Tik…tok…tik…tok… the clock on my bedroom wall kept ticking! My heart bit had increased as 18th June was fast approaching. I was filled with mixed reactions not knowing exactly what to expect! My family members were the happiest I could tell. In fact, they were overwhelmed with joy than I was and kept calling every day to seek clarifications.
“Mercyline, are you still on the graduation list?” My mother would ask. “Remember you are the first one in the family and everyone is coming along!” She would add.
I must confess that the situation could even be worse for the firstborns in the family like me as the expectations are always exaggerated.
On the D-Day, everyone was present like mum had promised me before. As we sat in the graduation square, every graduate’s face glittered with joy. We were all happy to have successfully completed the four years in campus thus faithfully achieving the Kenyan 8-4-4 system title. Quite an opportunity I must admit because we started quite a number but others fell by the wayside and so we had all the reasons in the world to be happy.
But behind every graduate’s smile there is anxiety. There are doubts, unanswered questions and a lot of worries over what the future holds for them. Unless I was the only but the question of, “what next for me?” kept ringing in my mind with a piecing familiarity. I knew that the joy would only last for that day; when everyone was around to congratulate us , shower us with gifts, take photos of/with us and give us the comfort we much needed then we would be left alone at the end of it all. Every man for himself but God for us all!
I looked at the population of my fellow graduands. From the faculty of Communication alone, we were over 500, all being released into the world to compete for the same limited job opportunities. God how would I cut a niche for myself with all these brilliant minds competing against me? What would make me outstanding from such a crowd? Such questions cannot fail to cross the mind of any serious graduand unless otherwise. The guest speaker did not mince his words either. He ended his keynote address by telling us that the world already has too many clowns and we had to go out and make the much needed difference lest we find ourselves becoming clowns too.
But then that is where graduates go wrong! We fully occupy our minds with questions and worries of where we are going to get employed? How much starting salary shall we be earning? We need a paradigm shift in our mindsets. We need to see ourselves as potential job makers and not just seekers. The fact that you are graduating already puts you above the rest and so should be your thinking.
Think about how many people will benefit from the knowledge you have acquired, how your local community will feel the impact of you having gone to campus. By this I mean to address those of us who totally shift to town after completing college education and starting a new life without remembering where we came from. We need to go back to the grassroots and help those who look upon us as their role models to also achieve their dreams in their own special manner. This is my pledge to my community members in Langas back in my hometown Eldoret.
I shall not be limited. If you focus on searching for a job, you may end up being frustrated for no good reason. We did not go to campus to only earn good grades that would give us the best jobs in the market but also to acquire the knowledge and skills to be the original inventors of relevant projects that would change the way the society operates. For those who are already employed, well and good but don’t be limited. Use that as a channel to start other personal initiatives. For the rest of the graduands, lets create job opportunities.