“…our similarities are in abundance, more than we realise”
According to tradition, there were student speakers on stage during Nyborg Gymnasium’s graduation 2023. As an international school, we have two speakers who address the hall with a speech in Danish and one in English.
Rosanna Anabel Griffiths fr0m 3.i held a great speech about “surviving” IB, also thanking teachers and hoping, that here fellow IB-students “remember these past few years with great happiness”.
When I was asked to hold this speech for this graduation ceremony, I was of course flattered… but mostly glad that I could relive Henrik of the dread and struggle of ‘another English speech’. And I promise to keep this short and without any of the poems Henrik suggested.
The IB journey is different for all of us. Many of us have travelled great distances to live and thrive in this small seaside city on Fyn. Some are lucky enough to live only down the road. But despite these great distances and differences, we all have spent the last two- three years integrating and surviving this programme together. Not just learning science, binomial expansion and how to analyse Oedipus the Great but learning about how the world is shaped from first hand perspectives and apparently… how Czechoslovakia no longer exists. We all have significantly diverse backgrounds, cultures, and make up a collective of over twenty countries residing in: North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe – in just our year group alone.
However, our similarities are in abundance, more than we realise. Because we have all struggled through multiple IAs, IOs, Spiralling ToK lessons, Expeditions and Essays, Weeks of EE stress and writing, Irritating arguments with Excel when it just will not give you an accurate R value, hours of lab reports, only to have a p value more than 0.05. Forced physical activity, un-voluntary voluntary service, and the most creative part of CAS was surely filling out an entire OneNote with 18 months of content the night before it was due. We can all relate to sleepless nights, hand ache from written exams, and if classes were not tough enough, along came NG reads. But despite this programme’s rigours attempt to dampen our drives, every single one of us understands that when it is time to knuckle down and work, we get it done. We have an unmatched work ethic on IB and a sheer determination and competitiveness to not let this program beat us. And now the work is done, only time will tell if it is what you had wanted, if it is enough for university or if you must go with plan b. For many of us it might not go as we have planned but it is important to remember a few things which is that; you have survived this programme and you will survive your results, you are so much more than a 1-7 rating on paper and wherever the future carries you, that intense drive to work hard and get the job done with carry us all throughout our future.
I hope that when you are all sitting in cars, trains and planes with hurting heads and twisted tummies on your way home tomorrow, you will think and reminisce about the effort you have put into this programme. Think about all the assignments you have submitted, all the exams you have sat, pages turned, revision notes written, tears cried, laughs laughed, parties danced, punches taken (that one is specifically for you Rasmus), friends made, words learnt, beers emptied. And I hope you remember these past few years with great happiness. We have all made some of the most amazing friends from all over the planet on the IB and we can all agree that Nyborg has become a second home to us all.
Thank you to all the teachers who kept us motivated and held us accountable, thanks for Lisbeth for all those emails chasing us to upload exam components (guilty), thanks to Jim and Stewart for an amazing CAS week and the biggest thanks of all to our lord and saviour Ulrik – who has always been about 12 follow-up emails away. But in all seriousness, we owe our diplomas to you!
I wish you all the best in the future and good luck for your results!