SURVIVING AGAINST THE TIDE
Have you ever stopped to ponder why all the hard years spent in the University usually seems to be a waste of time and resources in the end? The other day, I was going through my phone when I stumbled upon a post made by a friend of mine named Alexander who happens to be a tailor. He wrote, ‘I went from “I want to be a Lawyer to buy your fabrics and sew with Lexhansfineries”’. Yes, he spent 5 years in the University studying Law; this is excluding the 1-year compulsory Law School. Another friend of mine, Michael, a graduate of Banking and Finance who is currently looking for a job applies for every single job role he discovers irrespective of the academic field required. When asked why, he said, ‘It doesn’t really matter, I’ll definitely learn on the job’
Undeniably, this is exactly where we find ourselves in Nigeria today. After four to five solid years in the university and one year of ‘service to our fatherland’ termed National Youth Service, the professional compass is reset with one question weighing in our minds – what next? In the end many will regret the years spent in school, not because they never attended lectures or they didn’t do well in their exams, but simply because their thoughts were confined around classroom knowledge. Our educational system today indirectly discourages knowledge outside the school curriculum, a system where your gifts and talent remain dormant for the period spent in school. A system where your intelligence is rated by the number of As you make, and yet the real world says otherwise.
My candid advice to all, including those gifted with As and those blessed with Fs, is to be deliberate and start thinking outside the box of a classroom. Be practical about life, be creative, be innovative, read articles and books, form a dance/music crew, engage in politics, start a forum. You may not have been the best student, but you can change all that. Even when you land yourself a job, continue to work on yourself. The company you work for is not your inheritance and you might one day go to work only to find that your appointment has been terminated. This, unfortunately, was experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dare life, question systems, observe your answer, work on it. You do not have to nod to everything. Argue, try new things. That way you either gain a new knowledge or part with a lesson. It’s alright to try and fail, as long as you learn from your mistakes and make it better. The potential to be great is not restricted to a few. Just like everyone, it’s in you!