I saw a really happy girl, excited beyond measure,
smiling molar to molar. Considering she hasn’t got wisdom teeth
yet, she is only seventeen. I asked her why she looked so happy,
and she told me she got accepted into the state university.
“Wow, congratulations. What course will you be studying?” I
She twirls her flare skirt back and forth and answered, “Political
I open my mouth and look at her, and thought to myself, ‘oh well, I
take back my congratulations.
Let us be honest with ourselves, we all know if we studied courses
in the university that are just ‘meh’, except we don’t want to admit
it and lie to ourselves.
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While in secondary school, allow me say we had no guidance and
counselling teachers because the one we had, will beat the crap
out of you with cane, and mean and hateful words until you leave
his office feeling worthless. He is my friend on here, and I pray he
is reading this. Anyway, everyone stopped going to speak with him,
so we had no one to guide us on the right path.
Then others had parents that were hell bent on choosing a career
path for their kids, if I may, I’d say, I’d rather a father chooses a
career path for their child than let Nigerian universities decide.
Most Nigerians end up studying a course they never liked anyway,
because the university offered it to them to meet up with the
required number of applicants for the course that no one is
“Political science? Why?” I asked her.
“I would love to go into politics later in life,” she happily replied.
I said, “I do not know the stats my love, but I sure know that over
at least 97% of Nigerian politicians did not study political science.
Except you want to campaign for local government chairman etc,
you may have to wait till you are well into your sixties to be
considered for any office in the federal government. Just look how
old our leaders are. Now, you are seventeen, that means by twenty
one you will be done. And done with NYSC at twenty two. So from
twenty two to let’s say sixty is roughly thirty eight years. What job
will you be doing until then? With a degree in political science, you
can hardly ever be self-reliant. What business can this degree help
you start before the politics begin?” She sat there, looking at me,
like she never thought of that.
I continued, “I am all for pursuing your dreams love, but this is
Nigeria, what can a political science degree give you that another
degree wouldn’t, if not even double. In a bank, you find people who
have studied mathematics, accounting, economics, English
language etc. And amongst these ones you can still find someone
who studied engineering or medicine or even law. There is no
order in Nigerian employment system, so you have to wise up, be
smart. It’s not enough to just go to uni, you have to know whether
at the end of your four years, you are making a profit or a loss.”
She was quiet then said, “But all my classmates are going to uni,
some have gone the year before. I don’t want to be left alone at
Then I said, “Choose your battles wisely my dear. Take it from
someone who knows. Staying home while your classmates are all
in higher education is tough, they may sever ties with you on
grounds that you are not on the same level as them, but I will tell
you something that is much harder than that; when the people you
graduate from uni years before, get jobs before you. That pressure
is far worse than what you are feeling now. So back to my
question, after political science, where will you work before you
launch your political career?”
She said her dream job was to work at the security and exchange
commission. I told her what she needed to study to be there.
I mean no offense to people who studied this course or even want
to, but I see no sense in studying them.
I see people graduating and writing hashtag ambassador because
they studied International relations. That is another course in
Nigeria that makes zero sense to study. Study it, finish NYSC and
go back home to sit with mama.
Dear teenager, any university certificate that cannot help you be
self-reliant or be able to freelance is not worth your time and
money. It is totally okay to reject some admissions if it is not what
you want. Stay home another year, learn a skill and write JAMB
A very smart girl who wanted to study accounting but opted for
French instead, told me that their prof told them a story of one of
his students who never paid attention in class. Upon graduation,
she landed a job with a Canadian company where she translates
memoirs to English. Once when the Canadians came, she found it
hard to interpret what they were saying and so she lost her job.
What this professor just did, is make his students think they, like
this student can land a job in a Canadian company.
As I listened to her, I wondered if she knew that like Cameroon,
there are both French and English speaking Canadians and what
are the odds that that story is true? Even if it were, employers are
looking to slash costs by all means and thankfully, today there are
apps that can translate without hassle.
When my sister told me she fancied French, I told her to study
something that will bring cash flow, then when she is ready, to
vacation in France. Gbam, there you have a solution to the
Choose wisely dearest teenagers. Don’t let some people’s pride for
their profession ruin your life. Don’t repeat the mistakes most
made years ago.
Now, to the moment of truth. Dear reader, did you study any of the
courses that fit into the description above, I mean you no
disrespect but please tell us, was it a profit or a loss for you?
Remember, this is not about your pride, but for a group of younger
generations trying to learn.