Haste And Waste : The Limiting Choices Of Potential Nigerian Undergraduates
" Let him go and study any course the university offers him, once he becomes a graduate, he will find his footing"
This piece of advice will reverberate with many people, it is usually the genesis of long years of floating without purpose, without fulfillment.
For many young school leavers, the period of waiting to gain admission into the university often seems like an endless wait. It becomes even more unbearable when their friends and acquaintances gleefully announce their admission into different universities. The reactionary effect of these announcements on those who are yet to be accepted into a tertiary institution, is often that rejection and dejection, despair and disorientation- a needless desolate feeling of being left behind.
In order to be at par with their counterparts, the average Nigerian school leaver without proper guidance will choose to gain administration into any university to study any course made available to them, just to feed the "I am an undergraduate ego".
The challenges facing Nigeria in the different areas of unemployment, insecurity, etc. have been engaged by different administrations, yet new hydra-headed challenges are continuously springing up. At the fore of these challenges is unemployment which is often a sister-vice of insecurity. While acknowledging the attempts by the government in reducing unemployment, the reworking of the curriculum of schools to strategically meet the nation's current demands and challenges is an aspect that needs intense focus.
The present curricula of most tertiary institutions in Nigeria are only useful in producing graduates which may not be found functional in the long run, due to the kind of courses they studied in the university. There are so many courses in our universities today which are neither relevant to nation building nor are solution providing. This is not to water down any course or its importance. However, It is not enough to be just a graduate, it is crucial to be a part of the solutions needed to move the country forward.
Therefore, it is important for young school leavers to shun the pressure of time, and ensure they avoid the Haste and Waste trap. Do not accept just any course to study at the university, take your time, have a focus, have a goal, draw up plans to help you achieve these goals. Engage a mentor if needed. Do all you can, but do not succumb to the destructive culture of Haste and Waste.
Titilope Ayoka Adebayo is a Postgraduate student, University of Ibadan