My Graduation In Pictures & My Story: University of the Western Cape, 2019

“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her” Luke 1:45

I’m not sure why I never got around to writing this post. Maybe it was because I never really knew how to tell my story, maybe it was because it took longer than others to come to an end. One thing is for sure, I can honestly say that I was blessed beyond measure to be able to have the university experience and it exceeded all my expectations.

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In 2014, I matriculated from high school and I was ready to take on 2015, but there was a huge mountain standing in my way.  Besides the fact that I had been told by teachers at my school that there was no way I would make it to university, I had applied relatively late to and I had been rejected for two of my initial choices. Here’s the thing about mountains: with faith the size of a mustard seed, it can always be moved but it takes persistence and a whole lot of patience. I don’t know how, but at the beginning of 2015, I found out that UWC offered a 4 year Bachelor of Art course, and there was still a few spaces (due to students who had been accepted to other courses or who had changed their mind last minute). I decided to apply and I knew deep in my heart that it was what I wanted to do. I saw the word journalism under the banner and it was almost as if I wanted to be there so badly. UWC (and their terrible admin, if you know, you know) told me that I would be placed on a waiting list and they would contact me if I was successful.

January went by with little to no answers. I became confused, worried and I wasn’t sure what would happen. Then, I became a cashier at a grocery store to help pass the time and that’s where I met a student at UWC who told me that I needed to start calling and breaking doors down if I had to (don’t worry, I didn’t). During the middle of the month, I started calling UWC almost every single day for updates. At one point I was even convinced that they knew me by name and I had rung up an R850 phone bill, yikes. Then February went by and induction had already started. It was about a week into the first semester that I decided to call my university one last time and the lady on the phone uttered words I will never forget:

“I’m really sorry to tell you this, but if you haven’t heard anything by now, then that means your application was unsuccessful and you need to apply somewhere else.”

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I was devastated. I had spent 2 months crying and pleading and I was pretty sure that my knees were raw from all the praying I had been doing. I remember how angry I was that God could do this to me. I just couldn’t accept it. To this day, it never fails to amaze me how God can test my patience day after day. The same afternoon of that phonecall, while washing my hair, my music stopped. I thought my battery had died because I had a terrible phone at the time and when I checked, I saw that someone was trying to call me and it was UWC.

After 2 months of uncertainty, I had finally been accepted to study a 4 year BA course.

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I remember the first person I told (sorry, mom) was my grandma. I called her and I told her the news and the first thing she told me was “Deeanne, that was not a space someone else had not taken. It was a space that God was keeping for you all the time”. That has resonated with me all my life and whenever I am tested with a period of waiting, I just know God always has something good in store for me.

University was the best and worst 4 years of my life. I came out of a toxic long-term relationship, lost my best friend, made some new friends, made memories I’ll never forget and lost some of the people I met along the way too. But if I could do it all over again, I would, no questions asked.

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In the end, my grandma got to see her first grandchild walk the stage at graduation, my mom cried as she watched and my dad got to see it all the way from his office in Iraq. Side note: it feels so damn good to defeat all odds, which means teachers don’t always know best.

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I’m not sure if my blog has a younger audience but if you’re applying to universities, I wish you all the best. Keep asking questions, make memories, learn from your mistakes and never look back.

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