Radio and TV presenter Carl Wastie has a message for the matric class of 2017. Picture: Supplied

Radio and TV presenter Carl Wastie has a message for the matric class of 2017, who are currently in the middle of one of the most important exams of their lives.

My name is Carl Wastie, I'm a radio and TV presenter now but before that I was an anxious student whose parents split up during my matric year. 

To cut a long story short, Grade 12 was really tough for me especially knowing that I had no financial backing to study further after the finals. 

I took a gap year and helped out my family working four jobs with minimal social interaction with friends who were seemingly going places where I couldn't.

Why did I keep pushing? Why did I feel like there was light at the end of my tunnel? 

The simple answer is that I looked in the mirror every morning and told myself that I deserve better and that motivated me to work toward a success I BELIEVED that I deserved. 

I cancelled on friends regularly, I worked 12-hour shifts, I hardly slept, but during that gap year something happened that proved that my hard work was not for nothing. 

A kind woman walked into the video shop I was working in and offered me a bursary on the basis that she always saw me at work and never on the street or partying like many people my age at the time. 

I shared my ambition with her, which further strengthened her drive to assist me in getting financial support. 

I received a bursary and I'm now a UCT graduate with a Bachelor of Social Science Degree in Psychology and Organisational Psychology. 

The first thing my friends would tell me after hearing that I got a bursary is, "Yoh, you are lucky!", but I told them that that's impossible because I worked four jobs, I endured the stresses of matric, I said no to a healthy social life and I worked my butt off. 

In short, your success is not luck as it's in YOUR CONTROL to work hard. 

These finals may seem tiresome now, but I implore you to understand that if you want luck to take over; keep on waiting around, but if you want success, the only way to get there is working as hard as you have been during these exams. 

Keep going because you deserve better and will get what you deserve if you BELIEVE this. All the Best.

Also read: To the #Classof2017 from one of CPUT's youngest PhD graduates

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