The University of the Free State (UFS) has recently held its biggest ever virtual graduation ceremony over four days when certificates, diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, Honours degrees and Postgraduate diplomas were conferred upon graduates.
Bloemfontein Courant interviewed some graduates on how they feel and what their plans for the future are. Here is what they had to say:
22-year-old Annemie Willers obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Science, majoring in Genetics and Microbiology. She is grateful and relieved to have her degree. When asked for a message of encouragement to other students, she said, “Nothing is infinite. Not your situation, your emotions, your environment. Things will change, and they will get better. Don’t give up. If I have learned anything these past four years, especially the past year, it is that you are stronger than you think. You can do anything! No pandemic, financial, personal or academic struggle can keep you down.” Willers has plans to continue her studies to become a qualified Genetic Counsellor and Genetic Engineer.
Monica Smith obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science and according to her, obtaining a qualification has to be one of the best feelings ever. “I’m planning on continuing with my studies in order to be a qualified Clinical Psychologist.” Smith’s advice to students are to never doubt yourself. “Take chances. And if you fail, get up and try again, because you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Gloria Sibongile Sikhungwini obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. “I feel so overwhelmed and proud of myself because it’s not an easy road. There are so many challenges along the way, so having persisted through everything really brings a great feeling.” Sikhungwini has plans to continue with her Honours degree in Psycholgy next year as her dream is to become an Educational Psychologist.
Brandon Alexander Colby obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Sociology. He is ecstatic to have reached his milestone in life. “It is also an honour to be a graduate of the University of the Free State. There were times where it was not easy to reach this point, but through motivation, persistence, determination and my support system, I am here. Having graduated just means that there is more to achieve in life.” He plans to do his honours in Psychology, and ultimately become a registered Psychometrist.
The 23-year-old Morné van Wyk obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Industrial Psychology. He said it feels amazing. “It feels like all my hard work has finally paid off. I’m currently doing my Honours in Applied Psychology so that I can enroll for the MPsych Clinical Psychology course next year. My goal is to become a licensed Clinical Psychologist.”
21-year-old Jacinta De Andrade obtained Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, majoring in Psychology and Criminology. “I can say with the utmost joy that I feel proud of my accomplishments and overwhelmed that time flew past me. The past three years consisted of late nights, endless stress and of course, hard work – which has certainly paid off in full, which should contribute as a message of hope for those who are studying.” De Andrade is currently doing her Honours in Psychology, “in high desire and expectation to obtain my Masters in the near future”.