Wayne Gao is a school prefect and the cultural captain of Snell House. He is well-known for his participation in music groups around the school, even conducting and directing the Macleans Chamber Orchestra. Outside of school, he is part of the UNICEF Auckland Ball Committee.

When asked about the best advice he had ever received from his seniors and his advice to the next generation, these were his top three tips.

Setting Goals

Imagine what your future self in a year will think of the decisions you are making right now. Would you be content with all the progress you have? Or would you regret the opportunities you did not take on?

This is a very effective way to work towards setting goals for yourself. 

For example, for students with very important external exams at the end of the year, go through the syllabus a couple of months beforehand to ensure you know what you need to revise. This can be applied to other things as well, working on a project or practising an instrument.

If I’m being honest, I’m often guilty of procrastination as well, but it is the habit of sometimes making yourself do things you don’t really want to do that pushes you to accomplish your dreams.

Try working backwards to plan out the things you need to do, so you will have sufficient time to balance everything you have at hand.

Finding Directions (in life)

If you have yet to find something that you really enjoy, just in your spare time, do some research on different topics and career paths. Whether you want to pursue a degree or another pathway, oftentimes people discover their true interests later on in life because they haven’t tried them before.

So, it’s a good idea to start early and set yourself a direction. If you think that you are uncertain about the things you have potentially committed to, find resources either online or talk to people in the profession to get more information.

Don’t be afraid to make changes, it’s not the end of the world to realize what you truly enjoy! At the end of the day, it’s what you like and how you feel that matters the most. 

Kindness and Compassion

To be a decent human being, respect other people’s decisions, their identities, and the way they act. As long as they are not affecting others, there’s no reason for you to be disrespectful.

Always have sympathy for others; maybe they are experiencing something you have never experienced, so it is important to acknowledge their emotions and the things they are going through. Think before you speak and act because the ways you communicate might unintentionally hurt someone else who thinks in a different way from you. 

Always remember that it is crucial to be considerate, kind, sympathetic, understanding, and compassionate. We are all humans, we have our strength and weakness, we have our individualities. This is why you cannot categorize humans into very specific kinds. It is our differences in cultures, identities, and personalities that enrich our society, and they should be celebrated equally.

August 7th, 2023
Written by Wayne Gao, edited by Clarissa Oblefias

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