I recently reconnected with a friend from Secondary School Demilade; she is currently working with the Eagles H.O.P.E Foundation in the Human Resources Department. This is the last career path I expected Demilade to tread and she is so excited at the prospect of growing in this career path and making a difference.
And there is Kemi another secondary school friend who I haven’t spoken to in a few years. The last time we spoke she was graduating from Redeemers University with a degree in Accounting.
Lastly, there is me, I just qualified for membership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. Beyond our shared Alma mater, we were all science students and I can’t help but marvel at how much we all veered from that path.
At an outing about two weeks ago, we touched based on this issue and we all agreed to blame it on the myth that ‘’Science Students are the most intelligent students’’. Although this argument is true and may be the heart of the problem, there are a lot of unexplored variables.
After my final exams in Junior Secondary School, I was given a form to fill out the courses that would help determine my career path and the general direction in which my life was headed.
I read over the instructions on the form and it didn’t help me in any way to decide what subjects to pick or the best combination of subjects that suits my personality. If I had been exposed to proper lectures and counselling I would have known that a dislike for Typewriting in Business Studies didn’t translate to a dislike for Social Science subjects or a dislike for every part of Integrated Science didn’t translate to a dislike for Science Subjects.
My mother, a trained guidance counsellor administered a placement test and tried to pick out subjects that best fit my personality and who I was at the time which in reality constituted some of the building blocks of who I am today. I trusted her judgment when she picked out a mix of Social Science and Art subjects for me, the mix contained more Social Science subjects than Arts subjects. We filled out the form and got my dad’s consenting signature.
My dad didn’t agree with my mum’s result but I believe he didn’t want to spend the holiday arguing about it so he went to fill out another form and I found myself stuck with Physics, Chemistry and Biology. He had dreams that I would become an Engineer. This brings me to my second problem parents imposing their idea of what and who they want their child to be. Take time to understand your child appreciate who they are and adjust your plans to fit their personality.
The subject I got an ‘’A’’ in every term was Economics which showed clearly my mum wasn’t off in her results and I would have struggled less and exceled more if I had gone down the path her results had suggested. The next subject I exceled at was Literature, I had a quick understanding of the poems we studied in class and an insight into the mind of the authors of the drama and prose texts we read in class. I also loved and exceled at Chemistry, the chemical bonds and I spoke the same language, I never saw myself as a chemist but I believe I loved the structure behind the subject, how everything followed set principles. Physics and Biology I disliked and just studied to pass, English I loved because of essay writing and the Mathematics I loved because of the steps involved in solving a given problem.
When I filled out my admission form for University it was a no brainer picking Economics, but there came the problem of the second choice and my Guidance Counsellor Secondary School suggested Accounting so I filled that in. It never crossed my mind that I would end up studying accounting. In a series of events that were beyond my control I found myself studying to become an accountant.
I remember looking at my course list for my first semester in University. The fear that consumed me before I walked up to the board was overwhelming, the fear slowly ebbed away as I saw each course and registered what each course would entail. So my first semester came with Principles of Accounting. In my first class I felt like fish out of water, I didn’t know what to expect and a tiny voice in my head kept telling me I would fail the course, it didn’t help that on my first test I got a 6 out of 10 and my lecturer felt the need to announce the scores to the whole class and pass really interesting comments in Yoruba on each student. That was first day I wished I skipped class in all my life.
With each passing semester I got the flow of the course and I began to realize that Accounting went beyond balancing the books and the different areas of business law, economics and management were mind blowing and eye opening.
On one of the long summers spent with my grandparents, my grandfather gave me my first journal and I haven’t stopped writing since then. I have evolved as a writer, changed styles and shopped for topics that interest me at different times. I take my writing seriously and also my career as an Accountant but trying to find a meeting point for both isn’t easy.
We are taught to choose and stick to one thing, never to try a group of things but over the last few months I have been introduced to a community of people who work at all the different things they are good at.
There is my friend Anthony, the Cake Engineer who bakes really good red velvet cupcakes and runs a start-up cake company but is a trained Chemical Engineer, he spends time developing new and more efficient cooling systems for the firm he works with, he believes he can conquer both worlds and his believe in himself is all that matters.
There is Temi the Psychologist who runs her own foundation ‘’360 individual’’ and takes the most breath taking photos.
I never believed in labels. Science student, Art Student and the likes so if we are going to give yourself go on a journey of discovery before you assign labels and bear in mind that we are never just one thing. Explore all your different parts, try your hands at all the beautiful ideas that come to you in the dead of the night and don’t be afraid to live out all the parts that make up who you are.
Hello I am Oreoluwa; I am an Accountant, a Teacher and a Writer.