I honestly believe that giving the graduation speech was an amazing way to wind up my 15-year relationship with my beloved high school, Sandford International School.
Everything I said in my speech was 100 percent true and heartfelt — and who better to praise the institution that me, its biggest fan?
I've always been a big fan of Sandford and its multi-cultural environment. It's just recently that I've started to truly realize those feelings. In so many ways, Sandford has been a second home to me. I say this a lot, but I actually really mean it. And when I say "Sandford," I mean the entire community of security and staff, my friends, the amazing classes, the subjects I fell in love with and the experiences I've had from various extracurricular activities.
I was never bored.
I've been living an incredible life, filled with so much love and excitement. I am so thankful to Sandford for showing me just how much I'm capable of. I've soared high and boosted my personal and academic potential only because of the skillsets that Sandford instilled in me at an early age.
It was my "bridge" to spiritual healing.
Sandford helped me persevere through so many issues and personal hardships. From my classmate committing suicide in grade nine to my favorite teacher suffering a stroke in grade 11, I've been through quite a lot. As a result, I've spoken to a therapist, cried with friends, attended funerals and ultimately assessed the true purpose of life.
I truly believe that, over the last 15 years, I've climbed a mental ladder in my life — and that I became a completely different spiritual being. I became way more optimistic and open-minded.
I joined clubs (lots of them), earned various leadership positions and found my best friends. And each day, I've gone outside my comfort zone to do new and thrilling things that have molded me into the person I am today. I have Sandford to thank for all that.
When I officially left the school, one of the hardest things was having to say goodbye to the people that I've gotten so close to: my friends and teachers. They are people who will undoubtedly stay in my heart forever. I have gained and learned so much from each of them.
The memories will last forever.
Growing up in an international community is truly something that inspires you for a lifetime. Thanks to Sandford, I have so many lessons to teach my future children and their children. I will gladly come back to one of Sandford's future alumni reunions and share my transformational story.
As for now, I'm closing this incredible chapter of my life and preparing to savor whatever comes next.