Tuesday, 6 May 2014

The Non Academic Student

Five years after secondary school, she was yet to be admitted into any Nigerian University. Not because she wasn't brainy enough to pass all five JAMBs she had written so far, but because the admission system was not in her favour.
Frustrated as expected she reluctantly wrote the 6th JAMB with students that were five years her junior in secondary School. Alas! She got lucky this time and was admitted into a Nigerian Federal University to read a course which was more of her father's choice than hers.

Attending lectures in hot crowded halls where students struggle to catch a glimpse of the lecturer was the routine. Noise and buzzing sounds from the students and environment normally drown the invisible lecturer's voice and at the end of the day she goes back home with head ache and no significant knowledge added. 
She was almost loosing it, It was boring as well as annoying, she felt school at that time wasn't for her as all the excitement and zeal to study were already gone during the past five years of trying to get into the University. She wanted to quit school but then she needed to be a University graduate by Nigerian Standard.
There was one thing that kept her happy- Music! She got more engrossed in it from her first year: always away from school touring different states. She would rush down to school whenever there was test/exam and would zoom off again to pursue her passion.
People thought Music was distracting her from school, but  actually school was the distraction.
She was seen as not serious: a Non-Academic Student.
She eventually became a science  graduate who prefers Media, Entertainment and Arts to running laboratory tests and rearing albino rats. Does it mean the whole stress of looking for admission, and going through the rigors of a typical Nigerian University to get a Bachelor's degree was futile?.

This is my story: my name is AJ.
It amazes me how most people especially parents and teachers put top priority on formal education. They emphasize that everyone must be schooled and at the long run, after youths acquire the so called treasured degree certificate, they realize it was just a piece of paperwork.
In as much as we all need to be educated "Formally", we also need other forms of education as Plan B, because that is what puts food on the table 95% of the times.
Count yourself lucky if you studied a course that aligns with your passion, but if like some of us you studied a course that is not necessarily related to what you love to do, then your university days was as good as a social gathering.
Imagine that the four years I spent studying Genetics/Biotechnology was spent other wise.
* 1 Year in Music School
* 1 year in School of Languages (learning 3 international languages)
* 6 months in tailoring/fashion home.
* 6 months in make-up/cosmetic school.
* 6 months in catering school
* 3 months in Computer/IT training
* 1 month in a Script writing center
* 1 month in Bible school
* 1 month in Business school.

Trust me! I would be a genius that would employ Graduates, Masters degree and PhD holders.
But it's never too late: If you haven't gone through the University yet,  please pause. Is your passion in line with your choice course of study?  If you are a graduate, does your job express your personality? or are you just working for the pay? Think of all your unique gifts, think of how you can enhance them into marketable skills.
The truth is we all mustn't be University graduates without good jobs, we should be learned people with diverse skills that would put not just food on our table but wealth deeply rooted in our lineage.
Like I said in my previous post "The Non-Working Staff", we need to be  flexible, sensitive, and open to every opportunity!

©Ajumoke Nwaeze 2014.
Ajumoke is a Writer, Singer, Geneticist, On Air Personality and Public Speaker. She writes about Pressing issues, Facts of life, real and fictional stories, health, fashion and entertainment.
Contact Ajumoke Via email:  ajumoke8@gmail.com or follow on twitter @aj_ajumoke.
Stay Positive.

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