“When I saw the graduation list, I packed my things and went to Nairobi.”
…before graduation, expectations are normally so high, both for you and those who look up to you.
others were walking out to start finding out what they really wanted with their lives? What we all know as our life PURPOSE.
I remember, my graduation day very well. The night before, how I contemplated taking a flight to Kisumu but I did not have enough money. In fact I am nostalgic though it was not that elating to me as it was for my parents. I mean, supporting a child all through school to completion is not a joke. As they say ‘degree ni ya mama na baba’ ‘masters ni yako’, ‘PHD ni ya watu wa kwenu’. I swear I don’t know how true these platitudes are. Nevertheless, some words are seldom spoken to us when we graduate and that’s why I want to share with you ‘what no one told us’. At the end of this, please share what no one told you on the comment section so our friends can also learn.
I remember, the day and how I knew I wasn’t going to graduate with a first class honors, which to me was a ‘dream not come true.’ I was in my third year at the university, I had already spent all my life a good time penning down a valedictorians speech. Writing speeches? ‘Si wanasema dreaming is allowed?’ I was so good at it. The speech was so well written that I had even memorized it. Yes, I was sure I was going to graduate top of my class. When I saw the graduation list, I packed my things and went to Nairobi. I don’t know where the hard copy speech went to haha, I only know of the soft copy, which forever remains in my heart.
I remember, I never attended the rehearsals on my graduation. No, not because I did not want to, not because I had all the clue as to what was expected, not because I was not going to be the one to deliver the valedictorian speech. I was in Nairobi for the YALI RLC leadership training for one month. My buddy Robert Arogo, picked my gown for me and even rehearsed on my behalf. I was busy in Nairobi having the moment of my life, unlearning everything I had learnt, learning that which I had not learnt thanks to Sandra, this is Africa and the design thinking – what was the name of that lady again- almost made me forget I was due for graduation. In fact I was going to graduate twice, from the training and from the university’s 4 years of self-teaching.
Back to the main business, before graduation, expectations are normally so high, both for you and those who look up to you. I want to share with you what ‘no one told us’ me before or after leaving campus.
I will try to summarize these points, some are my own experimental learning, some were told to us by the then dean school of Planning and Architecture Dr. Moses Kola. I will paraphrase to make sense to all my audience today. By the way, did you know? That while others were walking out of campus with companies, weather briefcase or in their minds, others were walking out to start finding out what they really wanted with their lives? What we all know as our life PURPOSE.
Well, no one told us that the harsh realities of life would mute us! This I can confirm today. No one told us that visiting relatives and sending our CVs to our uncles in Nairobi would not give us jobs.
No one told us that there would always be so much challenges and frustration in looking for jobs. This is real. No one told us that we should not limit ourselves to only what we studied in school and that we should be open minded and to embrace opportunities as they come. No one told us that is the windows of opportunities were closed, that we should create doors.
No one told us that as a graduate, you should get ready to hustle, and never follow anyone else path unless you were lost. All of us wanted to become something. Yes, no one told us that not everyone could become an Asira Nelson Asira, an Husein Mohamed, Jeff Koinange, a Jalango, a Larry Madowo or a Lupita Nyong’o and that our paths were all different.
When we lost hope, no one told us that we would have a recovery time! That those who got jobs ahead of us were meant to. No one told us that their getting jobs, getting married and starting businesses early had nothing to do with our own timing. That our clocks were different.
No one told us to master ourselves; that you needed to know what you were good at and what your weakness was. No one told us that if you failed to get employed, we should start businesses and build it around what you already knew. No one told us that our businesses would fail and we would hope from one to another. That education was what remained in you after graduation.
No one told us that after school, our second school would be ‘self-teaching’ that every skill we ever wanted to learn would be readily taught to us by ourselves. No one told us that YouTube wasn’t only for movies and leaked videos but also tutorials and self-learning techniques. No one told us that in learning, we would teach and in teaching we would learn.
No one told us to read good books! That the things we never learnt in schools were in the books we never read. No one told us that those who couldn’t read good books had no advantage over those who couldn’t. No one told us to try politics, no one told us to try fishing, no one told us to try blogging or online jobs, and no one told us to try farming. See, no one told us to do that which we loved and they insisted that we love that which we did.
No one told us to tell everyone what we knew about what we were doing; that we ought to have had business cards, to make noise of what we were doing.That we should make use of social media to build our brand and advertise ourselves.
No one told us that to build our own empires, we needed patience, hard work, resilience and determination. No one told us that we would send at least 105 cvs before we actually got out first jobs. No one told us that some of those relationships we started in campus would end at graduation. No one told us that the friends we made in campus would one day become our wives and husbands.
No one told us that our first bosses would have a real lifelong effect on us even as we progressed to other jobs. No one also told us that we should choose our bosses when we went job hunting. And that our bosses ought to be mentors and leaders rather than bosses.
No one told us that for some jobs; the entry level would be through volunteering, that we should not have shied away from jobs we had no skills on at all. No one told us that we should learn on the job, and that the job would soon start learning from us. No one told us that we would start a job and damp it.
No one told us that our personal lives would reflect and determine our professional level. That diligence would be our only source of progress and promotion in life. No one told us that our value system was everything we got. No one told us that our phones would rob us of time if we did not use them correctly.
No one told us that graduating top of our classes did not mean we would be top in life. No one told us that character would keep us! No one told us not to relax having achieved our first degrees. No one told us to pursue masters and PHDs. No one advised us to write abstracts and present academic papers at conferences. No one told us that we would send applications for masters degrees and get so many regrets before finally landing on one.
No one told us that as we got our first salaries we were to honor our parents, and that we were not meant to spend all of it on vacation at the coast. No one told us that HELB would be on our neck even if we dint ask for it. No one told us that the statutory deductions would eat almost all the money.
No one told us to buy assets and not liabilities in our early life of employment. No one told us to prioritize on tithing, helping the needy and honoring our parents. No one told us that the jobs we had would come to an end abruptly.
Well, no one told you to read and follow this bog; Call me Mr. No one for I have just told you everything no one will tell you. Share with your friends so they won’t say NO ONE TOLD US.
What were you not told?