Letter from the Editor: Conquering Challenges and Change

Whether transferring to university or moving into the workforce, in a short few weeks most of us will change where we live, who we spend time with and what we do for the majority of each day. These changes are even more stark during a pandemic when so much about education and workplaces is uncertain. Change can be refreshing and invigorating, or it can be unsettling and disruptive.

Whether you are excited or daunted by graduation and the next step in life, it is vitally important to maintain the same level of commitment that you have demonstrated here at UCC in whatever comes next. Graduation is a milestone; a monument to the effort and focus required for success, but it’s also a stepping stone. These same qualities that helped you achieve your goal of a UCC degree will also help you succeed in the world beyond our beautiful campus.

To that end, I want to encourage you with several core principles to carry you through difficult times and lead to success wherever you go.

First, remember that your education is never really complete. Learning is a lifelong process. Apply the curiosity, rigor and innovative thinking you have refined while studying here to the problems and obstacles you will encounter in the future. The challenges our communities face are dynamic, and finding real solutions will require a fresh perspective and new ideas.

Second, maintain a focus on service towards others. Many of us at UCC are pursuing education so that we can provide a better future not only for our families but also for our communities. Keep your focus on creating a better path for those around you, and your work will be of lasting value. No great accomplishments were ever motivated by a selfish desire for gain.

Third, never stop pursuing new challenges. True growth comes through making mistakes and overcoming obstacles, not from choosing the easier path. Pursuing a degree is not the easy path, but you did it and were successful, and you grew in more ways than you know. So, embrace your future challenges with all the vigor and creativity that you demonstrated here at UCC. Rest when you need to, but then quickly re-engage with your goals and your community’s needs.

Graduation leaves students staring the future straight in the face. The good news is that we are capable and ready for new heights of achievement and growth.

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