“Please don’t study a creative course, you’ll fail!”

Lawyer. Doctor. Engineer. Failure in life. You choose!

In many cultures, this selection can seem all too familiar when considering your future. Constant lectures on the importance of education, the push from parents to study a traditional degree and the endless reminders that if you don’t you’ll probably live a life being uneducated and – dare I say it… – broke.
Sound familiar? Welcome to the club! Being raised in a Nigerian household, I’m no stranger to this. Therefore, I opted for the realistic goal of becoming a barrister. I loved talking, having an audience and hey, lawyers are balling, right? Happily ignoring the fact that I disliked extensive reading, politics and the idea of wearing suits 9-5 made me ill, I still ended up studying Law. What happened? I hated the subject and dropped out after a term. As DJ Khaled would say, I played myself.

However, not to worry! Two years on, I’m a presenter for the likes of the BFI, GRM Daily and I’ve interned at companies such as ITV, Adidas and Sky. I’m now also studying a more ‘creative course’ at university and have seen first-hand that you can succeed regardless of your degree. Unfortunately, this doesn’t change the fact that parents everywhere still discourage their kids from doing creative courses. So, if that’s you – don’t fret. I’ve been there and I’ve got you…

Firstly, cut your parents some slack! “…Wait, what? I thought you were on my side”, I hear you say. Before you go clicking that ‘x’ though, hear me out. It’s likely that your parents grew up in a generation where if you didn’t study an academic subject, you would wind up uneducated and broke. However, news flash – it’s 2017! Nowadays, there are young doctors earning peanuts whilst social media influencers are earning millions. Educate your parents. Try to get them to understand that there are now more paths to success. They probably know no better.

Secondly, consider the question: Is university really the right path for you? Let me share two facts with you:

  1. University is expensive
  2. You don’t need university

In the creative field, you’ll find many people that don’t have or don’t use their degrees. This isn’t me telling you not to study a creative course – just be smart with it. Do you need university? Will your course or university name open doors for you? Could an internship or apprenticeship be more beneficial for you? Explore your options, weigh out the pros and cons and like I said, just be smart with it – university is one hefty investment! Do you really need it?

Next up, get yourself some experience! You need experience, experience and more experience. Did I mention experience? Anyone can get a degree. It is no longer the deciding factor in getting job. No matter if you’re walking into a corporate consultancy job or a fashion buyer job at ASOS, most of the time they’ll prize a candidate with 3 years’ experience over just a 3-year degree. Whatever your field, be sure to back it up with some time spent in the industry. It’ll also show your parents that you’re serious about your future and even open their eyes to the fact that there are real-life jobs in the creative sector!

More than anything though, I’d say do what makes you happy. With happiness comes passion, with passion comes focus and with focus comes great results. Doing what makes you happy is the key and it will make you more productive and driven and provide you with a better life. However, do take this with a pinch of salt. We all need to survive so ensure that your passions can make you a living at some point.

So, Mamma knows best? Not always. These days, university does not guarantee anything and it is a costly decision not to be taken lightly. Choose to pursue something that you enjoy with the knowledge that this is your life and your future. Stand firm in your decisions, work hard, focus on your goal and never forget that a piece of paper does not define your success – you do.

For my full dropping out story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_MBDHHFrWU

& for my life update a year on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNCdWuxMljM

 
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About itisami

AMI (Arts, Music, Inspiration) is a creative blog, platform and YouTube channel. AMI is dedicated to sharing content related to the arts, music and inspiring people in a creative way.

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