On Being Forever 21…
I remember the number of times a lot of us had listened to the lyrics from Travis McCoy's ‘I wanna be a billionaire’ hit song and screamed “oh that’s my jam”, almost a good number of us could even throw in a rap or two. How many times had we envisioned our lives being successful by the time we attained a certain age. I remember ‘gisting; with my friend Ann about how successful I wanted to become after graduation and how I hoped we would hit the jackpot at least before we reached age 30 and became cranky like most women we knew of, who were stressed with joggling between family responsibilities and building a career; we didn’t want all that stress abeg, but we sure wanted The GOOD LIFE; the posh cars, the house over looking the lake; to become bosses somehow, at least, with maids at our beck and call -the original ‘queening&; lifestyle- I remember the STRONG nod Ann gave in approval as she also had such dreams as well. Looking back to those days, I can only but chuckle
I remember that before we graduated, there was a FREE seminar organized for students by my faculty and because I was so BORED in the hostel that day, I decided to attend. Ann my friend didn’t even bother, and she was not the only one; “who went for such events these days, what else would they do there if not to try and sell their books, and talk about things we’ve already heard about in church, besides the SUG night is this night and almost everyone would be there”,one other girl said – I really cant place her name- but still, I reluctantly went for the event, at least to while away time.
I remember that as I got to the venue, the entire place was almost EMPTY except for the few people who ‘had faith’ that something interesting would happen. As we listened to the speaker address us, he was particular about young people between the ages of 18- 28 and about their zest for life and cravings for success. He spoke on how we were tuned into studying in order to seek for employment after graduation instead of being tuned towards being self-reliant and towards becoming enterprising. As I listened on, I started becoming UNCOMFORTABLE, “what was this man even saying? You mean after all my stress in school there would be no jobs waiting to kick-start the ‘queening’ dream? Well that was his own story and not my portion”, I recall saying to myself.
I remember that the man went on and on about how young people were more interested in get-rich-quick schemes and how a lot of us young people never found CLARITY and purpose in life, how young people who could add more value to society by HARNESSING and DEPLOYING their talents were forced to stay in school for years, studying courses they never got to practice and eventually end up being frustrated with low paying jobs.
I remember that the man spoke on for hours on the need for SELF AWARENESS, as this was key to becoming a fulfilled individual; he spoke about several other things I jotted down somewhere and as I listened on, I began to rethink about my plan towards achieving my ‘queening; ambitions. No, I couldn’t give up on my dreams, I just needed to re-strategize, with or without Ann!
I remember that by the time I got back to the hostel I spotted Ann, happily chatting away with that boy who usually came around. “Which one is my own” I thought, after all, that man also said this was the age we could make as much mistakes as we wanted, fall in and out of love, travel the world, but he also said this was a good time we could start a business and fail as well, that it was better than not even trying at all.
As my friend Ann realized I had come back, she walked up to me, the boy in tow and EXCITEDLY told me that the others had just left for the school’s night party, organized by the student body and was considering joining them. Hey! Good! but who was I to object to these people enjoying their lives, after all, these were the days of their lives, we only lived once and we would be forever 21- at least in our dreams…
So tell me, will you be forever 21? What can we do to maximize our youth? Achieve our dreams? Achieve ‘queening’?
Anita is a recent marketing graduate from University of Uyo. She is a budding entrepreneur, a rising writer and a volunteer on Mrsceonaija. She loves learning, marketing and impacting her society.