Unveiling the path to a fulfilling life beyond the four walls of the Classroom

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By: Abisoye Afeez Olalekan

When queried about the purpose of education, many students may instinctively respond with the goal of achieving financial success post-graduation. However, the reality of life transcends the four walls of the classroom. This is a fundamental truth that every student should accept.

The journey to life after school commences from the very first day of entering an educational institution. It is during this period that students can contemplate ways to harness opportunities and cultivate a prosperous life beyond graduation. Several times, we lament the issue of unemployment and blame the governments for failing to provide adequate job opportunities. But why do we occasionally witness brilliant students, former academic standouts, now wandering the streets as local touts, pawns in political games, or even working as bike men/danfo conductors? What led to this unfortunate transformation? Have we taken the time to critically analyze the matter? Have we delved into finding solutions that can empower the next generation of graduates, ensuring their financial liberation extends beyond the classroom?

Here are three plausible strategies to make life after school captivating for students:

  1. Self-Discovery While Studying:
    It is imperative to disavow the notion that education’s sole purpose is financial wealth. The years spent in educational institutions as a student are enough for exploring and experimenting with various ideas to uncover one’s true calling. The harsh reality is that not everyone will make it in life solely through education. Within our midst, there must be individuals who create jobs and those who seek employment. Why not strive to become a job creator when you have the opportunity?

As a student, while you are still in school, engage yourself in self-discovery. This will require you to embark on a journey to identify what resonates with you and what will work well for you. Remember that not taking risks on its own is a huge risk. During this phase, you must embrace the willingness to explore diverse avenues. In doing so, you will encounter challenges and obstacles, but persistence will lead to the revelation of what suits you best. The path to self-discovery may lead you into entrepreneurship or the digital realm, and it is crucial to resist peer influence during this exploration to avoid losing focus or derailing.

  1. Active Involvement in Organizations and Associations:
    As a student, you should shatter the misconception that participating in extracurricular activities hinders your academic success. It is entirely feasible to maintain your high academic standards while you actively engage in organizations. Effective time management is the key. Many successful individuals leveraged the opportunities presented by such organizations to grow, develop essential skills, and secure job recommendations. The short-term effort expended now will pay dividends in the future, far surpassing any momentary inconvenience.

Why should you consider joining organizations while studying? Here are a few compelling reasons:

i. Unearth Hidden Talents: Many talents remain concealed until discovered. Engaging in organizations during your academic journey provides a fertile ground for identifying your latent talents. These talents can later evolve into valuable skills and professions for you, such as Project Managers, Event Planners, Customer Relationship Managers, Sales and Marketing experts, and more.

ii. Enhanced Recognition: While participation in organizations may not generate immediate monetary gains, the recognition and opportunities it brings can be invaluable. Your proactive involvement showcases your abilities, making you the go-to individual when relevant opportunities arise.

  1. Focus on Employability: The third strategy is focusing on employability.
    In today’s job world, employability, rather than just academic grades, is often the determining factor in securing one’s dream job. Employers seek individuals who can contribute significantly to their organization’s goals, possessing both technical proficiency and interpersonal skills. A first-class degree alone does not guarantee employability. Some graduates, despite their academic prowess, lack presentation and marketability skills.

It is a common chorus to bemoan the “lack of jobs,” but as a graduate ask yourself these questions, “Am I employable? Would I thrive when translating my academic knowledge into practical, real-world applications?” These are the critical questions that must be confronted before the post-graduation job hunt begins.

Addressing this issue of employability entails the following steps:

i. Pursue Relevant Internships: As a student, you should seek internships related to your field of study while still in school. It is helpful to take up internships with dedication and commitment, aiming to gain genuine experience rather than just fulfilling a requirement. Meanwhile, it depends on your field, some might be teaching practice or other hands-on opportunities. The goal is to acquire real-world experience that will set you apart in the competitive job market.

ii. Acquire Technical Proficiency: Familiarize yourself with industry-specific software and tools relevant to your field.

iii. Cultivate a Diverse Skill Set: Being adaptable and multifaceted by developing a range of skills can enhance your marketability and make you an asset in various roles.

Beyond the confines of the classroom, lies a reality of challenges and opportunities. The above-mentioned strategies offer students the means to reshape their destinies, become productive, and embark on a fulfilling journey beyond graduation. Implementing these principles can position you as a highly sought-after graduate in the competitive job market.

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