Honourable guests, teachers, fellow schoolmates, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the commencement of the School of Design class of 2016.
It is my honour to be a representative of the graduating class this year.
The first thing that I would like to say is congratulations! We have finally graduated. Do you still remember the moment when you received an offer letter with “Congratulations! We are pleased to offer you admission to The Hong Kong Polytechnic University”?
It was good news at the time, and now we have even better news: we have graduated!
When I first received a phone call asking me to give a valedictorian speech for the congregation, I had no idea what to say.
This is because all my words cannot express my wonderful experiences during this two-year Higher Diploma in Product Innovation Technologies.
It is my pleasure be one of last students in this superb programme that is sadly ending - what a pity that it is no longer here.
At least we made some excellent memories as a testament to the programme, memories we will keep in our heart.
A long time ago, I remember surfing the net about this programme, and it amazed me that it was described as one of the best Higher Diplomas in the world.
True, the endless projects and enormous deadlines proved that statement.
However, this learning environment formed strong bonds, and allowed us to support one another like a loving family.
It made working together so much joy and reduced the pressure we faced.
To all PIT classmates, do you still remember the day we turned off all the lights in the studio, sat together in front of the large glass window and watched the fireworks?
It was the national day and we had a deadline one day later. It was one of the most touching moments during my studies.
I am sure that other students have similar memories! We all spent most of our time in the innovation tower rather than at home!
The memories are now engraved in our hearts and in our life-long friendships.
During those sleepless nights, we shared snacks, tools, ideas and opinions and we shared love and support.
These close relationships were something I had never imagined before, nor was the workload we had during these two years!
Studying here at the School of Design, we are not only acquiring the professional knowledge offered by the teachers and technicians, but breaking our own limitations and seeking potential areas to apply our knowledge and craft it into a great outcome.
Although we now face another stage in our life, the knowledge we gained from here will no doubt be a huge help in building our own path to the future.
It did not happen as easy as the stroke of a pen. Thank you to our teachers for pushing us out of the comfort zone and encouraging us to examine what we thought impossible.
Although sometimes your heart-breaking criticism made us so frustrated that we wanted to throw away all our work and quit, we knew it indeed was guiding us to develop a more valuable design, and become better designers.
Thank you for giving us different perspectives to see the world. We will embrace the critical thinking and methodologies learnt from here when we practice our work.
Parents, please be assured that your son or daughter has spent their tuition fees well!
Sorry for making our rooms so messy and making you worry about our unhealthy lifestyle. In spite of this, you didn’t nag us but made the warmest and most delicious late-night suppers when we came home late from studies.
This silent support definitely relieved our pressure and tiredness. Thank you for your trust and continuous support to allow us to walk on the path we love.
Lastly, to my classmates. Thank you for making my school life so enjoyable.
Without your kindness, we would not able to stand by one another to finish every assignment on time, or recharge our batteries with takeaway or snacks.
Without your persistence, we would not be able to meet every deadline that was rushed until the very last moment.
Without your silly jokes, we would not cherish those funny memories we will keep forever.
It is unforgettable when things can never be repeated, beautiful when freezing time is impossible, and fun when the unexpected happens.
We are here today to celebrate the turning of a new page in our lives.
No matter how big the difficulties we will face, just remember that you are not alone!
So take a rest and think back how we conquered the two-year challenge at the School of Design.
Please be brave and confident about your future. There are lots of opportunities and unknown stories waiting us to explore.
Congratulations to all of you once again! Wishing you all a great adventure on the thrilling road ahead. Good luck!