“And then ASUU strikes…”

While I was seeing a movie with a friend today, a neighbor came in and was surprised to see me at home and was asking about the ASUU strike and why there was a strike again. I was all “I don’t exactly know the bone of contention, but I know it’s money related from all the little info I’d been getting and seeing around”. The very nerdy friend I was with just stared at me and I’m like “Okay your royal smartness, please do us the honors and explain in a more orderly and “smarty-pants” fashion what the issue is”. And he proceeds to say what I did, just in a more orderly and smarty-pants fashion like I said sarcastically and here’s what he said: “As usual, it’s a battle of debt between the government and ASUU but, in time past they had been “settled” with little funds from time to time to make up for the debt the government owed (not the whole debt to be clear) but the government breached the “contract” and now they’re requesting for everything that had been owed all together which sums up to something around a trillion naira”.

First off, if you didn’t know all of this like me, you’re probably wondering “What the actual fuck?” but yes, that’s what it really is. Now while popular opinion states that the ASUU strike is a draw back, here’s an unpopular opinion that says the opposite and before you come at me with your pitchforks and knives, hear me out.

To begin with, I think the average logical Nigerian knows now that waiting till after graduation before searching for work equals delaying yourself. But in school and even outside of the school’s walls, getting a job is a whole lot. And here’s where my first opinion comes in. The age grade for the “standard” year one student of the university ranges from 16–19, an age that would easily turn off employers if teenagers aren’t taking the world by storm and doing amazing things currently. So logically, to even get a job in your first and/or second year of uni is a dream with only little possiblity of fruitfulness and uni years run between a span of 4–5 years. Technically, that’s about half the time you have in school to job hunt and well… It’s usually futile for a number of people. You might also be thinking, “I’m an entrepreneur or I run a personal business”, it takes a lot to build and run and business but it takes a whole lot more to keep it a business and to make a name for yourself from it. A year isn’t just it, believe me. So there you are, half of your time gone and you’re either one of three people:

  1. The one who has a job or a business and is simply building up to maintain it and create a name for themselves amongst businesses all around .

2. The one still hunting for jobs.

3. The one that hasn’t figured out what they want to do.

And then ASUU strikes. An automatic extra year. For the first to build a reputation, the second to either find something or just be closer to finding something and for the third to figure things out and become either or the first or second persons.

Truth be told, we don’t all have our plans for life figured out when we finish secondary school and that’s very much understandable. But what’s disappointing thing is life never stops. Things may be slow for you and while you should take your time, you always have to remember that life isn’t going to stop. Not for any reason. So while a number of people have their plans for life figured out, a whole lot don’t. And the cycle doesn’t stop. You finish secondary school, ready or not, you’re pushed into the real world and you have to face these things. So while you’re figuring out things and slowly running out of time and probably panicking, ASUU gives you a chance to slow down, get ahead with your ongoing plans and also figure things out to a large extent. One minute you’re rushing to class with a lot of unfinished assignments and the next you have some months or a year where you can think and probably have something going.

We may not necessarily see it that way because ASUU is already associated with this negative air but in my opinion, it is quite the help to every uni student.

So if you have something going, keep at it and if not, here’s a chance to figure things out and I do hope, for your sake, that you do.

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