Okay, so I was just going through old mails and came across these essays I wrote for college applications. Vraiment interessant.
More often than not people concentrate on the facts of an issue rather than on the underlying factors. This in my opinion is just a clear instance of pure human nature at work. As a result I do not find it in the least surprising that I have never thought to ask my parents or anyone else for that matter, the circumstances surrounding my birth-whether it was a rainy day, sunny day, a normal day or one of those days when everything seems out of place. However, I am aware that I came into this world with all its mysteries on the 20th of July, 1986 . I was born in Kaduna , a Northern state of Nigeria , the first born of my parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abdulai.
Essentially, I have had a pretty secure home life with all the basic necessities well provided for. Moreover, I have been exposed to certain situations which I believe help shape my life and help gear me towards my ultimate goal in life. The mind boggling question at hand however is, what is that ultimate goal of my life? I remember quite well when I was about to go into Senior Secondary School, as the high school system is termed in Ghana, and I had to decide on which academic program I wanted to pursue. The range of choices being General Arts (Humanities), Science, Business and Visual Arts. I had a pretty hard time making that decision, mainly because I could easily envision myself doing just fine in any of the academic programs. My mother’s summary of the situation was in these simple words: “She’s an all-round person; she’ll fit into any of them.” I did not realize at that time the impact those words had on me. At the end of my schooling in Wesley Girls’ High School, I was adjudged and awarded (by my classmates) a certificate for being the all-round student of the 2003/2004 year group.
Between being club executive to two clubs in the school, being a house executive for entertainment, working as a Peer Counselor for the school, working as the Computer Lab Manageress, playing basketball, football and handball, and trying to keep my grades up, I had a pretty fulfilling life in high school. And now that I am in at another crucial point in my life, I ask myself whether the realization that I could do and be anything I wanted to was actually a blessing or a curse in disguise. It’s potential as a curse being that I wouldn’t know what exactly my ultimate goal in life would be.
I believe in using one’s opportunities as they come as wasting time could be crucial and have a long run effect on a person’s situation. Aside that, considering the level of development in my country Ghana , I find it even more essential that I make the right decisions in certain aspects of my life. Decisions that other teenagers my age might consider trivial, but which, if not taken seriously, could very well make or mar the future of my country. You could call this deep thinking, personal ambitions, or unrealistic dreams but I can assure you that this is an example of a situation where most people would contemplate just the concrete facts: I’m good in this, but better in that, and not so much as consider the underlying factors: Should I choose this over that, how would it improve my life or the life of another?
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.