Ghana · Musings

Final Year In Legon

Final year of college has begun. It is the beginning of the end; the culmination of hundreds of hours of study, thousands of Ghana Cedis on fees and bucket loads of sweat and toil. Moving around campus on the first week of reopening, I have seen quite a lot of faces that I had last seen in first year. It’s almost as if the universe is trying to let me reflect on how really fast this journey has been – not that I am liable to forget anytime soon. 

A friend of mine has been waiting for this moment for a long time. In fact the only event that could trump his happiness at finally starting senior year is the day he finally graduates. He is in haste to get out into the real world. The real world holds work and money – and women too, though he would not admit that is part of his motivation. I don’t begrudge his enthusiasm and an outlook that is far too positive than I’m comfortable with. He is an allied health student and the health industry is still one of the safest bets for getting a job after school – at least compared to other career paths. In a few years he’ll be earning a few thousand Ghana Cedis, have the steady, god-fearing fiancé he wants and be well set-up for the normal life he craves.

Me, I’m terrified. Even ignoring the fact that I couldn’t have picked a worse time in history to be a Petroleum Geoscience Major; that there are more retrenchments than employments in the industry I want to work in; that I still can’t quantify what I have learned up until the present moment; or that even my lecturers – from the very first moment I stepped in the class in first year – have constantly devalued the degree I hope to earn at the end of this school year by urging all of us to look towards pursuing an expensive Master’s degree if we intend to snag any significant jobs in the industry, what scares me the most is leaving the safety of this net I have had over me in the past few years.

My friend – and he is not in the minority of students who think this – feels school is like jail. It’s a four-year prison sentence of the same meal of books, studies and lectures; unyielding jailers who camouflage as lecturers and school authority and a system that is generally unfriendly to the needs of the average participant. Where some of my peers see a jail sentence, I see a carte blanche. I see the freedom to work at a job while still schooling; to explore my talents at writing, to manage a group of people while working on a project, to try – and fail sometimes – at as many things as I can till I find what is just right for me. Now though, I know I won’t have that freedom forever. My fear is that I am approaching my own personal hell: a life of drudgery and monotony, of rules and bosses, the straitjacket of real life and the very narrow margins of failure.

But final year is not going to wait for me to be ready and I imagine I would never be ready to leave the relative comfort zone I currently find myself in even if I were given ten more years to prepare and there’s only so much I can worry about my fears and inadequacies before they consume me. So I’m going to look forward to senior year and its peculiar challenges while still trying – and sometimes failing – at new endeavors.

 

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17 thoughts on “Final Year In Legon

  1. Hi Ferddhie,

    Although college shows us a glimpse of the real life, it’s also a safe net with which we can fall into if we fail, and then contemplate how best to get back on our feet. Enjoy your final year, it goes by so fast it’ll leave you wondering. Lol btw I’m also studying petroleum geoscience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For a few years I taught Accounting and Computer Science college courses (about 30 years ago!) and I always drilled it into my students heads: You will learn far more from your failures than your successes. I still believe this today. And I also believe that you will find a way to take a degree in a field that is foundering, and apply the knowledge into a field that is growing, perhaps renewable energy, perhaps some other form of engineering, if necessary. And frankly, the petroleum industry will be around for a while yet, so all is definitely NOT lost! Try to not worry so much and ENJOY this final year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I learn something new about you everyday, my friend. Never knew you taught.

      Thanks for the feedback. Been thinking about renewable energy. Or maybe doing an MBA. I’ll try not to worry about all of that at the moment though. I’ll try to enjoy this moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes … 😀 … I am a woman of many facets! I still occasionally teach a month-long course in Black History, though I did not this year. An MBA is not a bad idea … I would keep it in the back of my mind. Do it now while you are young. I have spent two of the last three years working toward a Ph.D. in International Relations that I finally took a break from and suspect I will never finish … wish I had done it when I was much younger!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. “My fear is that I am approaching my own personal hell: a life of drudgery and monotony, of rules and bosses, the straitjacket of real life and the very narrow margins of failure.”

    I understand you perfectly but it’s all doom and gloom as you put it. 😂
    Yes you will certainly miss school and by school I mean sleeping in bed and goofing around with friends. The parties and late night studies are all experiences that you’ll cherish but the real world is another phase that will help you discover yourself more in ways you couldn’t imagine
    Enjoy your final year and savour every second

    Liked by 1 person

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