Words by Chinedu Ezeike
Often times we tend to get caught up in the flow and restrict ourselves to existing within the box. Who really makes the world go round? Is it the doctor or pharmacist your mother wants you to be, or the Computer Scientist your father told you become? Or maybe it's the engineering program your well-respected uncle thinks you were born to do. Who knows?
There's a great big sea of young men and women out there flowing with no focused direction. Their family/acquaintances tells them what course to study; society confirms it, and they move forward with the gusto of a 100km/hr wind, only to realize that they are lost souls caught up in a circle - a circle of uncertainty and never ending doubt. There's always been a tremendous amount of pressure being put on young scholars to study the most popular courses, which will 'supposedly' net the most money and garner major respect from their community. This is one of the greatest misconceptions of our time. Despite the fact that the job market has gone through some drastic changes a lot of people are still caught up in this antiquated way of thinking. Students buckle under the pressure only to find themselves confused down the road and regretting the decisions they let somebody else make for them. Its evident there are adults with seriously fractured psyche as a result of their past decisions. You dont want to be in that group do you?
This is a very common occurrence and it is very unsettling. What's worse is that while some of these scholars might realize that they are in for a long miserable ride, they choose to remain in that situation and flounder in their desolation because they are
afraid of a judgmental society or family. This only leads to the proliferation of psychologically feeble minds and fractured confidence.
Of course a very cheap cop out will be a to blame parents. This I find very absurd. Whatever happened to taking responsibility of your own actions and decisions? It's evident that there are some adults out there that will do everything within their power to make sure their children move in the direction that they (the parents) have pre-planned for them. Some even go as far as hurling insults and dissociating themselves from their seeds based on the fact that they are studying an unpopular course in school or choosing a 'useless' career path. (Of course this is an extreme case but I'm sure some of you know people like that on your block).
But generally parents act out of love and while sometimes their encouragement might be viewed as pushy, they are only ensuring that they offer the support and guidance they are supposed to. Over the years I've had a few people confide in me (in addition to the ever 'reliable word on the street) and the severity of this problem slowly came to light. By no means has this reached epic proportions. But it is a problem that exists - it's very real.
In the interim it is always safer to buckle under the pressure but there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking risks and challenging oneself even in the presence of adversity. People should try to listen to their heart more often, question themselves and others and follow their gut instincts (within reason); otherwise they will be in for a very long boring ride.
Above all, remember whats the use of a GOAL if you are below it?.