Ms Turang Teuea from Kiribati during her address to graduates during the Laucala Campus graduation on 20 September 2018.
Graduates of The University of the South Pacific (USP) were challenged to embrace failure, grow and learn from it during their graduation ceremony at the FMF Gymnasium in Laucala on 20 September 2018.
Ms Turang Teuea from Kiribati, who graduated with a Masters degree, encouraged fellow graduates never to let failure stop them from achieving their goals.
“It is important to remember in this life that whenever we set a goal, we set it not only for ourselves, but for our family, our children, our community, and our country,” he stated.
“So, whenever you feel that you do not have the will to reach that goal, do it for your loved ones, and do it for your community, for your country. You keep on walking, even if it means you need to pause for a little while,” she said.
Ms Teuea shared her experience of failing her units when she first came to pursue her Bachelor’s degree, lost her scholarship and had to return to Kiribati.
“Luckily, I had really stubborn parents who never lost hope in me and told me never to back down from my goal,” she said.
She shared that she had become a mother and unemployed and for two years she doubted herself and avoided school fearing she would fail again.
“Fast forward another two years, I finally received my first degree and I had the job I have always wanted at the Environment Conservation Department,” she said.
“But as life was finally turning my way – I lost a son. I had really hit rock bottom. Ladies and gentlemen, my failure and struggles were the turning point in my life. Not only did they make me stronger, they enriched me with the experiences of life, the fundaments of resilience,” she said.
Ms Teuea urged the graduates to keep in mind the power of hope and kindness – to be kind to their peers, never belittle people, and always try to help someone up along the way.
“Try and be that persistent voice in their ears that tells them they can do it. Because sometimes when we lose hope, that little voice is all we need to get back up on our feet. A little act of kindness really does go a long way,” she shared.
A total of 1,321 students graduated during the September graduation at Laucala.
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