A friend posed me a question his mother had asked him, and it’s “what would
you be doing now if you weren’t in school?” . Immediately he asked, I
pondered on an answer to counter the question, and surprisingly, none came
readily to mind. This did not happen because I haven’t fished out my
lurking God giving talents, no, nor was it because I have no ancillary
interests in things other than law, no again. This, I perceived was so
because of the narrowing of my mind, begat from our monotone educational
system. Right from our inception into a formal learning environment, the
Nigerian educational system has inculcated that without the accredited form
of learning, we, individuals aspiring to live comfortable lives as those
seen in movies or TV, cannot and will never be as successful as we aptly
should be.  This misconception creates in the impressionable mind of
youngsters that without school, we are doomed. Although as we grow older,
we see different things which influence our decisions in pursuing our
careers, but nevertheless, the foundation has been laid down. That is one
of the reasons, in my humble opinion, why people fervently preach that you
should chase your dreams, and give examples of people who do and soonest
became successful. Even with the growing number of these sermons, most of
the Nigerian youth and their parents/guardians still wade through this
narrow conception of life by making entirely sure that a degree is attained
in the family. While I sat wondering on this issue, it dawned on me the
mentality of the Nigerian individuals. I saw the intricate woven strings
connecting the thoughts and actions of the youth in our society and the
standards and expectations of society. It’s really all connected, what
we’re taught, our actions and inactions. I realized the reason why
most creative people drop out of school. The first instance to come to
reason would be that this genre of persons cannot accommodate the burden of
the educational system and the stress of their dreams. True, but also,
beyond this is a hidden reason. The reason here implies to the cold war
betwixt those who are dogged in the pursuit of a career against those who
aim in chasing or developing their talents. What cold war you may ask? I
bid you to indulge your creativity for a moment. Imagine in a class of
medical students, most really “aware why they are in school” (a statement
that contributes to my point) and there’s there is a student who goes to
class with a guitar, and doesn’t dress in the stipulated corporate
dress-code, who sings beautifully and aspires to be a musician. If you’ve
imagined this, imagine how such a talented individual would be comfortable
amongst his dogmatic peers. You’ll unanimously concur that such an
individual would be tagged as irresponsible. I, myself, fall guilty of
this. If such an individual feels that the course he’s studying is not
meant for him due to the actions and attitude of others directed at him,
eventually, he’d drop out of school or not really care much about his
studies and may fail out, under the pretense that it wasn’t his calling.
This is an aftermath of the over-emphasis we place in our educational
system. Parents go with the assertion that their children would be lawyers,
doctors, engineers, accountants, etc, and thus fail to consider that
children have individual talents that need to be harnessed properly and
accordingly. I’m not against education, so do not get me wrong. I
personally believe individuals need to be educated, and through education
most of societal inadequacies and aberrant actions can be quelled. But,
however, I do not limit my concept of education to the degree gotten in
professional courses. Rather, I’m interested in the whole sensitizing of
the populace on what should be, and what shouldn’t.  Education, in my
perspective, should be the teaching and advancement of the interests of
individuals on how to burgeon the society. So if, for instance, I’m
interested in singing, while I get education on majorly everything that
would be to the betterment of society, individually I should be learning on
how to ennoble my talents, for it to open the proverbial flood gates of
comfort and luxury. If this can be inculcated into our educational system,
I greatly believe it would enhance the society and the phrase “education is
fun” may come into fruition. We need to do away with the notion that
whatever is not ‘professional’ is not profitable to individuals who keenly
pursue such desired ventures. And besides, I think the number of
‘professional’ graduates that gush out of universities is becoming way too
much, another reason why there’s constant unemployment in our society. I do
not want to join the band wagon of people who render the gospel of
“following your dreams”, so I’m going to revere back to my starting point.
If I wasn’t in school, reading law, what would I be doing? What would I do
to get the appropriate comfort and luxury I deem fit for me. Personally,
there’s no outstanding option for me to indulge in, not because such
options cannot grant me the affluence I desire, no, but because I’ve been
goaded to believe that such ventures are meant for people who aren’t going
to be great in life. This is very fallacious, but like they say, crayfish
back nor fit straight again. So now, I shall ask the blessed readers of
this article the same question posed to me, “what would you be doing now if
you weren’t in school?”

Tami Koroye (@tami_koroye)



  1. Wow! Made me think too.
    I better start now to at least start developing God given talents. Even if it's to make people smile.
    This has made people run away from non professional's hard to see someone who wants to be a painter for instance


  2. Very motivative …..that's one problem we face as individuals we believe that good success comes only formal education meanwhile forgetting d fact dat all fingers are not equal ….your specific location in life determines your allocation…. nice one dear


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