Singapore graduation speech 2019 — Pek Yi Tsing

Singapore graduation speech 2019 — Pek Yi Tsing

November 29, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, members of
the council, staff of the university families and friends of graduates and most importantly graduates. I promise to keep this short because I know most of you are just here for the free food anyway. My name is Pek Yi Tsing and I am both honoured and humbled to be here
delivering this speech on behalf of the graduating class of 2019.
At least I know my mom will be paying attention this time around since they
are falling asleep during my graduation. If you had told 15 year-old Yi Tsing that she would be standing up on stage today, she would have scoffed at you. After all, I have dyslexia and I once failed every subject in school except for English. But the fact that I am standing here today is evidence that success will come
to you if you are willing to work hard and dream big. From my earliest memory,
my father a blue-collar worker, was always in between jobs. We were often
famished and we never had enough to eat. My mom had to lower her pride and beg
our relatives for money to feed us. Neither of my parents speak English,
yet my mom had the foresight to send me to English tuition classes. By foresight, I
actually mean gossiping with her fellow aunty friends.
She scrimped and saved from whatever little we had, just so she could
provide me better chances in life. My parents went through melodramatic divorce when I was eight. I haven’t seen my dad in years, and my mom brought me and my brother up single-handedly. Because we were so poor that we couldn’t
afford toys, my mom often brought me to the public library to entertain me
and there, I fell in love with reading and writing, and that love brought me to many
places. I wrote my first paper ever this month on Twitter
in 2011, back my social media marketing was only beginning to bloom. From there, I formed my skills in vlogging, grow my expertise and have since worked with
international clients as a freelancer. I juggle everything. Being a freelance
graphic designer and content writer, being a blogger and what some might call
an influencer and working part-time on campus throughout university. Who would have
thought that I would survive, and who would have thought that you could earn money via social media. Who would have even thought that my love for writing would have built me a portfolio so strong, I secured a full-time job months before graduation. As Walt Disney puts it, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” I believe my story is not an
outlier. Amongst us today we have graduates, dreamers who rose up to life’s
challenges. Charlene, she was a student by day and property agent by night. Time was never on her side and she often had to attend viewings after classes. Reuben was intrigued by the F&B industry, held part-time job in a seafood restaurant throughout and even before university. His
dedication to the F&B industry is one I greatly admire. Pimnara held two
part-time jobs, freelanced as a graphic designer and taught dance classes after class. Despite the multiple titles she held, I never once heard her complain about
her being tired. There are many of you out there with similar stories, many
dreamers who never backed down in the face of challenges. Graduates if there is
one thing I want you to take away from this speech, it is that you will find
strength in the people who don’t doubt you. As we enter the working world, we will face an avalanche of rejections. Clients will dismiss our pitch after making us work ten hours on
it. Hundreds of resumes sent but no job offers Employers might cast a doubt on our
capabilities because we didn’t graduate from the top three universities in
Singapore. Many of us have have been through that and I know for sure
because I stalk all of you on Instagram. As someone who has been earning her own
keeps since she was 15, this is my promise to you, success will come
to those with grit, and success may I add is the best revenge against those who did
not believe in our dreams. After two years of answering questions
for 10% participation marks and being late for 8:30 a.m. versus for
those who actually turn up, we are finally here today. Some call this is the dawn
of the doubtful. I call it the end of freeloading. I would like to invite you
to tell your families and friends who have supported you every step of the way,
parents you have every reason to be proud. I can’t imagine the immense relief
you are feeling right now, now that your financial burdens have
finally been lifted, you can finally take the round-the-world trip you’ve been
dreaming of. Thank you mummy, thank you for your unconditional care
and your unwavering love. I hope you’re as proud of me as I am proud of you. (Thanking mom in Mandarin) [applause] Thank-you Eason for being my best sibling. My only sibling in fact. Here’s to the nights we stayed up
checking each other’s work. My friends, thank you for being here today. I can
finally stop whining to you about school. As we all know the price of learnings
always stick. Thank you Dr. Rama, Mr. Robert, Ms. Angie, Mr. Phillips
and many more lecturers for allowing me to make the most of my school fees and
going beyond what’s required of your jobs role to guide the lost sheep. My success is yours. [applause] Finally, a special shout out for everyone
who had the misfortune of working with me.
Thank you for tolerating my perpetual and obsessive nagging on how
this project must get HD. My fellow graduates I hope you Insta Story this,
without you I wouldn’t be on stage today. As we dawn our graduation gowns and mortarboards, burst out of our comfort zones into new adventures, and becomes slaves to
capitalism, I would like to re-emphasise the
importance of chasing dreams. American poet Langston Hughes “Hold fast
to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged
bird that cannot fly.” I hope you enjoyed my speech if not, at least you had a lovely
afternoon power nap. Thank-you. [applause]