It is not uncommon, especially in Nigeria, for parents to steer their children’s education to the path which they feel is best.
This leaves many young adults feeling like they aren’t living the life they are supposed to because they fail to find fulfilment and can’t maximise their full potential.
The problem stems from a majority of the older generation being tunnel-visioned — not being able to see that education is broader than the ‘formal education’ that is learned in a classroom.
Most parents had their upbringing in a time when studying a specialised course like medicine, engineering or law would pretty much guarantee a job placement upon graduation.
But the status quo is changing. We now live in a generation of creatives, artists, innovators and inventors.
And although the school-to-work system is still in place, more developed countries are creating an environment where creatives can thrive without a degree.
While Nigeria is slowly heading towards that direction, there is always a way to beat the system before we arrive at our destination.
Here is how you can get the degree your parents want and still follow your dreams.
Make the most of your holidays
It’s all about compartmentalisation. Yes, school can be stressful but you have to keep your eye on the prize.
When school is out, it is not the time to sleep or hang out with friends, as tempting as that may seem.
Depending on what your dream is, you can take makeup classes, vocal lessons, coding classes, woodwork classes, fashion classes, or even learn the language of your dream country.
Learn to draw, learn to paint, grow a garden. The opportunities are limitless.
Invest in your dreams
This may be the second most important thing.
That new pair of shoes you so badly want or that new iPhone should only come second to your dream.
You need to have a longterm and big picture mentality to avoid indulging in momentary pleasures.
The moment your parents see you saving all your pocket money to get that camera, or studio equipment, computer or a machine for any sort of production, they will most probably recognise your passion and support you.
Take online courses
If your dreams still fall in line with formal education, you don’t necessarily have to get a formal education for every course.
There are thousands of online courses you can take that will get you a recognised degree or certification.
While many are free, some are not, which takes us back to investing in your dreams.
When school is done and dusted, with dedication and consistency, you will have a degree in one hand and the skills to fulfil your dream in the other.
Be smart. Stay woke.