Graduation is that pinnacle moment of a person’s life that identifies an accomplishment. Walking across that stage, that feeling of completing something that you started is unparalleled.

For that moment, the struggle to get there seems inconsequential. The elation you feel after crossing that hurdle negates all those times of self-doubt and stress-snacking – you did it! You got to the end! And you’re still standing! Yes, a few kilos heavier and slightly shaken up but that piece of paper proves that it was worth it.

Graduation is a celebration of your efforts and a treasured memory for years to come. But the real world is one that never stops and after graduation – that’s what you have to face.

No-one prepares you for this real world. You can read about it, you can talk to friends about it and you will think that you are ready to take this world by storm. The idealist in us will dream of a smooth transition from graduation to the world of careers. You’ve worked hard in university, you’ve given it your all, and that should be enough. Right?

For some, yes. For others, we receive a rude awakening. The real world isn’t what you thought it would be. Those summers of internships and work experience are only just a fragment of what the real world is like – it doesn’t show you the struggle you have to endure to just get that foot in the door. For every job application you fill out, the rejections come flooding in.

It is at this point where your resolve is tested. Things in life don’t come easy. Jobs in this economic climate definitely don’t. But what you do with this situation is what matters. The blow of a rejection is harsh, especially if you truly believe it is your dream job. It is easy to just roll over and accept your fate – but why should you? You’ve worked hard in university, you’ve given it your all – all you’ve got to find is that extra edge.

This journey to find that X-factor is by no means an easy one. It requires a lot of trial and error and you may even face those wretched rejections once again; but this journey is one that will make you stronger. Not accepting failure and rejection is an experience in itself and going through with that struggle teaches a few things about yourself. You will surprise yourself and discover hidden passions.

So think of this interim period of your life as a learning lesson – and view this testing time as the struggle towards the graduation of life. Once you’ve found your true passion, the one that you deserve and the one that your skills are valued for, that struggle will become inconsequential.

For in that moment, you have made it, you have achieved it, and you’re standing taller than ever.