Ah, graduation! I have no idea how it feels to be a graduate but it must be a wonderful feeling. Think of all the years of hard work, the late nights and early mornings, stress and the hustle of being a student must be a great feeling.
So dear Class of 2017 you did it ! And you have every reason to feel proud. You are not just wearing that gown and carrying a piece of paper, you are carrying hopes and dreams of your parents and the teachers who have ever taught you.
You are carrying banners with your families’ names on them. You are a motivation and an inspiration to those who look up to you. Yes your work and achievements may seem invisible but someone out there is admiring you.
However, graduation marks more than just an end to one’s university era especially for those that chose to put a full stop to studying. It also marks the beginning of their entry into the dreaded real world.
Yes, you are done pulling all-nighters to cram for tests and exams but that was/is just a gateway to a new reality.
It must be confusing, I know. I remember back in my second year of varsity when I had to apply for internship. I was afraid of the corporate world because I didn’t know what to expect. I felt like I didn’t know anything and all I could utter was ‘I am not ready’.
But just as Lemony Snicket has said “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives”. With my impatience I couldn’t bear the wait so I just had to jump on it. Same goes with you my dear graduate that diploma or degree has given you the greenlight to the world so why not explore?
As you graduate, you are all taking different paths. Some will take more structured journeys enrolling in honours or masters programs excited to sit in more classrooms, do more assignments and learn infinitely more about their field of interest.
Some will dive right into the 8-5 hours office grind, joining a routine the rest of the world already knows. And some will pack their bags and go back to their parents’ houses to wait for jobs to avail themselves.
Whichever path you choose to follow, just remember that the world is your oyster. You should be willing to move onto the next level but also knowing that you will always be a small fish in a big pond. It all depends on how willing you are to grow, in fact the world is a jungle which requires you to either fight and dominate or hide and evaporate.
And oh yes doors are going to be shut in your face, you will receive so many rejections and you will be judged on the quality of your work.
But when all has been said and done to you do not despair. You still have that paper and it can take you places.
Reinvent and reintroduce yourself to the world, continue making amazing mistakes, make glorious and amazing mistakes because that’s how you become a force to be reckoned with.
Here’s to the years of sweat, blood and tears. Your sleepless nights and early mornings have finally paid off. Go now and show the world what you are made off. The country awaits your contributions to its success.