Your name gets called out.
You walk onto the stage.
(You try not to stumble)
You hand your hood over.
Dr Max Price taps you on the head. And shakes your hand.
You turn around.
Your hood is placed on you.
You walk off the stage
You pick up your degree.
Students visualise this moment from the first time they set foot on campus. Some have already been thinking about it while in high school. In every test, every assignment, every lecture and every exam, you build towards this one moment: your graduation.
It is the magical moment where you attain your degree. It is the most special moment of your university career.
Except it’s not.
The magic happened before then. The magic was getting to lectures when you didn’t feel like it. It was pulling all nighters to finish projects and essays. It was pushing through exams year after year ( and sometimes during protests).
It was fighting the university system when it tried to exclude you. It was having the courage to start over when you failed. It was battling mental health problems every day and still, somehow, managing to survive.
The moment the world sees
The moment of graduation is special. But it’s special because it is a recognition of growth. Of learning. Of struggle. Of perseverance.
It’s a recognition of all those other special moments when no one else was watching.
And now, the whole world sees you.
I’d like to have a special shoutout here for Tiisetso Malinga, who is my mentee, my mentor and one of my closest friends. Tii, you have done the most incredible thing to get through this degree. You fought so hard. And in the end you won. We are all so proud of what you have done. Congratulations!
Image is from before Tiisetso’s graduation ceremony today.
Finally, a quote that I’ve used before but it fits this situation perfectly:
“When you achieve your dreams, it’s not so much what you get, it’s who you become in achieving them”
Henry David Thoreau
Blog 44/365. Read more about my #365of25 journey here
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