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Letter To The Prospective Graduate

Dear Fellow Prospective Graduate,

 Most of us might have registered for national service by now (I know that excitement in many, varsity pressure will soon be over). I know, because I’m one of them. Graduation is coming (Yaay!). A day when friends might completely surprise you. When a person you were with throughout in school could change in an instant. 

 Some may find what they were looking for. Others might just find themselves. Because when it ends, it’s really just the beginning. The thought of what I’m going to do at home keeps echoing in my mind. After four years of college, some of us are yet to decide what we will do with our lives. Like someone said, “unless you’ve really planned, or you’re trying to face life head-on, I suggest you still be in school”. Based on statistics, the outside world isn’t ready for those who aren’t ready. These are hard truths that need to be told.

 Some will graduate with bachelor degrees from various departments – from the Arts to the Sciences, business to fashion, history to medicine, among others. I care less about what class you graduate with (as if I have any right to, hehe). All society requires is that you be a person of substance. One whose mind is well stimulated for the socio-cultural dynamics of our time. One who can take prompt decisions to better himself and society. One who would be disciplined to his decisions. One who would stay true to mother Ghana. 

 Some people have said that we acquire academic degrees that aren’t required by our nation (Will that be our fault? Most people had little choice). I say, whatever degree you’ve got is absolutely necessary. You’ve got a degree in Religion? Well, we need you to educate our society that we do not have to “fight” because we share different faiths. Got a degree in Languages? We need people like you to help develop the needed linguistic corpus for our Ghanaian languages. Economics or Aquaculture? There are sectors for you. Degree in fashion? You know most of the youth are just adapting to the trends of fashion (the “shambala” wrist bands is being taken to a whole new level. How creative!). All I’m saying is, we need you!

 During the time spent in school, we have learned so much, and we know so much. In fact, we are proud to know so much. The sad thing is, only a handful of people will put into practice what they know. If we will practice a quarter of the knowledge we have acquired over the past years of schooling and through other means of education, we would do away with some “diseases” we suffer today.

 As we leave school, some people will make efforts to start their own ventures. The least we can do is to be supportive. We do not realize that some of us are a great part of the reasons people do not take initiatives. We consistently create jokes of the “hard work” of others without any consideration. Most people cannot move on. They are stuck where they are because we keep making mockery of every move they make. We make them live in fear. Meanwhile, we do not take initiatives ourselves too, like start a business for instance. And when others do, we sit back and laugh. Not everyone can withstand such negative attitude. It breaks some people down for life. Be wary of who and how you mock. You might just be shattering a dream. 

 To the dreamchaser, I convey to you the exact words of Richelle Goodrich, author of Eena, The Return of the Queen, “never give up. It’s like breathing-once you quit; your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every gasp of hope. You must continue taking in even the shallowest breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest efforts to sustain your dreams. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up”.

 Fellow, you will agree with me that sometimes we have the ability to help others but we don’t, because there’s no material reward or recognition for helping. We usually forget that we didn’t get the “ability to help” by chance. It was bestowed on us. When you have the ability, you should try to help. If you get a reward, fine! If not, you’re still a blessing! Some friends and past colleagues might come for assistance, reach out to them. Let people know that it’s not a “one man” job. We have to work together.

 Finally, do not just deliver job application letters, write aptitude tests and come sit home waiting for a response. Do something with your time. Read a book, teach children to read, volunteer at your community hospital. Inspire yourself to make an effort. Helen Keller, the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree said, “be a good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourself a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost”. You can!

 I would like to end here before Eyram, my friend, comes to comment that I am a talkative. I wish you the very best!


Hafiz Laryea