University graduation photos show happy students, parents and families. Social media are flooded with jubilant photos.
Hugs and tears. Also, a heartfelt tribute to a single mother struggling to raise school fees for her kid. Or a sister who had to drop out of school so her school fees could go towards her brother’s tuition. These tributes are just a snapshot of the many struggles students go through.
Real Stories Behind University Graduation Photos
Behind the glamour and camera flashlights are four, five or even six years of toil that do not make it online. Below is a photo of a student sleeping along the Political Science Corridor at UPNG after studying.
There are many, me included, who are critical of the masses of graduates coming out every year and high unemployment.
Whilst I still hold the same position, here I offer an alternative on why the lack of jobs shouldn’t mean producing fewer graduates.
About this article: (The real story behind university graduation photos)
We want to thank Michael for this article. He is a lecturer, blogger and influencer who contributed massively to our PNG Insight initiative – the PNG Writers’ Corner.
You can read more of his work here.
There is more to university education
Education is more than just:
- getting a job,
- paying high taxes,
- contributing to Nasfund and
- retiring at 65 years old with a rocking chair and a clock to count down your days to the grave.
University education is special. It teaches you life skills that you would not have learnt in the comforts of your family, clan, tribe, or community.
You’re forced to meet deadlines. You are forced to work hard. You have to show up. Hungry, mood swings, mad, lack of sleep, but still show up.
Let’s be honest you wouldn’t do that at home. You’d sleep the whole day, and take two extra days.
What does a university education teach you?
At university you are forced to work with people from different backgrounds, sometimes conflicting perspectives.
You’re become immersed in cultures different from yours. You develop empathy for others in the process, and tolerance for different people and ways of life.
You’re involuntarily exposed to a world that is different from yours.
And therein lies the true benefit of Uni life. What you become over the four, five, six years is more important than getting a job.
How to use your university education and experiences?
You can go out and create a business by sleeping under the table. Deprived of sleep you still show up when your client needs you. You feel comfortable speaking to diverse groups of people.
Opportunities are not limited to your church networks. You may have to talk to that next door sinner, or the guy from Highlands, or the dude who talks funny and walks with a limp living down the street.
You may need that Central guy, sportless and uninterested in life back at Uni, to introduce you to the next opportunity.
Or that sister who hated all movies that involved blood in general, and Game of Thrones in particular.
University builds your character
Remember, the best part of University is what you became in the process.
Character. Perseverance. Consistency. Tolerance.
And showing the hell up even your hormones said “sleep.”
As the US Navy Seals say:
“The only easy day was yesterday…”
And the Brits SAS say:
“He who dares wins.”
Okay, I got these phrases from watching special oops movies whilst at UPNG.
The world owes you, nothing kid.
Go out there, and apply what you learned.
And take what’s yours. No apologies.
This article first appears on Academic Normad. Photos credited as sourced.
You can read more of Michael’s work on PNG Insight.