The dream of every parent is to see their children excel in academic glory. Modern society has been conditioned to promote and revere school graduates who have scored As and Bs in their national exams.
These top cream school leavers are admitted in public universities where they get the privilege to study through government's highly subsidized tuition scheme. When they are asked about their ambitions, their responses revolve around medicine, engineering and law. Their aspiration is to be obedient employees in a labor market that values academic grades rather than competent skills.
But what happens to students who score below the set threshold? They are chastised and branded failures. These students brace themselves for rudimentary treatment from parents, peers and the entire community. The society condemns them to a life of indigence and a future mired in destitution.
Young women are lucky because they are garlanded with flowery words of hope including getting into careers of pageantry, modelling and thottery in social media platforms while young men are left with a herculean task of turning their ‘failures’ into success or waste away into alcoholism, drugs, crime and blank hopelessness.
What is defeat? Nothing but education: nothing but the first step to something better. - Wendell Phillips.
This blog post is meant for the young man who has just received his high school results with utter disappointment and denial. It is a post for the young man who has been marked as the black sheep that has stained the academic fabric of the family. This blog post is for the young man who is now stranded with his ‘below the average grade’ and therefore he has been condemned into the pits of dejection and despondency.
Dear young man,
Be grateful for completing your high school education. Many have stalled along the course of this torturous journey that is made difficult by skewed school rules, lack of tuition fees, influential malfeasance from peers, and most lately a global pandemic, but you are here.
I am here to tell you the following:
Life is not a straight line.
Life is a journey filled with winding paths, valleys, canyons, dunes and rivers. It is never a predictable line. Be glad that your disappointment has come early in life. Embrace it and prepare yourself to face the task ahead. In the future you will be surprised that those who were ahead of you have remained stagnant because they are embedded in their past high school glory.
Embrace rejection and obstacles
Face rejection like a giant, take it with your armored resilience. The examiners rejected your answers not because you are an imbecile but because you were not ripe for their questions at that particular time. Use this obstacle to callus your mind in order to withstand future rejection.
You will be rejected by women, men, employers, customers and even parents. Always remember that obstacles are opportunities to leverage your success agenda.
We choose how we’ll look into things. We retain the ability to inject perspective into a situation. - Ryan Holiday
You cannot change obstacles but your power of perspective will change how your high school grade will influence your future life.
Friends and Peers
Failure can send you to a bottomless pit. Rejection can condemn you into loneliness and depression. The news that your friends got As and Bs while you got C, D or E will devastate you into a solitary space.
Your friends begin drifting away from you because they figure that you have no value to offer them. Take this as a turning point for choosing new friends and peers. However, be very careful because you might find yourself in a circle of degenerates who will plunge you into crime, alcohol and truancy.
Don’t be in a rush to fit into fads and peers, choose wisely. Choose friends who will mentor you and add value into your life.
Get moving: Get a purpose.
Your growth starts where your comfort ends.
Just like a reptile is domiciled in rivers and lakes, a man’s ultimate domicile is his purpose.
We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out. -Theodore Roosevelt.
This is your opportunity to write down your purpose. Without purpose you will be stagnant in life. You will rust, you will grow fungal molds and end up a depressed loser in life.
If you don’t know your purpose, find a mentor.
To find your purpose, identify your talents and figure out how they can be harnessed to create a solution. This solution is your purpose. Work on it. Refresh it every day.
Mens sana in corpore sano: A sound mind in a strong body.
Most of your peers in early 20s get hooked to hedonistic lifestyles of drinking alcohol, smoking weed, having indiscriminate sex, masturbation, watching pornography and debauchery.
The generation today is lusting after unimportant pursuits and hungry for the instant fulfillment of trivial desires, often driven by a technology that enslaves us instead of liberating us. - Robin Sharma
Be a different young man. The foundation of your future health depends on how you lay the pillars of your health today.
Do the following;
Eliminate sugar: Sugar, sugary drinks and processed foods are harmful to your health because they will predispose you to obesity, metabolic diseases and mental sickness.
Eat meat and eggs; they will build your muscles, enzymes and your most important hormones, testosterone and growth hormones.
Don’t eat like a pig; practice intermittent fasting because it will train you to manage cravings and have razor sharp focus on your purpose, mission and goals.
Lift weights: Your muscle health will drive the efficiency of your mental health. As a young man, you have a potent weapon that can fuel your strength and aggressiveness in life. This weapon is called testosterone hormone. Lifting weights teaches you to embrace pain, to callus your mind, to be patient with yourself and to value the importance of being a healthy man. The world today is rough for men, only the strong and resilient will survive.
Read books: Pick a book and read. Have a library of hard books. Books are your point of reference. If you cannot buy books, enroll in a community library near you.
Read about masculine heroes like 'Alexander The Great' and 'Marcus Aurelius'.
Read biographies of your role models: if your interest is the tech space then read books about Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. If your interest is to excel in sports, then read book about successful athletes eg Kobe Bryant. Align yourself with an icon you admire.
Read books about Financial discipline and investment; as a young man who has been ignored because of not so appealing performance, read books that will teach you about money. Your peers who performed well are aspiring to be employees. It is now your turn to learn how to be an employer. Figure out how you will employ the A student in the future. You can start with 'Rich dad, Poor dad' by Robert Kiyosaki.
Read fitness and masculinity books: read books about fitness and how to eat a good diet. Read books on how to embrace your masculinity. These books will buffer you from the vicissitudes of the dating market. They will train you how to remain stoic in a feminized society. For a start, grab ‘The obstacle is the way’ by Ryan Holiday and ‘The 5 AM Club’ by Robin Sharma.
Master the soft skills:
In the future, the work environment will dramatically shift from academic oriented employment to an employment that values and evaluates soft skills. These soft skills are;
Complex problem-solving skills.
Customer care and service.
Sit down and begin placing yourself in the future labor market. Lay down plans on how to strengthen these soft skills. Use your time to build these soft skills.
Start selling and marketing: Pick any product in the market e.g solar-powered bulbs or happy socks and start walking from door-to-door selling them. You will learn a lot from it. You will acquire quality knowledge, skills and attitudes in the world of business and finance. Selling and marketing will train you how to be a convincing and credible storyteller, and how to compassionately take care of your customers.
Coding: the future is embedded in technology. Enroll in an online computer class to learn programming languages and coding. You will unlock your hidden potential that is sitting deep in you.
Public speaking: cultivate an interest in speaking in front of people. You can begin by speaking to a youth group where you are a member or a church as you hypertrophy your muscles of speaking. Perfect the skills by reading online and offline literature about public speaking. Public speaking will train you how to be confident, how to control your emotions and how to manage expectations in life.
Sporting: Join a sport. If you participated actively in sports or drama in high school, then aspire to join a local club to upgrade your sporting skills. Sports and drama not only build your physical frame but train you about teamwork, problem solving strategies, creativity and leadership.
Learn a technical skill.
As your successful peers look up to joining universities locally and overseas, take this chance to learn a technical skill. There are several government-sponsored institutions that offer very good technical training that you can consider.
Crafts like carpentry, plumbing, draughtsmanship, tailoring and farming are known as “blue collar jobs”. These jobs promote the Industrial Revolution in our society. Whether today or in the future, we all need farmers, carpenters, plumbers, interior designers and other craftsmen.
Ironically the society today views these craft courses as lowly placed courses for failures. Don't have this mindset. These are the courses of the future. While the 'top cream' graduates scramble for White Collar jobs, be a different man, do not go with the wind.
I have listed below sectors of economy that need technicians. I have also shared links of technical colleges that feed these sectors with respective technical workers.
List of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges
These colleges offer training in technical courses. These courses equip you with lifelong skills that will not only empower and enrich your life but also, help you solve community challenges.
Here is a list of TVET Colleges under the ministry of Education.
The Kenya Technical Training College is a very good training institution for anyone who wants to be a teacher of technical subjects like computer science, wood work, metal work, electrical engineering etc.
Kenya Industrial Training Institute and The National Industrial Training Authority under the Ministry of Industrialization offer a number of industry-oriented courses targeting workers in the formal and informal sectors. The courses include short and long programs e.g. proficiency courses, skill upgrading courses, artisan courses, and tailor-made courses. The centers provide full board accommodation, training rooms and workshops.
If farming is your interest, then join The Dairy Training Institute under the Ministry of Agriculture.
Still under the Ministry of Agriculture is Bukura Agricultural College which will impact you with skills on how to become a successful farmer. Remember Agriculture is the backbone of every economy in the world.
The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication is the best technical college in the training of journalists. It is Kenya's premier training college in journalism.
If you are looking to join the health sector, then consider joining The Kenya Medical Training College.
Water is life. Human beings cannot survive without water. If your interest is to become a water expert or technician e.g meter reading, plumbing & pipe fitting, sewerage technician, then consider joining the Kenya Water Institute under the ministry of water and natural resources.
Under the ministry of Lands is the Kenya Institute of Survey and Mapping. The college offers training in geo-sciences including land survey, cartography, photolithography, photogrammetry and remote sensing.
If you intend to acquire skills in infrastructure development like the building of roads, bridges and buildings, then consider joining The Kenya Institute of Highways and Building Technology which is under the Ministry of Roads.
Bandari College in Mombasa is your perfect choice if you are interested in shipping and maritime studies, and learning the operations at our ports. Remember, the port is the gateway to any country in terms of global trade.
The Ministry of water and natural resources has another college that trains aspects of forestry. Every country is working hard to increase and protect its forest cover. This college churns out graduates with knowledge and skills in forestry protection and management. The college is Kenya Forestry College.