My name is “Kennetha” and my future looks blank. Don’t worry. Not bleak. Blank is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that it looks like many empty pages and I’m not sure what I’ll be filling them with.
Sometimes it can really seem like some people have their lives planned out and laid out in front of them, knowing exactly where they’re going and which steps to take to get them there. It isn’t so for some of us though, and that’s okay too. I mean, I keep wondering and asking myself if I should panic or worry because I’m halfway through university with no concrete idea what I want to do with my life career-wise.
Kicking it back to primary school days, the idea of being a pilot fascinated me. I had those uncles who called me their little pilot, and I loved it until I got to secondary school and figured physics didn’t really rock my boat. So I veered into the arts and they started calling me their lawyer, which was okay too, until it was time to choose a degree and I felt like three years of hardcore law wasn’t really for me. I’d heard law firms hire up to about half of their trainees from different undergraduate disciplines other than law. Seeing as I love all things language, I chose to study languages & linguistics and figure out the big picture as I go along.
My problem is I’m interested in too many things at once; languages, law, media, journalism, marketing, PR, art, fashion, you name it. This confuses me as to which path to take. For others, it might be the complete opposite. Maybe you really aren’t sure what you’re interested in. However, there is always something. When you’re supposed to be writing that essay or doing that report and you get distracted and you procrastinate for hours, what are you doing? What’s that thing your friends struggle with but has always been pretty easy for you? That just might be your niche.
As Africans, many of us are nurtured with the three-way choice of law, medicine or engineering. If your parents are liberal enough, maybe you have some other options. But maybe you’re not into math, or science or reading so much. We need to re-socialize ourselves to think far broader and cast our nets far wider than we’re used to. Your passion might be something a bit out of the ordinary. It might be cooking, creative writing, sport, etc. Whatever it is, you can make a living out of it. It just takes preparation and practicing to be the best you can at what you love to do.
Back to the parents thing, many of us see them struggling unhappily in jobs they hardly like. Let’s not let that happen to us. Study something you’re passionate about and make a career out of it, so you’ll happily wake up every morning, ready to embrace a new day doing what you love!
NOTE FROM OUR EDITOR:
For the rest of Women’s Month we will be sharing the personal stories of young girls trying to navigate their way into womanhood. “Kennetha” is one of ten. We are inviting you to share similar stories with us. Earlier in the month we launched our IBIM Campaign. These stories are the inspiration behind IBIM. Through mentoring, we are hoping to show young girls that we believe in them and they in turn should believe in themselves. Our I Believe In Me Campaign is a mentoring program aiming to inspire and foster the GoWoman ethos in young African girls. In Sierra Leone we will be working with Educaid’s Women’s Project. The IBIM Big Sister Program will connect young girls with female mentors for one on one coaching, and we will also use social media and technology to bring African women in the diaspora to mentees on the continent. We believe that often young girls need a trusted confidante; someone they can talk to about their concerns as they transition into adulthood, without the fear of judgement. Be it career choices, love, sex, abuse, family issues or simply navigating their way through friendships, we hope to create a virtual environment where young girls can feel safe to openly share and whenever a sister to sister chat isn’t enough, we will put them in touch with the right agencies.
Our homepage will continue to share the power of mentoring and having strong role models in our lives with the #IfNotForYou campaign. You can make your contribution to our work by shopping from our IBIM Collection.