Valedictory Speech of The 24th PolyU School of Design Congregation (First Session)

Graduate Representative: Miss Yip Cheuk Ying

Honorable guests, parents, teachers, fellow schoolmates, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the commencement of the School of Design class of 2018! 

I am Kelly and it is my honor to be the representative of the graduating class this year. 

If I had to choose one phrase to describe my life at PolyU, I would say, “no regrets”. The School of Design has provided me with abundant opportunities to challenge myself. There have been plenty of memorable and remarkable moments in my life that happened in these few years. I have learned, gained so much, and challenged myself a lot throughout the years, and every moment is a step forward from youth to adulthood. Being a Digital Media Design (DM) student, I have watched countless animations, movies and read many stories. But today, I am really happy to have a chance to share my own story with all of you. 

It has long been my dream to become a designer and SD has created wings for me to fly high. 

When people ask, “What does your school looks like?” I tell them “It is just like a Shaolin Monastery.” Well, there are different gates on each floor in V core and all the fighters are widely skilled.   

SD has made the impossible possible. We learned to create everything from zero. Twenty years ago, I was sitting on a little chair, flipping a book page by page and wondering who wrote the cultured words and drew the beautiful illustrations; Twenty years ago, I was sitting in front of the TV, watching my favorite cartoon and wondering who gave life to the loveable characters and twenty years ago, I never asked to go to the cinema because I don’t like dark places. But today, standing here, I am the one who can write a story, create an animation and make a film. It is all because of School of Design.     

In these four years, I not only acquired knowledge but also built a strong bond with people. I think most of you haven’t had the experience of living with more than twenty people before. We work, eat, play and sleep in our studio. More importantly, we grew up together. It was definitely a treasured experience for an only child like me. 

I mentioned earlier that we have many different fighters in SD, and we are surely “well known” deadline fighters. Challenged by different projects, we faced pressure and struggled. Working to the music of our class band, making silly jokes and conversations during those long nights, we survived. 

Some might think the late nights were too heavy a burden. But for me, I never thought of it as a slog. Staying in the studio and working through the night was a great and memorable experience for us to strengthen our friendships. We were not only friends but also "comrades-in-arms". Those moments will always be the most unforgettable memory of my university life. 

As most of my friends and tutors know, I am a hat collector. I like to wear something on my head to school every day. In summer I wear a snap back and in winter I wear a beanie. Today, this mortarboard on my head is the most valuable item in my collection. 

Above all, I must give huge thanks to my parents who let go of their own dreams and time just to give me a shot to achieve mine. I made good on my promise. Being the first university graduate in the whole family, I achieved both my dream and the ambitions of my family. 

SD is my second home and DM class is my family. I would like to express the greatest appreciation for my tutors and friends for their support. Our tutors were like parents on campus who gave us guidance and support and took good care of us. We were able to share every happy moment and also problems with them. They were not only teachers, but the guiding light in our lives. Special thanks to Jae and Step, I would not be where I am today without you by my side. 

Lastly, to my classmates. Thank you for making my school life enjoyable and I would also like to give great thanks to my six besties for their unconditional support since secondary one. 

Our four-year school life is a magnum opus. Today, we write the precious and wonderful ending of the chapter together. Please give yourself a big round of applause and I am sure there will be more amazing and exciting journeys in the future. 

Thank you!