No one is prepared to become an adult. People grow and just find out that they are not the child that they used to be. Meanwhile, adudlthood can be very challenging when youngsters are allowed to navigate that phase by themselves with no proper education from a responsible adult.
While some had the opportunity to learn from people before them, they still wish that they knew more. So, we asked some Naija women what they wished they knew while growing into adulthood.
No is a complete answer, a complete sentence. Learn how to say no, child. Practice saying no without entertaining the ensuing guilt, without getting angry at the request, without being emotionally invested in the request or the person. I didn’t learn this early enough and I can’t even begin to explain how terribly it cost me and made me susceptible to emotional and psychological damage for years.
Get exposure! Use books, movies, the internet, your feet, your circle, and the resources at your disposal to expand your views, your horizons. Expand your view and knowledge base beyond what you’re taught in class. There are opportunities passing you by on a daily because your view and circle are narrow.
Many of the things you’ll be taught in Nigerian churches about God and His heart towards His children will be false. You will only realise this when you deliberately, consistently study God for yourself. Imagine you and God trading jokes. Or Him instructing you to send airtime to so and so person. Neh, probably not the Nigerian God. Study God. Don’t graduate from the course. In fact, God is a whole school.
Child, refuse to let people shame you for being a light and insisting on the right thing.
‘Na you holy pass’? ‘Everybody does it’. ‘You only live once o, my guy; chop and clean mouth’. ‘Babe, you dey dull o. Follow do dis tin na’. Etc.
Integrity. Honesty. Truth. Faithfulness. Kindness. Good conscience. They are not old fashioned. They still matter, still count, still have rewards.
In a couple of years, high school or university status won’t matter. Those people you envy or look up to because of their popularity might find it harder than you to be relevant in adult life. Just do you. Take your time, don’t be in a rush, everything will fall into place and happen at its own time.
You can’t get emotional first with people or even get involved with people emotionally. Emotions can be blinding and when we get involved with people emotionally and handle things from there, we will make a lot of mistakes. It is important to understand how to properly handle our emotions.
Dare to do big things in wisdom and in the right way. Don’t let your voice of victory go down. Just because the older generation couldn’t dare it does not mean you shouldn’t.
Forgive yourself and do that early. Don’t allow guilt hold you back from soaring. Whatever happened may not be your fault, but even if it is, remember you’re human and it’s okay to make mistakes.
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