2021 Dux Brandon Truong addresses Laureate Assembly

Embrace your boredom. That’s the message from Blackfriars’ 2021 Dux Brandon Truong.

Brandon was one of 25 graduates who achieved ATARs of 90 or above, as well as Blackfriars’ 2022 scholarship recipients, to be formally recognised at last week’s Laureate Assembly.

The annual Laureate Assembly is normally held in Term 1, but was pushed back this year due to covid.

Brandon, who achieved an ATAR of 99.60 and is now studying Medicine at the University of Adelaide, used his Laureate Address to talk about boredom and motivation.

Principal David Ruggiero presents Brandon Truong with a certificate of achievement in recognition of his outstanding Year 12 results.

“2021 was a demanding, challenging and strenuous year, full of late nights, early mornings and long hours in the library, accompanied by feelings of stress and anxiety,” Brandon told the assembly.

“These are things, as a student, you develop a very intimate relationship with. So, I won’t stand here and ramble about the obstacles of Year 12 and compare it to a marathon and how there was a there was a remarkable, blinding light at the end of the tunnel, because sometimes that light might just be a train.

“Today, I want to talk to you about two things – boredom and motivation.

“We, as students, do almost anything to avoid the feeling of boredom. As soon as our interest in doing one task starts to decline, we quickly turn to playing games, replying to messages, getting stuck in the endless TikTok loop and any other easily accessible disruptions.”

He described boredom as “mental discomfort”.

“But, in fact, being bored can surprisingly give you quite good benefits,” he said.

“Boredom increases our creativity, it improves our productivity. And that’s because the bored mind tends to wander to interesting places.

“So, while many are chasing ways to constantly stimulate their brain, I encourage you to do the opposite; to unplug, take a step back and embrace that boredom. Find an activity that requires no stimulation or concentration, disconnect from the scroll of social media and give yourself quiet time. A feeling of boredom should not be something we run away from.”

2021 Dux Brandon Truong addresses the Laureate Assembly.

He also called on the current Blackfriars students to change their approach to finding motivation.

“Among the student population, the line, ‘I just don’t have the motivation to work right now’ is quite common,” he said.

“However, I think life would be much happier and more productive if we removed the word motivation from our vocabulary. Put simply, motivation is waiting until you feel like doing something before you do it. Discipline, on the other hand, is doing it, regardless of how you’re feeling about it. This thing called discipline lets you accomplish pretty much whatever you put your mind to.

“Motivation is temporary. So don’t seek motivation, seek good discipline instead.”

Principal David Ruggiero, Blackfriars Board Chair David O’Loughlin and 2021 graduates.

Speaking at the assembly, Principal David Ruggiero praised the 2021 graduates.

“Your sacrifices, your determination, your inquisitive minds and search for the truth has been rewarded,” Mr Ruggiero told the high-achieving students.

“You have lived with integrity and you have lived with honesty your vocation of being a student. Your God-given gifts, your gifts of study and intellect, have been used truthfully, and for good.

“The four pillars of our school – Prayer, Study, Community and Service – work in unison to form the young graduate of Blackfriars in truth. Your Blackfriars journey and your academic success is your advantage in life.”

Also at last week’s assembly, 2021 Head Prefect Lewis Saint called on current Blackfriars students to consistently strive to demonstrate outstanding school spirit.


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