One thing the Princess Margaret Secondary School’s valedictorians can agree on is that high school goes by all too quickly.
Grace Robinson and Tajvir Gill were voted to represent the 2019 Maggie grad class as both have excelled academically throughout their high school experience while balancing extracurricular activities such as part-time jobs, volunteering and sports. Even with those resumes, both were still surprised when their names were called once the votes were tallied.
“Out of all of the other kids, some of them had more experience than me. This is out of my comfort zone and this is something I wanted to push myself for,” said Gill. “I was surprised when they called my name and just thought ‘OK let’s do this.’”
“I was valedictorian in Grade 8, so it’s been great. I feel very lucky because it’s nice to be voted in by people the same age as you that obviously feel like you’re going to do a good job with something that’s important,” said Robinson. “I always feel shocked and excited when things like this happen to me.”
The two are thankful for the amazing teachers they have had guiding them for the past four years during their high school experience, including Sandra Richardson and Cory Hogg.
Gill said he plans to work at Tickleberry’s Ice Cream shop full-time over the summer before he is set to begin school at the University of B.C. Okanagan campus. He is enrolled in the institution’s Human Kinetics progam and plans to pursue a career in physiotherapy.
Robinson will also be spending her summer working at Salty’s Beach House full-time before she relocates to Vancouver in the fall where she’ll be pursuing an arts degree at the University of B.C. Vancouver campus. She plans to major in history and then go on to get her teaching degree, with aspirations of working as social and english high school teacher.
Both are excited for the next steps in their future and said they are confident that their grad class will stay connected once they go their separate ways. They said the class in its entirety is very accepting of everyone, though they may gather in individual friends groups, and they would describe their peers as tight-knit, relaxed and chill.
“For me, I’m just going to remember the kids. Like walking through the hallways and when you go to the gym, and everyone’s in the common area hanging out between classes,” said Gill.
“Throwing all of our papers up on the last day of school was so fun. We were all in the common area playing the song ‘What Time is it? Summer Time’ from High School Musical so as soon as the bell rang we threw our papers up,” said Robinson.
And for the students entering high school, they point back to their speech’s theme – it goes by quickly. Both Gill and Robinson said these younger students should take the time to enjoy being kids, and that they shouldn’t stress over grades but instead should focus on work ethic and doing their best.
“In high school, everyone holds your hand. You have your parents, teachers are helping you throughout, homework is not as hard and you have all of your friends to hang out with,” said Gill. “Then you go onto university and it’s totally different.”
“Enjoy the fact that you get to be a kid,” said Robinson. “There are a lot of supports in high school that aren’t there in university.”
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