Matric graduate looking pensive

Photo by princess on Unsplash

To the Matric Class of 2020, a Message from Ariellah Rosenberg, CEO ORT SA

The matric results in South Africa are about to be published today. This post is for those youth waiting for the “final verdict”.

Your marks don’t define who you are and what you are capable of achieving! 

12 years of schooling and all the experience, memories, knowledge and skills you gained come to one thing:

A number. 

A figure that summarises in a digit or two the years you attended classes, memorised formulas, forgot your vocabulary, read prescribed books, summarised notes, sweated, shed some tears, cheated…

And it all comes to an end when you anticipate, heart pounding, the final results. 

These are stressful times, now more than ever. You hear about the soaring unemployment rate due to Covid 19 and fear being a statistic.  You may have registered to university with a specific objective in mind or just for the sake of getting a degree, or you may still be struggling with the decision of “what’s next”.

So let’s examine, possible worst-case scenarios, in that your marks don’t qualify you to enrol with your university or study of choice or that you are still in doubt of where to go from here. If you are in either of these positions, it is not the end of the world, although it may feel like it. 

Remember, that your grades do not define who you are and what you are capable of doing.

Give it time, maturity and hard work. Be proactive, seeking ways you can achieve your goals or finding your purpose in life. It may not be in the time period you’ve planned it to be, but the time spent in learning and gaining work experience is not lost. On the contrary… 

Carry on learning and gaining skills. You’d be surprised at how many online courses are offered for free. (See the list at the end of this article).

Progress in technology is changing the work environment significantly. Upgrade yourself, gain skills that will stand you apart from the rest. Explore the current skills that the job market is looking for.  

Work experience can get you far, almost as much as a certificate or diploma can. If you can’t find a job, volunteer. Build up your CV with experiences and newly gained skills, but most importantly, extend your network. Go beyond the Fs; Friends, Family, and reach out to acquaintances and connections that can be of help in advising, mentoring or directing you in the right direction. 

What defines who you are and what you are capable of is you.

With the right mindset and openness to learning, the sky is the limit.

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