Nobel peace prize winner and now an Oxford graduate, Malala Yousafzai recently opened up to Variety as she reflected on her last months at the prestigious college, which she spent at home studying virtually. In the write-up, Malala also spoke of the grim reality that faces 2020 graduates all over the world and their determination to overcome the threats this year has posed on them.
“In March, I packed up a few things from my room at Oxford University—books, shoes, clothes—enough for the three-week Easter break. Months later, I am still at home with my parents,” says Malala at the beginning.
“I took classes by Zoom and final exams in my bedroom. In June, I graduated in the backyard. I returned to Oxford for only two hours, to collect my remaining belongings and move out for the last time.
Like other 2020 graduates, this was not the ending I imagined. At the start of the academic year, I told myself I would walk every street in Oxford, take pictures of every beautiful garden, drink tea in every café, and eat in every dining hall on campus, especially the Harry Potter one at Christ Church. This was my last chance to see, hear, touch, and taste it all—and I missed it,” she continued.
“According to researchers at UCLA, the class of 2020 may not recover from professional and financial setbacks for 10 years,” said the education activist who then went on to add that 2020 isn’t the only tough reality her generation faces but the failure of those in power over the years has made it eminent that the young people will have a broken world given to them for fixing.
“We watched while those in power failed to protect refugees and religious minorities, stop attacks on schools, ensure justice for Black and brown people, or even acknowledge that climate change exists. We have grown up knowing that the world we inherit will be broken,” said Malala who also shared her belief in her classmates whom she didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and see for the last time.
“I’ll see them protecting our planet. I’ll see them fighting racism and injustice. And they’ll see me, every day for the rest of my life, working for education, equality, and women’s rights,” the educationist said.
“You don’t have to wait to be an adult to be a leader. Young people are leading, but our world has too many problems for one generation to solve,” Malala added.