Quiet long I know, but it’s worth the time. Just take out 10 minutes of your time to read my journey after school and lessons learnt along the way. Please feel free to leave comments.
Hmm!! The long awaited life after school is that which I’m experiencing now. The life I intend sharing with you is the “life” itself, and not the life I had imagined while I was in college; whatever that means (loll!). You know, in college, we get to dream and talk about the kind of life we hope to live right after school; from getting a good job in a reputable company to owning our own company to pursuing a masters degree in one of the ivy league schools, and possibly get married to the “love of our life”. Quite interesting isn’t it? But our dreams don’t just surface overnight. There’s a journey we all must embark on in bringing our dreams to fruition.
It may interest you to know that I graduated from the American University of Nigeria Yola. I say this with great humility; my alma mater is where you find dreamers, achievers, positive minds, wishers, the good, the bad and the ugly. You get to interact with people from various backgrounds and culture who somehow intimidate you, yet inspire you to THINK BIG and become a better person. That’s where you get to meet people whose parents are movers and shakers of my beloved country, Nigeria. You almost don’t do anything except to write term papers, engage in team work, play, read and pass your exams. To be honest that’s all we do; Life made easy.
We don’t get to cook since we have a cafeteria; we don’t get to do the laundry ourselves since we have dry cleaners, the cleaners get to handle the cleaning of our rooms, and we don’t get to stand in long queue for weeks like most Universities just to register for courses. Everything is done online. We have the opportunity to see our Professors, and even the President of the institution any time during their office hours. With such an environment and the comfort you are exposed to, you can’t help but think the “real world” as they call it will give you what you want. Well that’s not the case in the real world.
While in college, I had dreamt of settling down in Abuja, right after I graduate to pursue my dreams and aspirations. Well, the deal day came, May 19th, when my parents and siblings travelled down to Yola, to celebrate with me on my graduation, having successfully completed four tough yet amazing years in AUN, and was ready to leave the friends I had known all these years, the environment I had become so comfortable with into an unknown world full of unknown people. Seated on that chair along side with my fellow ‘yet-to-be” graduates’ as we awaited the calling of our names to receive our diploma, my heart kept beating as I thought of how I was going to start another chapter of my life. “Could it be that I wouldn’t get a good job like most Nigeria youths? How do I get to achieve my dreams? How and where do I start from?” these were the terrifying questions that came to my mind on that day. Trust me!! It is really scary when leaving your comfort zone.
Well, to cut the long story short, after graduation, I decided to stay back in school for one week to do some thinking of what step to take next. Shockingly, I ended up not doing any thinking as I had not gotten over the “college” mentality yet. Surprisingly, one hot afternoon, my phone rang, guess what? It was a job interview. I had the interview over the phone and after some days, I received a mail stating that I have been offered a job and was to resume work the Monday after that week. Aside the fact that I wasn’t so interested in working for someone, I didn’t like the nature of the job so I declined it. I see someone reading this shaking his or her head saying “who does that, like seriously huntly?” haha! Well, stuff happens *tongues out.*
After some days, I thought to myself “I could stay back and work for my alma mater like most alumni while I use that as an opportunity to give back and even earn what most companies don’t pay fresh graduates.” Fantastic idea, but I felt I needed to live where I had always known and move to the unknown. I decided to leave school the next day for Abuja to start the “hustle.” On getting to Abuja, I realized that I may have to make some adjustment to my plans while still having the big picture in mind.
Three weeks I was in Abuja trying to lay down strategy for my future. Somehow, I got to discover I would be going to Ogun state to work. “Ogun state of all places, Why me?” I thought to myself. I never saw that coming. Well, after much thinking, I decided I was going to give it a try. I travelled to Warri first, to inform my parents I would be leaving their house to pursue my future. I thanked them both for all their support so far in seeing me through school. My mum however was skeptical about me packing out of the house right after school, but I made her understand that remaining in the comfort of their house wouldn’t make me the man I was designed to be.
As I write this piece, I’m currently in Ogun state working with PPMC and HISSCO Ltd as a Project Administrator on Pipeline Projects and living the life of a bachelor *tongues out*. Having studied Business Management, I found myself working in an oil industry not as an accountant or business development personnel, but as someone who’s always on site supervising Pipeline Projects. I supervise/lead a team of 7 pipeline engineers and report to the head offices in Warri and Abuja every Thursday. I usually don’t dress on corporate outfit to work but that hasn’t stopped me from having a “corporate mind.”
So, you see, life sometimes will bring you things you didn’t plan for. But you must learn to be flexible and adapt to circumstances while you never lose sight of where you are headed. Someday, I know I will get to settle in Abuja, but for now, I’m on a journey. I’m undergoing training that will make me reign tomorrow. God sometimes teaches us character in the most uncomfortable of places. He sometimes isolates us from the people we know so that we can learn to depend and trust on him alone.
One thing I have learnt so far is; Life always has a place for everyone. You need not be afraid of what your future holds. All you need do is know who holds your future and everything will somehow fall in place. You must start from somewhere in life no matter how small and walk your way to the top. The things we want in life may not come packaged the way we want them, but we must be careful not to mistake appearance for reality. Learn all you can now, stretch yourself daily, read good books, develop your mind, meet great people, love, give, inspire others and DREAM BIG.
Guess what? I learnt to love where I found myself and I am doing perfectly ok.
“Psalm 16 vs. 6: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a goodly heritage”