I’m not coming back here.

Those were the first words I said to my mother as we left the university grounds on Friday, 14 January 2012.

It just seemed like too big a challenge. It’s too big; I’ll never find my room by myself. We were walking out of Roosmaryn, my new residence, for the first time.

I really thought that I wouldn’t make it at the University of the Free State (UFS).

You see I had an extra challenge which other ordinary students don’t, blindness.

The fact that I would be just a number, attend classes bigger than my high school and be expected to find my way across this huge campus just seemed like too much to cope with.

I surprised myself, however.

I guess it was not something concrete, rather the fact that I realised that I wouldn’t be able to face all my challenges with a bad attitude.

During my four years at the UFS, I’ve realised that challenges are a part of life. It is not the challenges you face that determine your life, but your attitude towards those challenges.

How you face challenges will determine their outcome in the end because facing something with the right attitude, an attitude of I can – rather than I can’t, will determine whether you succeed in turning your challenge in to a learning experience or not.

Any mistake you make, or challenge you face, you should try turning into something positive, rather than thinking of it as negative.

Believe in yourself, know that you can do anything that you set your mind to and remember: this is the time of your life. You can make your dreams come true!

Know that I believe in you and if I can make it at university, you can too…