I greet you all well at this stage of your academic life. To all the first years, I extend a warm welcome. And for those returning, glad to see you geared up for the year ahead!
I hope you all had a great summer. I also hasten to caution that you all must have transitioned your mind set by this. You may well appreciate that the work has started. As always, it will seem like a daunting task – but you may find assurance in the fact that others have done it. So while the task seems insurmountable you may take solace in the fact that the dream is attainable.
Make the most of your experiences and never settle for mediocrity. Never will yourself to believe that the quality of your degree does not matter. Rather, strive to be the best in everything – because very soon, a Bachelor of Laws will only be good enough to indicate that you have completed a course of study. Your experience at the UWI should do more than testify that you understand legal theories and the application thereof.
Further, you must always to appreciate one fact that is very fundamental – that is of course that “all work and no play makes Jack/Jill a dull child”. Balance your time wisely – but ensure that you reap the benefits of the plethora of extra-curricular activities that the University offers. Make your experience worthwhile and appreciate that this is the time for forging long-lasting relationships and partnerships. The spirit of camaraderie should begin from here. You may never know what the future holds.
Undoubtedly, you will be met with some periods of discomfort and dismay but be reminded that the brave may fall. The aim however, is never to yield. You are entering a noble profession which will require resilience and a strong resolve to make it and be the best. So now is the time to start building the values that will guide you in the future. Believe it or not, the things you do now matter. They can make or break your reality and future existence in the legal profession.
Make every moment count and always resolve to stand out – knowing full well that all targets are attainable if worked at with diligence and commitment. But at the same time, strike a balance and find the structure that works best for you. This is the time to discover yourself, to be guided by your inner voice of wisdom and those of the lecturers you see every day.
I hope my words of encouragement find you receptive.
President (Mona Law Society), 2013-2014