Kensy’s Final Column

Kensy Xiong, Head Boy

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This year has been an amazing experience for me! Serving as Head Boy this year has been a true honor because I have grown in ways I thought I never could! I am so much more well off in my social and academic skills that I can say I am ready to move on from high school. All of the students and faculty have been such an impact on my life, for the good or the bad. I would like to take this time to  thank them and all of my friends, as well as family. It’s been too good Centaurus! Keep it real and remember the myth of Cookie Tuesday!

The speech I wish I had given at graduation:

I was recently told that my generation makes more important decisions every month than our grandparents made in their entire lifetime. Yes, more important decisions every month. That’s pretty amazing, but what’s worse is that is probably true.

The world is evolving faster than it used to. There’s more information, more change, and more challenges. In a few months some of you will begin to be on your own; responsible for your own life and maybe the lives of others. If you are going to make more important decisions in your lifetime than your parents have, you better have a plan. Ask yourselves: “who and what do you want to be?” I am NOT talking about what kind of job you want to have, I am talking about how do you want people to remember you. What are things that will make you count your life a success? It’s easy to say,”That simple I would like to be rich, good looking and famous”

These three things won’t bring us happiness. When it’s time to really measure a person, wealth and power are what they have and not who they are. What really counts is the kind of person you are and how you treat others. Think about all of the people you admire: identify why you like them. Then, emulate their best traits. You can be kind, honest, reliable and nice. You may want to have goals such as; be a good friend, a great parent, an asset to your community, a leader in your church or healthy and enjoy a long happy life. Set a goals to be creative, intelligent or wise. If you only remember one thing today remember this: what you become has nothing to do with your job instead it depends on who you are. That means it is not enough to think you are nice you will actually have to be those things to other people.

Next, I believe the very best things you can do in the next few months or years is to spend as much time with adults and family as possible. Although, we often feel a gap that disconnects us, most adults were once high school students too. They have seen the road you’re about to travel. You will be asked about a thousand times what you want to be. Instead of saying a teacher or a doctor or an electrician, tell them who you will be. Like happy, healthy and fulfilled in my career.Take the opportunity to ask them,”What would you like to be? What decisions shaped your life?”  Listen and learn to help you with your own journey.

Up to this point I have been talking to the students; parents and adults it’s your turn. I have a great pleasure and opportunity to work and socialize with a variety of students in a variety of situations. It’s my personal observation and the unanimous opinion of the students that the vast majority of you adults treat these young adults in too adolescents of manner. Yes, it is true we are young and do do some foolish things. I want to empathetically state that we are no longer children and should not be treated as such. You still need to be strong parents but we will all benefit if you met us halfway. These kids are great they have great ideas, tremendous energy and are a terrific resource. I encourage all adults to reach out to young students to help them, to listen to them, and to try to understand their perspective and remember when you were in our shoes. Get involved with the students and especially believe in them, if you believe in them you will discover how terrific and well meaning these young people are. I can guarantee it will be some of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

In closing I want to summarize a few attributes which I think are specially important for all of the fellow graduates.

Number one: be a great listener use this formula: talk 20%  and listen 80%. Don’t just listen to their words, listen to what they mean, listen to the feeling and listen to the emotion.

Number two: learn always, most of us don’t want to be challenged and we only want to hear what we already know. Think of education differently, when you learn, learn not only what something is, learn why it is so and how to use it.

Number 3: think- let me explain that, Be rational, express yourself, and believe in it.

Number 4: develop an inner peace. This does not mean you must have everything the way you want it. It means that you know who you are and that you can deal with change. Change will occur, change is  the order of the universe. Welcome it and deal with it because without it we are destined to become what we already are. .

You have all demonstrated that you are high achievers and that you have outstanding academic talent. If this is true, that life is what happens to us while we are planning to do something else, I believe the most important thing you can do is establish yourself as a terrific, thoughtful person. If you do, you’ll be able to find your own success and happiness in the future.

Remember, although tomorrow you may step right and I may step left: today, we took this step together.

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