Carpe Diem! Chuck Grassley once observed that: “What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning.“
As you enter the swan song year of your schooling career, much will depend on your investment into the year - persistence, perseverance and passion become key to your ultimate success.
Education is the singular weapon that nobody can take away from you, yet it is the foundational weapon upon which your very life could well depend.
The sad reality is that our educational system, degenerating as it is, is a herding system designed to shepherd a matriculating class out of the system to make way for another.
However, your success - or failure - will depend on no one else but you, and it becomes critically onerous that you dedicate yourself to a task that, in many ways, will determine the trajectory of your life and the road ahead thereto.
There will be days when the burden and toil of learning to outsmart you - do not give up.
There will be days when the passion will become darkened - do not give up.
And there will be days when it will all seem so futile - do not give up.
Make your stumbling blocks your stepping stones because, in this cruel world, you truly become the architect of your own destiny - and your education becomes your universal passport.
Forget social media for a time, forget the nightclubs and the partying - there will be time for that when the deed is done, and dedicate a year that may very well become the rest of your life.
Education is not just the regurgitation of facts - it is the inculcation of values, worthiness and character - it lends impetus as to how one conducts one's life in the days ahead to become a productive and contributory member of society.
The challenges will indeed be many, the frustrations will surely abound and the despair will soar at the best of times but the end will certainly justify the means if and only if you believe in yourself.
Whatever field of endeavour you wish to pursue, remember that it is hard work that will be your template for success - and hard work means sacrifice and yielding to the pleasures of youth, if only for a moment.
Your tomorrow will depend on how well you prepare today and 2024 is your today - do not forsake the opportunity, for the regrets may be too dastardly to contemplate.
Even if you do not succeed as well as you may have wanted to, let that become an inspiration for you to do better and achieve more.
Whatever your vocational choice might be, do not be disappointed or disillusioned if you cannot achieve it on your first attempt - opportunities have a knack for repeating themselves - only if you are able to recognise them and seize them when they appear.
Ernest Hemingway, in his novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, aptly describes how and why we should act today - “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come, can depend on what you do today”.
Carpe Diem - translated, it means “seize the day”.
All the very best to every matriculant in South Africa. May your success match that dream that burns ever so brightly.
Good luck and God bless.
Narendh Ganesh is the leader of the National Independent Congress of South Africa (NICSA).