My personal experience has led me to give this speech here and now to you today. I chose to give this particular speech because I believe in a Real Education. An educational system based around free choice, self-direction, meaningful learning, passionate learning, life learning, cultural experience, world travel, and, perhaps most important, individuality.
Over the course of my life the experiences I have had, the opportunities I have taken and been presented with, and the way I live have led me to take heart in an form of learning not based solely around textbooks, exams, and lectures, but instead based more around personal learning and social learning. A textbook can teach you about a culture, or a theory, or a practice, but until you go out and experience those cultures, prove those theories, and use those practices in the real word you cannot truly learn. It is as if traveling to a place you’ve only ever read about, was it not tenfold what you imagined and expected? There is only so much that can be taught, and learnt in school, the rest is for you to experience and find out, and until you do than you will never truly experience life in its whole and what it has to offer, or be prepared for life and the real world.
I ask of you this: Don’t be limited! The world is your playground, so use it! Nothing is truly impossible. If you keep your mind looking forward, and your heart and your will strong than you can do wonders. Explore and create, nothing is beyond you and your options are limitless. There are so many opportunities and careers out there, and I for one will not let my education limit me. Try new things and never back down.
I recall the philosophy of my previous school, the school that led me to believe in a Real Education. The school had five goals, five statements by which to try and live your life. Discover the joy of learning, seek meaning in your life, create the world that ought to be, prepare for the world that may be, and adapt to the world as is. To this day I still try to live my life by this philosophy of sorts, and try to encourage others to as well. Although I find all of these goals meaningful and important the first two are the ones that speak out to me the most. We, as a community and a unique group of individuals, must discover the joy in our learning. We must also seek the meaning in our lives. We must discover and follow our passions, uphold the rights to creativity and imagination, and discover ourselves, and our individuality, through who we are and what we do.
I stand before you today and I give this speech not because I believe this is right for everyone, but because I believe in it. And I believe that even if this form of education isn’t right for everyone it is something they must find out for themselves. Life doesn’t last forever and what you do with it defines you. Don’t ever be limited and don’t ever stop chasing the impossible. Life is meant to be fun, to be enjoyed, and to be full of opportunity and choice, so should education. So go and live it up!