This university academic year has been truly crazy. A lot of us have had to deal with the UCU strikes, and nearly all of us have had to adapt with the shift from traditional exams to online exams due to this unexpected pandemic. However, we students have done brilliantly despite all this, and have adapted fantastically. In particular, I am one of many students who have graduated this summer, and I wanted to use this blog post to share a few messages to the class of 2020.
Further challenges will come, but you have already shown the ability to deal with challenges
Whatever your next stage is, whether it is the working world, further study or something else, you will face challenges that you wouldn’t have encountered before, and these challenges will be tough. But it’s important to take heart from the fact that you have already overcome a lot of challenges at university. Examples of challenges that you have already overcome include living out and facing the additional responsibilities that come with that, getting good grades at university, as well as balancing your academic workload with other commitments. In particular, trying your best to cope with the sudden pandemic is really impressive and no mean feat. Most challenges you overcame at university were ones that you encountered for the first time, and this clearly shows your ability to adapt and be resilient. This will put you in good stead when dealing with all sorts of challenges in the next chapter of your life.
You all have unique qualities and skills
One thing that particularly struck me about students at Warwick was the sheer diversity in terms of qualities and skillsets. This was true even from comparing people on my course. For example, some people were extremely good at programming and other technical skills, some people were brilliant are certain sports, whereas other people were fantastic at playing certain music instruments. Even when it came to soft skills, everyone had their own unique skillset that allowed them to thrive and do really well. I firmly believe that everyone has unique and special qualities and that no two people are the same in that sense. This is why I want you all to remember that you are special in your own way, which means that you all have what it takes to thrive and succeed in life. The world needs diversity in skills and talents!
Be open to learning opportunities
One thing I have been told about the working world is that although it is hard and full of struggles, there are so many opportunities to learn and grow, and the same will apply to further study or anything else. In other words, the next chapter of your life is one that is incredibly exciting. Therefore, having an open mind and making the most of opportunities that will help you grow and expand your comfort zone is the way to go. This doesn’t just apply to the working world but in every other aspect of life.
Know that bigger challenges come ahead
This links to the first point. Many people I know thrived at university, and their university experience really helped them grow and develop as a person. However, the key message I want to say here is not to get complacent, and not to think that your achievements at university will set you up completely for life. There are bigger challenges that you are yet to face, and being complacent now is one of the worst things that you can do. It was hard work that got you to where you are today, and it is hard work that is needed to thrive in the next chapter of your life.
Surround yourself with positive people
Whilst at university, one of the main things that helped me was having a handful of amazing friends, and we would give each other positive energy and motivate one another. In the next chapter of your life, there will be lots of people that will try to motivate you and help you become the best version of yourself, and it’s vital that you surround yourself with these types of people. Furthermore, it will be brilliant if you make an active effort to keep in touch with university friends that were a positive influence on you whilst at university, as they are likely to be a positive influence on you in your next chapter.
However, there will always be a few people that will either give you negative energy, or will in some way or form be a barrier to you being able to thrive and become the best version of yourself. It’s important to recognise the signs when someone is being a negative influence on you, and these types of people are not worth keeping in your life.
I want to take this time to wish you all the best of luck in the next chapter, and thank the amazing friends and family that have helped me throughout my time at university!
Do you have any messages to give to the class of 2020. Comment on the comment section below!