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Congratulations to our graduates! You made it!
This week more than 2200 Victoria graduands will walk across the stage at Michael Fowler Centre, shake hands with the Chancellor and receive their degrees, diplomas, certificates or PhDs. If you’re amongst them, then congratulations—you’ve made it and like your parents we’re all immensely proud of you.
Most people reading this, like me, probably aren’t amongst those graduating. I still have a bunch of study to do before finishing my BA/BSc triple major nightmare juggernaut. I distinctly remember this time last year—I was sitting on the 5th floor of the library procrastinating doing yet another essay and lab report.
As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I was conflicted between feeling incredibly proud, but also pretty overwhelmed. It’s such a cool feeling seeing your friends beaming away with their families celebrating such a huge achievement. It made me realise how overwhelmed I was at the prospect of the remaining work I had to do for my own degree before it would be my turn to cross that stage.
It was hard, but rather than brooding on how many more essays I would have to do, I instead reminded myself that wearing that gown represents achievement. It also represents a huge amount of courage and resilience that it takes to get the inevitably difficult times inherent with uni study. So I tried to use that to motivate me to smash out the essay and lab report and got them in.
Week nine is crunch time, assignments are stacking up, the weather is turning to crap, colds are kicking in and exams loom around the corner. It’s a tough time. But remember, you’re not alone in it. And, as is proved by the gowns parading down Lambton Quay, others have been here before and made it through, and you will too.
Despite the tough times, Victoria is by-in-large, a pretty good place to study. The calibre of our academics, other supportive staff, and the places where our degrees takes our graduates is a testament to that.
So, graduands, on behalf of the 22,000 students currently here at Vic—congratulations. You’ve put so much of yourselves into getting this qualification, and we are genuinely so proud of what you’ve achieved in your time here. Despite what the job market or media may say, your degree is valuable and you’re an inspiration to those of us still in the library, labs and lecture theatres, pushing ourselves to get to where you are.
Finally, to those for whom graduation seems ages away. We’ll make it one day. Right now we just need to focus on getting that assignment done.