Truth is I was never impressed with the idea of having a mentor when growing up. However, over the years i have realized that no one knows it all and we all could use a little bit of guidance from people who have had more experience in whatever we need help with. Some of us are either too scared, shy or proud to ask for help. Why? If you hold on to those, you will never learn.
Many young people feel that because we are in the digital age and they have access to the Internet and other media, they do not need any guidance from more experienced people. It is sad because a generation of lost and confused youth is being groomed to take over from our parents.
Working with young people as a lecturer has given me access to some of these promising young men and women, whenever I converse with them about their career path and plans for the future I discover that most of them are just waiting on what time and chance have in store for them. I remember when I was much younger I had an issue with being asked what I wanted to be in the future. Not because there is anything wrong in asking but because I had no idea what I wanted to be (surprising i know, but its true).
I was totally confused and clueless about if I wanted to go to University or not, even though it wasn’t an option in my family but a MUST. My parents were so strict that even the thought of being a failure wasn’t an option. I desperately wanted to succeed and impress them in whatever I ended up doing with my life, so much so that I let them make most of the important decisions about my education (I don’t regret it though, considering how clueless I was back then).
Funny enough I turned out fine and i’m loving every bit of all i’m doing at the moment. To be honest i’m still learning new things about myself, the things I have passion for and i’m descovering new talents I never even knew I had everyday.
I never thought I had a mentor but thinking about it now, I realize my parents were and still remain my main mentors. The decisions they guided me to make helped turn me into the responsible young woman I am today and they are proud of everything I have accomplished not just career wise but also in terms of the content of my character. I couldn’t be more thankful that I was obedient and patient enough to let them guide me aright. Let me quickly add that i’m aware not everyone gets to have parents that should be looked up to as role models. I am so blessed. I try in every way possible to live responsibly so my students and other youths around see and learn from me.
I am constantly working on being the best version of myself because as much as I want people to be inspired by the way i live my life, I most importantly want God to be pleased with me even though I am only human and can never be perfect. Secondly i want to be the kind of mother my son will forever be proud of. These are some of the things that motivate me to stay driven and focused.
Most of the new generation youth are not humble enough to even admit that they need assistance in certain aspects of their daily lives let alone take advice. I believe we have people who came to this world before us for a reason. So we can learn from them. Personally I don’t agree that I have to make every mistake in the book in order to gain experience and wisdom. I talk to a lot of people, I observe and pick attributes and words that would make me better than when I met them. That is how I have been living and will coninue to live, I am however open to new ideas. I encourage my students to listen and learn at every given opportunity from everyone they encounter on thier journey through life. One may never notice the repercussions of living a life without direction until it’s too late.
In Nigeria there is a saying that ‘words of elders are words of wisdom’. Elders here does not necessarily mean aged people, it could be a young colleague at work who got employed before you. Another saying goes “opportunity comes but once”, in other words make hay while the sun shines.
For those that are interested in hearing the actual story of how I found myself in the world of academia, let me know in the comments section or via email. It’s quite interesting I must say, considering it was one profession I disliked with a passion (LOL).
Until next time, keep living your dreams!