During my secondary school days, I was one of the best students. Not only that. I was also the senior prefect.
But there was a problem in my last year in school.
I needed to register for an important external examination. I need to pick a course to study. That was my biggest challenge ever.
I was very confused.
The first problem was that; I have limited knowledge of all the courses available for a science student. So, I had to choose one from the little I know.
The second problem was that I love so many subjects like Mathematics, Physics, technical drawing, and chemistry which makes it more difficult for me to choose a course.
In a nutshell, I lacked career clarity.
Choosing a course to register for was a big problem. At first, I wanted to be a mathematics lecturer because I so much love mathematics but I wasn’t fully satisfied – I know something was missing. I wanted something that will have all these subjects I love in it.
I was battling this decision-making issue until one day, my chemistry teacher called me.
He sat me down and asked me what I intend to study. I wasn’t courageous to tell him what I had in mind to study, so I told him there was nothing in my mind yet. I told him that I was confused.
Then he suggested ‘Civil engineering’ for me with a little explanation of what this is about.
I didn’t even bother to see what that is about. I just took it blindly and worked with it till I gained admission into the university.
I didn’t study the course I planned to study
But how did I end up studying in building instead of civil engineering?
The first year I tried to process my university admission, I failed to meet up the score requirements in two schools. I tried to use external influence but it didn’t work out.
This also happened in my second year until the last minute. I was given another course which was building.
Before this last-minute admission I was given, I already prayed to God to please give me the best course He wants me to study. So when I was told that my course of study has been changed from ‘civil engineering to ‘building’ I believed God chooses that course for me.
If there is anywhere career clarity is the most important, it is right there in secondary school – those about to graduate. Unfortunately, schools, parents, and even society haven’t done anything about it for decades.
Why are we allowing students to make career mistakes at that early stage?
We should do something about it before it is too late
This is one of the reasons why people hate their course of study and end up hating their jobs.
Think about it,
I am supposed to choose a course that will serve me, my family, all through my life but I have very little information about the options to choose from and there is nothing the older ones have done about it.
Shouldn’t this be the most important?
Why can’t we have a subject dedicated to teaching me this?
Why can’t we have a simplified book to teach me this aside from the Jamb brochure?
While we find answers to these questions, let’s talk about
Those that hate their course of study – Major reasons
My sister never liked mathematics throughout her secondary school life. She didn’t just hate that subject; she didn’t know it.
For instance, she is five classes ahead of me in school but there are times she brings her assignment to me to help her with. How on earth will a sister in SS2 give his brother in JSS1 to help her with her mathematics assignment?
I can’t remember if I solved the questions those days. But guess what?
She had to study Mathematics and Statistics in the university after 5years of trying to gain admission into the university.
She had no choice but to take the course because she has been trying to gain admission but couldn’t meet up.
Today, she is a graduate.
I remember the days she brought some basic statistics questions home for me to teach her when she started. I taught her but I can see how difficult it is for her to understand.
The big question is…
How did she cope throughout her year in school?
How difficult is it to study a course you hate the most?
We will answer the questions in a bit but then,
Is she the only one that doesn’t get to study what she wants in the university?
People accept courses because they just want to be admitted into the university as soon as possible.
For me, the course I was given is still very close. I wanted to study ‘civil engineering’ but the school gave me ‘Building’
I had a coursemate that was given admission to study ‘building’ by the university when she wished to study ‘science lab tech’. Are they even related at all?
What should you do if you hate your course of study?
- Ask yourself why you hate the course: you need to really be sure why you hate the course because if you don’t, how sure are you that when you switch to another course, you won’t hate it too?
Hating a course might not be because it is not meant for you but maybe it seems difficult for you to understand or maybe you are not paying attention.
If you don’t make effort to read to understand, you will find some courses/subjects difficult. For instance, if you don’t understand the rudiment of BODMAS, SOHCAHTOA, unit conversions, etc, Mathematics will always be difficult for you.
What you should do is to get these things right first.
So, you can give that course one more trial. Try to understand the rudiment of the course and build it up.
- Get practical knowledge of the course alongside studying: If you find yourself hating your course of study, you can decide to use your holidays and/or weekends to intern for companies related to the course. This is one of the ways you can speed up your career development and become a boss very fast.
When you see how it works in real life, you may develop a better likeness for the course. Besides, it will be easier to relate what you are learning on the field with what you are being taught in the class.
Trust me, this is the best way to learn. You won’t cram your books blindly. It will be easier to remember and express yourself while writing your examinations. I am talking from experience. I don’t read hard for examination and my pen is always dancing in the examination hall.
The movie “the three idiots” is the best way to explain this. Please, go see the movie again.
- Find your passion alongside studying the course: I have friends in school that does this. They have passion for something else (let’s say music or fashion), so instead of waiting till they are done schooling, they decided to do it alongside studying. This is only possible for those who already had career clarity.
Get our free ebook on career clarity right now and begin your journey. Please don’t choose to continue wandering about. Get it here
This has its advantages and disadvantages
Let me start with the bad side of this
Such a student will have divided attention and if this person is not a time management person, his/her studies will lag. Most of the time, this is what happen to this set of people but there are some who gets successful at it.
For instance, one of the biggest music producers in Nigeria started while studying in the university of Lagos. Although he had an extra year, today, he is a graduate and still one of the biggest producers.
The good side of finding your passion alongside studying the course is that you don’t lose on both sides. It will be a disaster if after you become a graduate, you are still useless and dependent. Find your voice while studying.
Sometimes, when you find your passion, you tend to develop more likeness for your course of study.
Another question is
What if your course of study is related to the passion you are about to find?
In case you want to know how to find your passion, I invite you to take one of the best course you never hate.
- Switch to your favourite course: you don’t have to finish up that course. Switch to the course you really want to study. But before you switch, make sure you are sure.
Think of the disaster it will be if you still end up hating the new course. But as long as you are sure of the course you wish to study, switch.
In Nigeria, you can switch courses in 200level only – this means that after your 200level session, you have the opportunity to switch to another department. I know a coursemate of mine who did this.
But if this will not work for you, you can start again from the scratch. Put in for the new course but if you don’t have the qualifications to switch to the course you love, you can try to get the qualifications first or get to learn it outside the walls of the university.
My candid advice for all students
Schooling will take at least five years of your life. Besides, as soon as you become a university graduate, society will start to expect a lot of things from you. There will be a lot of pressure on your neck.
Before you leave that school, make sure you set a good foundation for yourself.
Your career depends on it.
Your parents and loved ones depend on it
Your unborn children also depend on it
Those that look up to you depend on it
Be a part of our 120days mentorship program let’s help you. Let’s hold hands to see that this works.
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