The Road to Graduation

I was sweating off my makeup on the day of graduation, my bindi was in a fury and my earrings were caught in the tangled frizz of my hair. But it was worth it – because on such a special occasion everything that has been a such a mess over the years comes flash-back in a spilt second.

 

 

Honours was a special journey for me; your first year of postgrad is a big step in deciding your future career or your research choices. But for the first time I was able to think of myself and my work as an actual contribution, an actual step which committed me to the path I chose. I must say, it has been rough for me not being from Cape Town. It is simultaneously one of my biggest blessings and biggest woes at the same time. But I think it took Honours for me to figure out that being an outsider also means you’re in the big ring at the same time.

My Honours degree is in International Relations and might I say I have fallen in love with the discipline. My reason to pursue such a degree ties in with my personal ambitions; being a brown womxn in this ever-evolving world definitely asks you to remain defiant and strong. And I began to realize that I could play a part in the world in which I live; and so, I pursue this through my education.

 

 

There were countless essays, reports, presentations and thesis drafts which made reaching the end seem impossible. I won’t lie: the harder it gets, the more unbearable it becomes. But the end goal is so sweet. As you become more visible through your drudgery and dedication, the less difficult the work becomes. And the impatience grows within you to engage, interact and work with other academics. With each assignment you turn in, you grow impatient to hand in the following ones. With each word count you fulfil, the things you have to say suddenly become too large to fit into the restrictions given to you. With each day, you become more of who you want to become. That’s what I left my Honours with. I felt important and that is the most overwhelming feeling you can carry with you.

I found myself coming out of the introverted and shy self that I had been during undergrad. I became more assured in my own ability and more vocal in what I had to say! The truth is, no road to success is a brisk walk in the park. But we must remember that success is what we define it to be. If you enjoy what you do, you are happy. And if you are happy, you are successful. So, go! Go on! Choose your path. Be happy and choose your success.