the future where ever we may end up. Today we leave this room not just as graduates but also as the future leaders’ innovators and entrepreneurs that the world needs, we are not just weird people but we’re weird for a reason there is a place for every one of us, which is why the world needs me to be at my best, the world needs you to be at your best and I’m sure we will not disappoint, we might make a few mistakes along the way but those will only make us wiser. Fellow ZJUTers we can change the world and our time is now.

In closing, I would like to share with you a few words of wisdom, first penned down by William Ernest Henley and later reiterated by Nelson Mandela from the poem Invictus,
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the Shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
As we move on from this place let us know that we are not slaves to the circumstances we face, just like a great fall is from a thousand bad decisions so is every great rise from a hundred good decisions, we decide where we are going to be. We decide who we are going to be let’s go out there and be the best weird people we can be.”


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