A Speech To The At Home Graduate
Updated: Nov 5, 2020
The class of 2020. It has a nice ring to it. It is a year we will all remember. The year we finished university, the year we graduated with our classmates, the year we stepped out into the world and begun what was inevitably the rest of our successful lives. But that’s not quite how the class of 2020 will be remembering it. We will be remembering the undeniably unique and trying circumstances that have laid upon us all. 2020 will be a year to remember, but not in the way we had expected.
The day I got the email, I was overwhelmed with emotion. ‘Graduation 2020 has been cancelled’. No, it’s not the end of the world, but it does mark the end of an era. For final year students all over the world, graduation is a symbol of achievement, a moment we all wait in anticipation for, a day to celebrate all those years of blood, sweat and tears which got us to where we are now. For me personally, graduation has been something I have dreamt about since I was a little girl, and never did I expect that it wouldn’t be happening the way it should be.
The class of 2020 will be the first ever class to finish their university degrees at home. No physical lectures to go to, no face to face interactions, no facilities of which we relied on so much in the past. I never realised how much I took a photography studio, or the library for granted. At the time it’s all very normal, it’s all there for you to use as you please, but without it, your mind questions how you will manage. Now more than ever, I wish I had known the last day I was in university, would be my last day forever.
Amongst all these changes however, there is one thing I will keep with me for the rest of my life, as something that has changed me for the better, and that is pride. I am proud to be in the class of 2020, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Here’s why. The class of 2020 will forever be known as the class who graduated during a global pandemic. The class of 2020 will forever be known as the class who adapted to work with the life changing events happening around them, AND SMASHED IT! We have graduated with hardly any resources, limited time with tutors and no face to face contact with peers. We have had to put all our fears aside and carry on with our degree in a way which no one has done before. Some might see this as a disadvantage, but I say we are going to come out of this better and more equipped for life than ever before.
Completing a fashion degree over the past 4 years has been one I will forever hold in my heart. I have learnt an incredible amount, and I truly believe this situation will be beneficial to us all. If we can complete our university degree during a time when nothing is normal, we can do anything we aspire to do. Going into the fashion industry, we have been programmed to expect the unexpected, and what is more unexpected than the times we are now living through? We have learnt to evolve with the environment around us, changed our perspectives of what our work represents and adapted it to fit with current events. This new digital era has shown anything can be done by simply changing the way we look at situations. Our lack of professional resources has forced us to be more creative than ever before. Curating at home photo shoots, utilising whatever computer software we can get hold of to create beautiful documents, video calling our tutors and screen sharing our work. All of these things and more are what make the class of 2020 special, and what will ultimately make us stand out to employers.
We have motivated ourselves to get up every day and work incredibly hard in an environment which is full of distractions. We have worked, we have procrastinated, we have missed our loved ones terribly, yet we have carried on. I can say that I am proud to be where I am today. I am proud of every 2020 graduate to be, whether that ceremony comes in a few months’ time, or in the whole new year of 2021. We are the class of 2020 and we have finished a university degree in circumstances no one could have foreseen. I see this as a story to tell. It’s not always been easy, but I can say for a fact that we have got through it fighting.
If anyone is ready to enter the world of work after this, it is us. The class of 2020.