Ishkar Singh, Dux of 2012 has embarked on his course at UCT and was unable to attend the Honours evening last week. Here is the speech he sent to be read on his behalf:

Good evening everyone. I must apologise for not being able to attend this evening. It would have been my greatest honour to be a guest speaker at this prestigious awards ceremony, but unfortunately I have been called a week early to embark on my journey at UCT. Nevertheless, I have a few words that I would like to be said on my behalf.

I cannot express how proud I am to be the recipient of the esteemed Dux Award of 2012. However, I cannot take this credit alone, and there are a number of people who need to be mentioned for their role in shaping me into the person I am today. Firstly, my family: for providing me with a rock-solid foundation without which my character and personality could not have been created; as well as for always being my platform of support, being there for me through the best and worst of times. Secondly, to my amazing classmates, who certainly made my stay at Crawford a real fun-filled experience.  Our memories together, both in and out of the classroom, will never be forgotten. And lastly, but by no means the least, my thanks goes out to the unsung heroes of our school: our teachers. Every one of my teachers has provided me with valuable life lessons, all of which will be carried with me throughout my life, and for that I am grateful. One piece of advice I must give is this: never take your teachers for granted. They do so much for us students, all out of the kindness of their hearts, and I’m sure you will all agree that they deserve to be respected as the inspirational leaders that they are.

I have been asked to write a few words on my path to success at Crawford College La Lucia, and although I cannot provide you with a clear-cut formula for success, I have put together a few key characteristics which I have found to be essential in achieving my goals.

First on my list, and probably the most important, is to set goals for yourself. I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough. It is so much easier to achieve something if you can see it right there in front of you. Set goals that you know will challenge your ability, and don’t ever stop until you have accomplished them.

I’m sure you all know that hard work is a key ingredient for success, but here’s another tip: work smartly. Don’t spend 3 hours half-studying and half-asleep when you know that, when fully focused, you can cover the same work in 45 minutes flat. Find the time and place where you can study most effectively, and make the most of every minute. All that extra time saved can prove to be extremely valuable, as you will soon realize.

This leads to my next point: time management. This is probably the most essential skill that any student can have, and has the potential to either make or break your high school career. So, take it from someone who has just been through the stress of Matric – you will deeply regret not managing your time effectively.

And finally, relax. Yes, these next few years will provide many challenges, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and having some fun. In fact, it’s healthy. Play some sport, go to the beach, do something enjoyable that will give you a more balanced life. Not only will you have fun, but these activities are great stress-relievers from the inevitable pressures of school.

I would now just like to wish each and every student in this hall the best of luck for the year ahead. Believe in yourselves, and never give up on your goals.

And one more thing: make the most of every moment here at Crawford College La Lucia. You should all leave this school one day thinking: “These were the best years of my life.”

They certainly were for me.

Thank you

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