Between dedication and wishful thinking

So, you’re really serious about getting something done but you’re not sure if you can commit to it? Then, maybe that thing is not yet at the top of your priority list or better still, it’s a case of wishful thinking.
I remember during my Junior Secondary School days in Nigeria, I longed for the JSS WAEC and I really wanted to be successful in it and I meticulously created my own self-study timetable at home and lived a very routine lifestyle around it.
A typical week for me was – go to school in the morning; get back home in the afternoon; look at what was up as far as food was concerned (Argh gari and groundnut, I’m thinking of both of you now!); go to after-school lesson (the teacher, Mr Rotimi, was a committed and very kind man indeed, whose passion as a Maths teacher still resonates with me today); went back home to do a bit of self-studies when possible; listened to BBC World Service, particularly, Focus on Africa and the Sports news; ate and slept; played ‘monkey post’ football (similar to futsal but usually with one goalkeeper and two or three individual players aiming to score a goal as individuals and become the goalkeeper); go to friends’ house occasionally; and of course, got woken up every morning by mother for the early morning prayer at the mosque.

To date I still find that period of my academic life, the most fulfilling in terms of the final outcomes of the examination, I still savour it as my best because I got grades that I believe I really worked to my limits to achieve them and the journey for me was more important than the inn.
Now, compare that experience to my Senior Secondary School days. We moved house; I ate more beans (ewa!) than gari and groundnut ( at least by that time I’ve realised  my nuts allergy – I still defy the odds nowadays and take Snickers chocolate occasionally); made more new friends; played more street football; loaf around more and spend lesser time on studies and failed my Physics GCE O-level exam, TWICE and I didn’t even blink an eye and I had contemplated being an Engineer. How feasible is it to study engineering at the university without meeting the basic requirement in physics?

I remember a friend who was more studious and focused, telling me back then that, if he needed to pass an exam so seriously like that, he would give it his best shot. In retrospection, I think I didn’t care much about the eventual outcomes of my two failed attempts at the GCE O-level physics because I wasn’t sure of the career path I wanted to follow and also, I had a mind-set that I had achieved the minimum requirement of five o-level credits in my O-level exams, including maths and English and as such, there was no need to commit myself to working hard enough to pass my physics exam. I knew the five O-level credits were adequate for me to get into some other courses at the university level but not engineering.
So, if you really want something, then you have to be ready to commit to the project 100%, even if it’s a side project.

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