It’s been a while since I’ve said much on here, mainly because I’ve simply just been lacking the inspiration to actually sit down and write anything. But there’s been a lot on my mind (if we’re being honest, there always is). Try to stay with me because as usual, this might be a little bit of a ramble but I promise I have a point.
I’m about to finish my third year of University and it really has me thinking. As much as I hate to sound like this, I REALLY do not like school. And I realize this more and more everyday. Growing up, I don’t recall any of this being “forced” on me. No one ever blatantly said “You must go to university” or “You must work white collar job”. And I know the opposite was the case for most other kids growing up in the traditional Nigerian household. But even without being told that I had to follow a certain path, I always felt like the expectation was always there, unsaid, but still very much present.
Finish high school, get a bachelors then a masters, then a well paying office job working for a bunch of CEO’s controlled by faceless politicians feeding their pockets. Whether we like it or not, that’s the road that most of you reading this are probably on right now. And that’s perfectly fine as long as it’s what you want, not what you feel you HAVE to do.
But when I tell people what I study at school, 85 percent of the time I get an “oh wow, you don’t seem like the type” or “Really? I don’t see you doing that”. And truth be told, the closer I get to that bachelors degree, the more I fail to see myself as that person as well. But the situation now is, the next step is going to graduate school for a masters degree that costs tens of thousands of dollars that I don’t even really want. But then, you ask me what I really want, and I don’t know the answer to that.
What I’m really saying is, the idea of fulfilling an expectation that I accepted for myself, even as much as I don’t want it, is much more comforting than choosing my own path when I don’t even know what it is or where it will lead.
The idea of school and white collar career may be unsettling to me, especially knowing I can do so much more, but I don’t have any answers as to what “so much more” is, and that uncertainty is even more unsettling to me. Doing well academically and proving myself qualified for a well paying office job that will allow me take care of myself and my family doesn’t seem so bad, but will I be satisfied? Will I be happy?
I strongly envy people who have clear-cut dreams and aspirations for themselves, either building careers through academic success or on through their talents and skills. As ambitious and passionate as I am, as creative and forward thinking as I may be, being able to confidently say, I WANT to be a doctor/photographer/lawyer/designer etc is a privilege I haven’t been able to afford myself.
I feel like I can do great things. But “doing great things” is not a job description. How do I achieve these things? What paths do I take? The scary part is that no one can answer these questions for me. Sooner rather than later, I myself will have to decide for myself what direction I’m really trying to take my life.
As a side note, I feel I should make this clear. As much as I don’t fancy school, I will get my bachelors AND my masters. If not for any other reason, simply because so many situations have told me I’m not cut out for it. Proving I can do it, to myself and everyone around me, to me is the first step towards showing I can and will do anything I put my mind to.
To all my fellow students, I wish you all the best this semester and till the end of your journeys. God bless you all.