Over half the things I am taught in school have no relevance to real life. I should build my life outside the school walls now.
To be honest, I actually thought the above by-line was true at a point in my life. I had come to a road block and had begun to ask that age long question titled; “What am I doing here anyways?”
My final year project had come on me with full force, I had tonnes of those ridiculous before-I-leave-school goals I still hadn’t met up with (stuff like “make my first million before I leave school”…..you get the idea) and other more serious matters that needed my urgent attention. Everyone wanted a piece of me, including myself. I was overwhelmed and being that this fell within the period I was taking down some lessons, I wrote that. Out of spite or a false sense of comfort, I don’t know.
But one thing I have also learned is that I can be wrong. And that is okay. I’m just so grateful God has a way of opening my mind to light every single time.
There is a school of thought that is all about bashing school. They say school is useless in really meeting up with real life issues and grades don’t matter much considering Bill Gates didn’t finish college, yadda yadda scadoosh. And in my relative state of anxiety back then, I grabbed at it with both hands. But let me tell you straight up now, that is all nonsense; school is good and important.
After giving four years of my life to an educational system, I know it was not a waste of time. It was worth it because school taught me a LOT. Here are some of them:
1. Independence is a responsibility:
For the first time in your life, you are actually your own ‘boss’. No Mum to tell you what you should do or shouldn’t do, you can eat what you like, go where you like, be what you like. It’s like starting a fresh page and deciding for yourself what you want written in it. But with independence comes responsibility, so I learned to stand on my own, make decisions for myself and have only me to blame for it.
I learned to be independent, being responsible and yet not allowing freedom become a trap. God taught me how to stay ‘tied down’ even when eyes were not there. I understood then that my actions were not to be guided by humans but directed by God.
2. Learning to think critically is a skill:
True, you would not want to use algebra when you need to cross the road, in fact I have probably forgotten half the stuff I learned in school but school taught me how to think critically. I learned to expand my thinking capacity and see beyond the surface. I saw the world in pieces and no longer as a looming whole. These pieces seemed abstract at some times but my best days and best grades came when I could fit the pieces together because I understood them.
3. Pressure is real and multitasking maybe your friend:
Whoever said multitasking was futile? Mehn, I multi-tasked in unbelievable dimensions in school. Someone once told me, “You behave like a computer”. I laughed at this but it is true. At any given time, I can feel like I have several tabs opened up in my brain. This is what happens when you have to think of submitting an assignment that is due, think of reading for a test, chase your HOD around for a signature, answer your friend the same question for the umpteenth time without yelling and still see the souls seated beside you. Granted, multitasking is not always a good thing but I learned how to deal with pressure without losing my cool.
I cannot count how many times I had to skip meals or go to bed hungry and still be expected to be at my best. This has made me quite adaptable to situations around me. Coupled with the leadership roles I held in and outside school activities, I can say that I have the capacity to withstand pressure at least to a good degree.
4. Endurance is a fruit of the Spirit:
Generally, as a person I easily get bored. It would take immense discipline and self-will on my part to finish something I started after the novelty of it wears off. This is terrible, I know, but one of the things God used school to teach me was endurance; perseverance. There were innumerable times when I started something (*side eye final year project) or was given a task and I just HAD to finish them or risk intense failure. It made me resilient and disciplined even when I was tempted to throw in the trowel (or is it ‘towel’they say now?).
5. Living is for now:
I had classmates and friends who were always groaning about school and how they couldn’t wait to finish. But I learned that life is in phases. The particular phase you are would eventually pass and it makes no sense longing for the next phase and refusing to live in the present one. I learned to savour every day and experience; through bad days and great days. I saw it all as part of my journey through life.
6. People are different:
When I was at the University, I met a whole bunch of humans and it makes me appreciate all the more God’s greatness. There were some that God generously sprinkled around to test my patience, others God brought into my life to make me so much better and so many who were there to colour my days with memories I would cherish (even though I’ll forget some of them. Lol). Friends, friends-like-families, classmates, ‘brethren’, neighbours, roommates, bus partners, queue mates (UNILORIN is full of those), adorable strangers etc etc.
I learned to see all those differences and even appreciate them because people are people and not me. The diversity -the kaleidoscope of ideas, personalities, cultures etc – broadened my mind beyond its previous horizon.
7. Learning without a goal is foolish:
When I first came to school, I was naive and painfully directionless. I just wanted to go to the university like everyone else and had no real goals. I was serious but seriously chasing nothing. Thank God for His mercies and how He caught me before I went totally off kilter, even though I reaped some of its rewards later on.
This lesson is something that has informed my actions and attitude to life ever since. What do you want to do with the certificate? Why are you in school? What class of degree do you want to graduate with? What do you want to be remembered for? These and more are questions one should answer before going to school or embarking on any kind of project for that matter. Not defining what you want makes you look silly if you complain about what you get.
8. God is good and I am a person:
Through it all, I saw the faithfulness of God as He took every effort to lovingly write line upon line in this chapter of my life. He showed Himself to me in various ways; Father, teacher, friend, helper, provider, protector, Lord, Light and Love. And I learned things about myself I never would have if I hadn’t taken the shot. I began to see myself as a person as I experienced life in a different dimension.
Through it all, there were successes and failures but none was regretted. And so, as I stand in this liminal space of my life, the beginnings of a new chapter, I place my trust in God, knowing that He who did this can do so much more. And I look forward to the ride 🙂
So, those are some of the stuff this girl paid tuition for for 4 years (*sends link to mum).
How about you? What did/has school taught you? (please don’t say Dalton’s Law or I’ll scream -_-).