Ever since I read something on mentorship, I have been thinking, if I had dropped out of school like my friend Emeka did to learn a trade, would I have been better off than I am right now?
Now it seems like I am just struggling to get a good job. No pay seems to compensate me for the stress and time wasted at the Federal University where I wasted 5 years of my life just to come out and get a job after 3 years of actively searching. In my first year out of school, I was quite selective. Dreamt of getting paid in foreign currency but the longer I stayed at home waiting for the appropriate offer, the more I became a disappointment to my parents who have invested so much in me. So it was a high relief when I finally got a job that was willing to pay 60,000naira. I try not to think about the fact that I went through school just to be receiving a reward of just 60,000naira in this kind of hard economy. To put this in perspective, I earn just less than 150 USD as my reward for spending 5 years in a tertiary institution but considering that it was hard to come by, I am quite very grateful.
Sometimes I wonder what happened to my big dreams?
Growing up I had big dreams of being an astronaut, maybe a doctor, or an engineer doing big things and changing lives.
Along the way, the vision changed from wanting to do big things to just wanting to do anything after I stayed at home for 2 years seeking admission.
I stopped living in my fantasies or believing in my big dreams when admission wasn’t easy to come by. Realizing the reality before me, I learned the hard way that when the desirable is not available, then the available becomes desirable. So I was forced to take up any course offered by the University just to keep up with my mates. And maybe because I loved the feel of being an undergraduate and possibly a graduate after 5 long years.
Graduating from university was not an easy feat for me to achieve. Endless midnight reading, assignments, and tiring, uninspiring lectures contributed massively to my struggles to come out with a good grade.
At the end of the day, it seems like I exchanged my comfort and social life for a 150 USD a month salary. What an irony!
My friend Emeka seems to be doing just fine although I know grass always seems greener on the other side but is not usually so.
Notwithstanding, Emaka now has a shop. That alone is progress quite very visible. Right now it seems I made the wrong decision staying in school compared to my mate that dropped out. But who knows? after all, not all businessmen are doing well out there.
Every evening Emeka and his fellow shop owners gather to drink and merry while I go home with more workload.
Yes, most times I tease Emeka by saying it is irresponsible to be drinking out every night with the guys but deep down, I know I am only not hanging out with the guys because I cannot afford to and not because I am so responsible.
I guess we will never know how responsible I can be until I can afford it without worrying about bills or thinking of the workload waiting for me back at home.
Have you ever tried calculating the amount you spent in school? All the countless materials you bought and the fact that your parents probably could have borrowed just to ensure you didn’t drop out of school. Can you say it was all worth it? Have you been able to pay your parents back for not giving up on you at least?
Are you feeling like a failure yet? Or are you depressed? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one. Now consider what your parents must be feeling. After all, they considered you an investment, and let’s be honest, right now you are looking like a bad one.
The reality is, we all have expectations we try to live up to. Expectations set by our parents, by others, or even ourselves in every situation we find ourselves and schooling wasn’t an exception. But the question we should be asking ourselves is ‘was our expectations not met because we failed ourselves or because the system failed us?’
Ideally, the school was meant to be our passport towards being better individuals both for ourselves and for our society but right now we graduate from school just to become nuisances in our society. I know the right thing to do is for us to take responsibility for our inability to better our society but I refuse to take such blames. I put the blame on the education system and its inability to make me better despite all I paid. Besides what’s the importance of school if it fails to teach me despite all my efforts to learn?
I also blame the government for failing to make the environment conducive enough for me to be able to function. I was told education is key but of what use is the key when the locks have all been changed?
What if education is a big scam?
What if they lied to us when they told us education is key? Besides, it is hard to believe that readers are leaders when your country’s president cannot read properly in a country filled with scholars and Ph.D. holders.
And to think of it that one day, the history books will carry writeups about an illiterate that couldn’t read and our kids will be forced to read about it and even tested based on such history books. And to think that some of them will be considered failures based on their inability to comprehend why they even had to read about an illiterate in the first place.
Maybe, just maybe education as a key was just a stereotype used by the masters to force the slaves to read about them and keep their memories alive even far after they must have passed away. Why must I have to read about someone that lived his life on his terms just to learn how to live my life better?
This to me is the biggest scam of all