Sunday, in church, one of the priests in my church who had just been ordained gave the sermon, and boy did she have a remarkable story to tell. It was mostly about how she wanted to grow up and be in a certain profession, but she didn't make it there because she didn't pass an exam she needed to. She was very disappointed, ended up taking certain courses she didn't know why she was taking.
Never did she imagine she'd be ordained as a priest, but there she stood. A priest, and guess what? The course she took which she didn't know why she did has actually come in handy. It was in public speaking (she was training to be a broadcast journalist). Good thing she took that course because how I love it always when she delivers the sermon.
Basically, her sermon for the day was God knows why we have to go through certain things (everything happens for a reason).
All this Reverend had to say last Sunday got me thinking about me and my life, and I agree with her 100%. I said a bit in My Big Day! but, I'll add a
By age 10, I knew I wanted to be a paediatric surgeon when I grow up (very curious since a lot of people understandably don't know what they want to do by 40). At least I thought I knew. That meant I had to study elective science in senior high school. My grades after junior high were good but not good enough to get into an elective science programme in the school I wanted. I ended up in a different school because I wasn't going to kill my dream of becoming a paediatric surgeon just because of a preference in schools.
I was the worst science student ever! I flunked all my electives from day 1. Quite a number of my classmates were in a similar situation, and they advised themselves early. They switched from science to arts or business after the first term of school. But I was stubborn.
Result? I almost didn't make it into the university. Matter of fact, I was so sure I wouldn't make it anywhere with the grades I had that I enrolled in remedial classes to rewrite my elective subjects. And then I got my admission letter from the university. Turns out I was on the late admissions list.
Well, by then I knew I had to give up the paediatric surgeon dream (no one would admit me into medical school with those horrible grades). So, I studied home science for my first degree, mainly because that was one of the few programmes I could make it into the university to study. I was a good home science student. There was one semester where I actually had straight A's. That has never happened to me before (ever). Did I already say that has never happened to me before? Never! I didn't even know that was possible. So I graduated from the university with a Bachelor's Degree in Home Science with a Final Grade Point Average (FGPA) of 3.56.Yeah, I was bummed out, totally. That FGPA meant I graduated with a Second Class Upper. To get a First Class, a graduand should have an FGPA of 3.6 or better. I needed just 0.04 more points to get a First Class (see why I was bummed out, totally?).
I got past that feeling, and then I found out about an educational reality show British Council was organising. What got me interested was that 3 winners would be selected and they each get a scholarship for postgraduate study in the UK. Out of thousands of applicants who were cut down to a couple of hundreds to 25 and then finally to 12, I was one of the 12. I honestly couldn't believe it, but I knew there was something I was good at, but I just hadn't found it yet. At that time I was just about to start my national service in the dietherapy department of a hospital in Ghana, and the plan had been to study dietetics after. That changed just when I got into the reality show. I read on the courses the 3 awarding universities had to offer and settled on communication. That, I decided was what I wanted to do. We were down to 7, and then I was evicted. I was devastated (I must have been cos I got all teary eyed on national TV when I was evicted).
Life goes on. For me, if I couldn't study in the UK, why not study what I wanted to right here in Ghana? I did that. Out of hundreds of applicants into the School of Communication Studies of the University of Ghana, who were cut down to just about a hundred, to a little over 30, 23 of us were admitted into the school into the MA programme. Out of the 23 of us, 5 of us were selected into the MPhil programme and 1 (yours truly) was presented with the Canadian Commonwealth Exchange Program - Africa Award. I got to study at the University of Manitoba in Canada (Yay!).
Yep, eureka! I had found it. I had found what it is that I was good at. Never had I been the best sudent in any class, but here I was. By age 10, I thought I knew what I wanted to do, turns out that wasn't it for me. It wasn't until age 23 that I actually found what it is that I was good at and wanted to do.
Being a paediatric surgeon is a great dream, but I'm sure the fact that I squirm at the sight of my own blood would have been a problem. Being a dietitian is not bad at all, but the fact that I get irritated telling people to do what I figure they should already know would have been a problem (I still don't get why overweight persons don't get that there is a problem with being overweight). Getting that First Class would have been great, but it just might have convinced me to push for that career in dietetics since I would have felt I am that good at the subject. Winning "The Challenge" (the educational reality show I was a part of), would have been awesome, but that would mean I wouldn't have got to live in Canada when I did (I am so not saying living in Canada beats living in the UK). All I'm saying is, no, I didn't get a scholarship to study in the UK, but all was not lost. Another opportunity presented itself and I got a scholarship to study in Canada instead (when one door closes, another one opens).
Even when it seems all is lost and you feel disappointed, even when you feel bummed out, totally, even when you feel devastated, keep your head up! Everything happens for a reason. It might not seem apparent to you at the time, but give it some time, all will work out!
And oh, it really isn't just about finding what it is you want to do, how about finding something you are actually good at and want to do (that I've come to realise helps).