In the olden days, bravery was a trait attributed to knights and soldiers. Today, I think that bravery is something which everyone here can show, whether it is in everyday situations or in huge leaps of faith. For the Upper Sixth: those of us starting university this year will need to be brave when we move to a new city, with new people other than with those here who we have had the honour of growing up with. For some of us, we’ve been together since we were three years old, and saying ‘goodbye’ to these people could be the scariest thing we have done. To be brave is to do this anyway, knowing that moving on doesn’t mean ‘goodbye’ is forever.
For those lower down in the school, bravery doesn’t mean doing something stupid. Bravery can come in all forms. Bravery can be standing up for your friends, or playing your first sports match. Fear is an intrinsic element in our lives, and it would be foolish to act as if nothing scared us. But being brave isn’t about having no fears, it’s about knowing your fears and doing it anyway. Fear is a good thing. It lets you know that something matters to you. Fear is the absence of apathy, which we should all strive to avoid. Bravery and courage show that you acknowledge how much this means to you, and you’re going to do it, even though you are fearful.
For those scared about impending exams, be brave because you can succeed. For those of you who are fearful, remember; exams don’t define you or decide your fate; they are stepping stones to success, but are not the only path.
Be brave in your innate ability to be yourself, and be brave enough to be that person. Fear is holding you back, but bravery will hold you up in times of need. Bravery comes when you least expect it, and can be found in people you least expect it from.
If you choose not to do something out of fear, you are choosing to never have that experience. You are choosing to let fear rule your life and make decisions for you.
As one quote says: ‘fear is temporary, but regret is forever’.