Sweet Memory of My Graduation Day in Korea

No words can best describe how happy I am today. Time has been running so fast, two years study is finally completed and I feel so blessed that my graduation day is marked with a truly wonderful and unforgettable memory witnessed by my beloved parents and lovely twin-sister: a privilege to deliver a speech as the winner of Academic Excellence Award in Fall Commencement 2014 at Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul. Five days prior, we also celebrated the corresponding award in the graduation ceremony at Korea University of Science and Technology (UST), Daejeon.

UST Graduation 140814

KIST Graduation 140819

Here is the script of my commencement speech:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, all faculty members, family, and fellow graduates.

My name is Philip Wijaya from Indonesia and I am graduating Master student in KIST Seoul. I am so thankful to IRDA office and Dr. Lee Byung Gwon as the president, for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver a speech in this wonderful day.

First of all, I would like to congratulate each and every graduate here as your wise decision to pursue higher study and your perseverance in doing all the research works are finally being rewarded today. I wish all the best for your future careers and I hope that we all can continuously contribute our knowledges for a better future in our society.

To be standing here right now on this podium is something that I’ve never imagined before. It is truly beyond my expectation and something that even never comes to my mind. In this occasion, I would express my deepest gratitude to Dr. Kim Chang Soo for his approval has allowed me to come and to learn a lot of things here in Korea. When I came to this Land of Morning Calm for the first time two years ago, it was my very first time to experience living in a four seasons-country and to mingle with people from around the world, frankly speaking, I was actually not confident enough to finish my study very well. Facing one of the most popular Korean cultures, which is known as bballi bballi that reflects how Korean people are used to do everything quickly, has challenged me a lot. Before I came to Korea, I thought of myself as a kind of slow person who liked to do everything in the opposite way of Korean people usually do, because I was grown up in a community that embraces “slow but sure” philosophy instead of bballi bballi. Adapting these two different cultures is the reason why I have been learning so many things in Korea, especially related to academic and work ethics, how to have a good attitude towards our responsibilities, and how to sincerely show our respect to others, especially the elders.

We believe that success would never be accomplished by the only one man’s labor. Behind our achievement, there has been enormous support and help from others. At this moment, I would also express my gratefulness to Dr. Ha Jeong-Myeong, Dr. Lee Hyunjoo, Dr. Suh Dong Jin, and Dr. Jae Jungho for all the valuable advices on my research work; and also to all the staffs of IRDA: Mr. Seungjin Ahn, Ms. Julie Hwang, Ms. Kim Nuri, Mr. Yeong Ho Moon, Ms. Park Hanla, and Ms. Hyun NaYoung, for the academic support and personal assistance during my study; also to all the staffs of KIST cafeteria, for providing delicious meals everyday that has given us extra energy to completely do all the works. Thanks be to all my friends, who have sincerely and joyfully supported me a lot, especially to Indonesian community for making me feel at home, during our study and lifetime here. I would also not forget to give special thanks to my parents, brother, and twin-sister for every minute of your love, to pray the best for me, and to trust in me in any decision I made. Last but not least, I am pleased to dedicate all of my joy and happiness today to the Lord Jesus Christ for all His abundant blessing and unending love. In the good and bad times, the bright and gloomy days, the highs and lows, He is always there for me.

Finally, I would sincerely say that this award is not about the prize or money, but it reveals more about our collaborative and dedicative works together in a harmony, that for me it is a priceless and timeless gift. As you are listening to this commencement speech, we are reminded that ‘commencement’ does not only mean a “graduation ceremony”, but also literally means “beginning or start”. Today is not the end, it is just the beginning of our journey. I hope that all the blessing, mercy, and grace will always be with us wherever we go and whatever we do. Thanks for your attention.

2014 KIST Fall Graduation (1) 2014 KIST Fall Graduation (2)

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About Philip Wijaya

A lifelong-learner and a story-writer who dreams to be a history-maker.