Graduating With A Little More Than A Degree

8th of April 2016,

The day I finally graduated with a degree in tow. Little did I realize, I received more than a piece of paper which I was chasing after for 3 years.

“It’s the journey, not the destination that matters”.

As cliche as the quote sounds, I finally truly understand and can relate to it. Although one might argue it’s the destination that matters, otherwise why would we take on the journey in the first place. That to me is a story for another day. While I do agree that the destination matters, the journey probably makes the experience more unique when you start reflecting and looking back at it once you reached your destination.

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In February 2013 I embarked on this journey, enrolling myself into the School of Arts and Social Sciences. While it was a path less travelled, I took the plunge and dived head first not knowing what to expect. 3 years on, I look back at this journey and am glad I took this leap exploring the unknown. While I may not have graduated with the best CGPA, I definitely graduated with a broader horizon.

I have friends who used to question me what am I studying, often curious to know more. I almost always am more than eager to explain and share my experience with them.
Do you paint?
What is Social Sciences?
Communication… what do you mean by that?
Politics? Do you want to be a politician?

No, I don’t paint, I don’t want to be a politician and communication is beyond you and me having a conversation.

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I graduated with a little more than a degree.

Along the way, I began to take an interest in current affairs. I picked up a good habit of reading the news, I familiarized myself with global and current issues. It might not be an everyday ritual for me to read the news, but Daily Mail and Al-Jazeera quickly became my two favourite news portals. I realize that I became interested in knowing more about current issues because I am able to understand them better. Having a basic understanding and framework to work with has allowed me to make better-informed opinions. I suddenly was able to connect the dots more easily than I could before.

I picked up a few new friends during this journey. I say a few because a majority of them would fall under the category of acquaintance. Having cross paths with so many people in the past 3 years, I can safely say that the journey would have been less interesting without them. Regardless if I have briefly met them or have gotten to know them better, I am thankful for meeting individuals with different personality throughout my journey. I even came to a point of questioning myself to how many types of personalities are there in the world. Surely we all fit into some form of stereotypes that exist out there, but beneath that shallow surface there’s more than what meets the eyes.

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While a degree opens new doors and opportunities for me, I am proud of myself for going down the path less traveled. You see, what I appreciate the most from this journey is that I not only challenged myself in a different way but I have also become more in tune to what shapes our society and patterns which are emerging now and will have an effect in the future.

I graduated with more than a piece of paper which validates to society that I have the capability and knowledge to perform certain roles in the work environment. My degree has caused me to be exposed to worldwide events and phenomena which was previously unknown to me because of the hermit lifestyle I was living.

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