I do not think we pay attention to the pressure felt while trying to get a degree, be it post grad or undergrad. We just try our best to finish and go on to the next pressuring situation that is deeply rooted in the process of ‘adulting’.
We smile through it all and act as though its a walk in the park while it mimics going through a military drill/ obstacle course.
You know those things they say will make us ‘stronger in the end?” But that strength comes only if you finish and don’t break a few bones during the course and have to be put down.
In our culture, we’re taught that getting a degree is meant to make “life easier, you more employable, wiser and better prepared for the future”. El oh el! That is definitely not true.
The contrast of going from secondary school to university is so much that many people end up dropping out and, no jokes, end up with mental breakdowns and just hate the entrie process. Society doesn’t make it easier either by connecting dropouts with failure and the stigma that brings is a different thing entirely.
Do not get me wrong though, there are some who loooveee the entire process and thrive.
The pressure can transcend from the previous generation and force you into a “I have to live up to my folks/ older ones” type of situation and the spiral continues.
Then there the “I must not fail” and “I must prove them wrong” situation. We get so caught up in this pursuit forgetting to take time to breathe and enjoy the process.
In February, I moved to Coventry, England to start my journey to getting an M.Sc and while it’s going on, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like packing up and leaving so many times.
I went from being in a class with my best friends and roommates in undergrad, to being in a class with people from 4 other nationalities who are very busy living their lives, some trying to compete and others uninterested beyond the academics. This shocked me as I am not here to compete but to improve myself. I thought that was the whole purpose of learning.
I asked some of my cousins in our family group chat, shoutout to WhatsApp!, to contribute their thoughts and personal experiences and here are a few;
Starting that coversation encouraged me to go beyond my family and speak to others and in doing so, I made a discovery.
Why do we shy away from talking about how things seemingly easy and celebrated can actually be difficult?Tweet
I’m not the only one who feels this way so why am I one of the very few people talking about it?
Precious also tweeted about the how the pressure from a different angle and factored relocation too.
I think it is necessary to start conversations and shed light on things that are often normalised in society. If not for anything, but to prepare those who are coming behind us. The way I wished those before me prepared me.
My final message, the process can be hard, but also rewarding as you pick up some gems along the way. But in all, remember to come to the surface for air, no matter how deep you’ve gone.
And if it is too much to handle, remember life is too short to remain unhappy!
Love and light,