When I got into the University of Lagos in 2010, I was just a teenager. I had never been to the school before, neither did I know anyone who had schooled or worked there. I also had no idea what their cutoff marks were or the pre-requisites to get in, I just went to the Cyber Café that fateful day and filled the University of Lagos as my first and second choice University. It was my first Jamb.
You know how our parents have this linear idea of how their children should progress in life? From primary school, they start peddling the idea of completing your secondary and university education, then you get a job and take care of them when they grow old. My parents were no different.
So once I gained admission into the University of Lagos, I had successfully completed the most difficult stages of progress. The only thing that remained was to graduate with a first class and get a juicy job that would turn me into a millionaire in a few years. I believed this at some point, but after some time I began to doubt the possibility.
First of all, I played through my first year in the University and when the results came out, my first-year CGPA was 3.14 or something in that range. That was a second class lower. Now, remember how they always tell us during fresher orientation that the first year in Uni is usually the easiest and once you mess it up, the only way forward is downwards?
Asides from my result, the second source of doubt was from my course of study. Due to some silly mistake during my JAMB registration, I ended up with “History Education” instead of “History and Strategic Studies”. This meant that instead of studying at the faculty of Arts, I was admitted into the faculty of education. I knew Teachers were perhaps the most underpaid professionals in Nigeria. So while getting a job could be relatively easy for me, the salary will never be enough to fund that millionaire dream. Sigh.
Have you ever heard the phrase “there are no jobs out there”?
That phrase can send the average undergraduate into an immediate depression. Well, that was the third reason why I started doubting the outcome of my post-university years. I had Cousins who were graduates and were either job-hunting or had to settle for jobs they disliked. Chai, was that going to be my own reality? Oh yes, I believed it wholeheartedly. I could already imagine myself walking the streets of Lagos in search of a job. I knew the frustration would get to a point where I would start blaming it on my lack of spirituality or my village people. Na so frustration dey start, lol.
Whenever I thought about all of those points above, I’d begin to wish there was a way for time to freeze, so I would never have to graduate. I mean, it’s better to stay in school and keep receiving monthly allowance than to graduate and become jobless, while amassing responsibilities.
Wishes are not horses, so one day in December 2014, I sha graduated.
Before I forget, I didn’t teach, I went into advertising instead. My first job as an intern with a Digital Marketing Agency had the pay of a teacher. After 4 months, I was confirmed and the pay was increased, the thing was still far from 100k. One day I just sat down and did the calculation. If I kept earning this Salary, at what age would it take me to rent a small flat and buy a nice beetle car? I didn’t want to think too much about marriage. I mean, I was never going to be able to afford a lavish wedding, so maybe na to give girl belle, pay the bride price and skip wedding go sure pass.