As we draw towards the end of the #UgBlogWeek, we discover more ways in which “school made us no better”, as is the theme.

Sometime Last week on my way home from work, I went through Gazaland to buy some nail polish and hair products. With over ten shops carrying the same items on the same line, I quickly ducked into the first one before an over zealous sales agent could grab my hand and rush me into another.

Behind the counter was this girl I interned with during my second year holiday at the university. We exchanged pleasantries and she told me all about her business, trading in cosmetics and salon apparel with, this being one of her two shops in the same building. I was very glad to hear she was doing so well, surprised though, she was, focused and always took school seriously.  She told me that school was not something she was truly interested in. It had always been business. Like her father, she had the desire to run her own business. She had tried working in a bank but those were the most miserable six months of her life. She quit the job and followed her calling.

The idea of people dropping off the corporate wheel in favour self employment isn’t unique.

School had it different.

It didn’t matter much that you were a gifted singer, basket ball player, dancer, runner, actor. All that mattered is that you read books and passed exams, on your way to becoming a doctor, a lawyer, accountant, engineer etc. Very limited opportunities were presented for skills development as emphasis was placed on passing exams and for the school to be ranked as a top performer in the country.

The beauty of the real world is the opportunities that we are presented with. Where your attendance record, your position in the class, or the number of As you didn’t get the doesn’t matter much. Where success depends on much more than your academic score. We are now citizens of a world which depends less on straight As and more on survival and adaptability and good judgement.