Opening up a letter that can potentially determine where you go in life, is a very overwhelming and nerve-racking moment. Thousands of graduates have recently experienced this and for some, the excitement knowing new prospects and possibilities are coming, is a great feeling, whilst others may feel a sense of doubt and disappointment. Nevertheless the qualification you obtain is important, but recognising a new chapter in your life is about to begin, is even more important.

What the papers say

Recently The Independent published an article, in which Conservative Party politician Jo Johnson had described 2:1 qualifications as becoming too common and noted that “since the 1990s, there has been a 300 per cent increase in the number of firsts”. Comments like this are a swift reminder that, although earning a qualification is a great personal achievement, there is a mass amount of graduates eager and keen to begin work and competition is fierce.

An uncertain future

For a lot of people there will be a sense of uncertainty about the future, regardless of the grade achieved, graduates with a low qualification may feel disappointed or disillusioned, and those who received a high qualification may experience, an overwhelming pressure to find a job and bring in money. These feelings are natural and shared amongst most graduates.


The Gen Y point of view

One of the most useful pieces of advice for graduates comes from Eunice Hii. In her Ted Talks speech she mentions that, we live in a time where society is constantly promoting the idea of following your passion, without really encouraging us to lay the proper foundation for success. As Eunice says there is “a question of choice, do I go down this road where I choose what I love, this passion of mine where there is uncertainty or do I go down this other road, get a job find some financial security and maybe worry about what I love later on”.

(Watch from 7.33)

A lot of graduates will see this time as the perfect opportunity to pursue this passion, sometimes risking everything. Enunice’s speech is so effective because it highlights the importance of not just following your passion but recognising how your passion is part of the bigger picture, understanding a number of things including:

1.    Following your passion doesn’t mean it won’t be hard work
2.    Always follow your passion but don’t assume your passion will necessarily be your job
3.    Passion can be found where you least expect it
4.    Following your passion is a privilege
5.    Passion and ambition are not the same. Ambition benefits the self, passion benefits the community.

Never loose sight of your passion

As I said earlier, whatever grades you achieved and whatever your apprehensions of the world beyond uni’. It’s important to remember this is a new chapter. The chances are it will be tough and it will wear you down, but it’s important to think back to why you started the journey in the first place. In Episode 9 of The Codpast, Lennie Varvarides, artist and entrepreneur, talks about this very subject. I’ll leave you with her wise words.

“Probably the best advice I was given throughout my whole education is, ‘keep doing what you came here to do. As soon as you graduate continue to be a practitioner.”

Your passion may not pay the bills, but chances are, it will give your life a richness that money can’t buy.

Words by James Childs

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