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BA Journalism, Graduated 2013

By Rianna Raymond Williams

I’ll start this off by saying that I honestly believe University is not for everyone. Sure it may be the dream of some to take a picture in a cap and gown, clutching a fake Torah – also known as the infamous graduation scroll however, being a graduate should not determine your future.

There is an array of world class entrepreneurs who didn’t enter higher education or if they did, their journeys were short lived. This includes the likes of Sir Richard Branson, Debbi Fields, Madame C.J Walker, Ralph Lauren, Kayne West, Sir Philip Green and Sir Alan Sugar, this list could literally go on forever. The point i’m trying to make is, having a degree does not determine your future success.

What matters is having the motivation and dedication to follow your dreams and fulfil your goals no matter the cost. It’s not the destination, but the journey that you should value and enjoy. This could mean taking risks and making sacrifices, putting yourself in the right places or surrounding yourself with positive and knowledgeable people. Whatever you do to be successful, be proud, be confident and most importantly have a passion for what you do.

If there’s one thing that university has taught me, it’s to be resourceful, prepare for plan B. Whilst you’re sharing a classroom or a lecture theatre with another 30 – 40 students, think about what makes you different? Sure you have the kudos of officially being a fellow alumnus, but in reality once you graduate you become another statistics on ONS, another unemployed person and another graduate with a £15 -20k+ debt.

You can still apply for internships despite being a graduate, this is the time to discover what industry really interests you. Aim for fulfilment in your personal life too. Volunteer or take up a new hobby. This is a great way to build your social network as well as making valuable contacts. Stay committed to discovering new people and cultures like those experienced at university. They all have the power to impact your life journey.

Just like university life is hard and you have to be thick-skinned and persistent to endure the journey. Gone is the comfort and certainty of education, you are now in charge of your life, time and money. The freedom is great but you have a lot more responsibilities!

My one wish for the future would be to travel the world. I hope to use my knowledge and experience to empower others to make informed choices, which I hope will benefit them and generations of young people to come.

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