December 30, 2023

I know u have heard of this topic many times said in different ways but I intend to communicate it and repeat it to you via this short story.

Come with me…

It was the year 2007 after graduating from secondary school with massive dreams of going into university to begin my journey as an undergraduate student. Like many of my friends, we wrote the compulsory Joint Admissions and Matriculation (JAMB) Examination (a qualifying exam you write to get into University) and passed but was unfortunately not admitted into the University. This meant that I had to spend one year at home while many of my friends resumed university. This was just a year after I lost my mother and I was absolutely shattered and upset because staying at home for another year without my mother will only add to the pain. In an attempt to make me happy, my late dad suggested he would enroll me in a private University where I could study Medicine, a course that he felt was right for me. He had a silent wish for me to become a medical doctor after I abandoned my dream of becoming a Catholic priest. Why do you look shocked?😀. Yes!! There was a time that all I wanted to do was become a Catholic priest but that is not a story for today.

In my defense, I told my dad that studying in a private University was expensive and I did not want him to spend so much. This was simply a lie because I never wanted to become a medical doctor and all I wished for was to attend the same University with my other siblings who were already enrolled in Nasarawa State University. Forgive my deviation from the main story, I wanted you to understand the context.

Being home while most of my friends were already in University made me feel like a failure. In a bid to be productive, together with some friends, I became an unofficial JAMB registration staff. At the time, I had basic computer knowledge so we would contact students who were planning to take JAMB and go to cybercafes to lodge their applications for them. We did this at a fee. In fact, I remember my first savings of #3000, was used to open my first bank account in Diamond Bank 😀. Although I did not own a computer, we purchased what used to be called “BULK TIME” (if you used cyber cafes like me, you will know what I mean) in almost every cafe in Lafia, Nasarawa state. Remember that I also had to register for my own JAMB exams because I needed to go to University the following year but after registering for my own exams, registering for others became an occupation for me. As a result of this experience, my skills in the use of the internet became top-notch, my interpersonal, negotiation, and communication skills also grew because I spent long hours convincing people to contract their JAMB registration to me and my friends.

This is the point of reflection.

While I was sad that I did not secure admission in 2007, I took advantage of that failure to do an unofficial job that allowed me to develop skills. In 2008, I wrote JAMB again and passed and was admitted into University but remember I was not an ordinary student because I was resuming armed with some skills. My many Cybercafe visits when I got admitted made me stumble on the Total scholarship which I applied with some friends and got awarded. This scholarship provided me with the money to buy my first laptop. While my friends took their assessments and thesis (project) to business centres for typing, I typed mine myself. This was happening at a time when I had lost my dad too and extra money from that scholarship came in handy.

Have you made any connection yet? I am sure you have but you see, they are all connected. Here is the link:

  1. I did not secure admission and used the year to develop myself.
  2. I gained skills that contributed to me being awarded a scholarship.
  3. I could buy my first laptop and type my own thesis (the picture shows me typing my thesis).
  4. I have graduated and still smiling and developing skills like posing for a photograph😀
AAP typing his final year undergraduate thesis with the laptop he bought after winning the Total Scholarship

All this is because I took advantage of my failure in 2007.

I am not sure if you think you are a failure now? If you think so, think again because this is a period to develop skills that can help later.

I confess that I did not have it entirely figured out as my story make it seem. I was simply waking up daily with a decision to be productive and I guess it worked. Reflecting now makes it look like I had it all covered. I did not so do not beat yourself. Wake up daily with a decision to be productive even though you feel like a failure now. It will all make sense later.

What you call failure now could be a skill development period. Maybe you did not get that contract, scholarship or job because there are skills you need to be armed with.

Take advantage of your failure today and you will be more than ready when you apply again.

📷 Squeezim

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