I’m sure that each and everyone of us has been asked this question. I will be glad if you will share with me the answers the little star in you gave and what you are actually doing now in the comment session below.
Apparently, I don’t know what my first answer was. I won’t be surprised if a video is played for me to see my past and you hear me mentioning doctor or a journalist because everyone else was saying those things. If there’s something I remember, it’s my poor academic performance in lower primary. My parents sent me to a boarding school when I was six years. They were expecting something good from me but whenever I went home with my terminal report card, it’s either “talkative or more room for improvement” written at the teacher’s remarks. I guess if I had any aspirations it was one as simple as ABCD. In the final term of primary 3, only those with good handwriting would be allowed to migrate from writing with pencil to pen. That was the beginning of the studios me. In Primary 4, I had the opportunity to represent my school in a quiz competition with Regina, then received accolades from “more room for improvement to excellent or keep it up.”
Then when the little me finally decided to pursue law, the first comment I had was: A lawyer? you want to become a liar? Then followed the next, when you die you will be buried with your face down because even your corpse will be embarrassed to face all the lies you told. I dropped the idea, I guess I didn’t fall to the ground because I feel it hanging within. Then I thought of becoming a meteorologist. I still remember where I was standing at Star of the Sea premises( my junior high school). My interviewer then asked me of my choice of career. Before the word me-teo-ro-logist could fully come out he asked me if I wanted to become a pauper? Well I didn’t know meteorologist was synonymous to pauper.
I remember a friend who said she wanted to be an astronaut and she got her favourite taunts and jeers . She was actually called “chorkor astronaut.” Now she is in the United States chasing her dreams.
For me, I got admission to the University of Ghana, Legon to read Sociology, Geography and Chinese. I did not hesitate to exhibit my ignorance. I cried for a week and refused to even talk to anyone. I felt I deserved a “better” course. I had no idea where my future career was heading. Today I hold a first class degree in Sociology and Chinese. I am not done, I have just started. There’s a whole lot of things to be done.
Just like Michelle Obama once said “now I think it’s one of the most useless question an adult can ask a child- what do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end. So far in my life I’ve been a lawyer. I have been a vice president at a hospital and the director of a non-profit venture that helps young people build meaningful careers and until recently I was the first lady of the United States of America.” This was a little girl who once said she wanted to become a Paediatrician.” Excerpts from ‘Becoming,’ by Michelle Obama.
Today schools have “Career Day” celebration. A total assurance of hope neglecting the reality of life which the future holds. Some schools go to the extent of prescribing which professional attire each student should wear. Parents are always on the run for military uniforms, flight attendant uniforms, doctors coats etc… Some parents even insist on what their kids should study. Like my friend Kingsford, whose father forcefully changed his destiny to study business when he was naturally talented to pursue Visual Arts. But, thank God he has bounced back to the path His creator placed him on. They say “we are a family of doctors, we are a family of Lawyers”. Seriously, is this benchmark worth necessary? I don’t know why they get disappointed when their kids fail abysmally. Just today the chief justice said she would do everything possible to prevent mass production of lawyers just as it’s done for doctors and surgeons. See the kind of hurdles people have designed for your children. I believe you can recall passion of one’s mind against tradition of the family. Some succeed and yet find no happiness in their jobs. You see a nurse maltreating a patient, a teacher frustrating students. You ask yourself if they deserve to be called humans because even though they are human beings, they are not being human.
Dear parents and teachers why don’t you allow the kids to represent their own ambitions? Can’t you nurse and guide them? Should it always be the autocratic “your way” kind of thing? Why don’t you wait for the next academic year for those who change their occupations and get to understand the reasons for their change? Humans have a greater purpose in life and career shouldn’t be what defines us as humans. You introduce your boyfriend and the first question becomes what does he do for a living? Why attach so much importance to some occupations and degrade others?
Many youths shy away from agriculture because weeding was a form of punishment during their school days. Why won’t that young man hesitate to farm when he’s afraid his girlfriend would rather marry a man with a white collar job? Learning is difficult but it’s more difficult to unlearn something you were taught. Create an enabling environment and allow the children to dream as big as the oceans. These little tulips will blossom with the right nutrients.
Life is too short to be making life boring for children. Remember they will grow and you won’t be there. Try changing anything in their lives against their heart and boom, you kill them already. Instead of imposing on them why not propose to them a variety of ideas and guide them on their choices. Instead of the ‘what do u want to be?’ why not ask what can you do, or which problem can you solve? That way you’ll get a wide range of questions and answers then you can build them up from there.
What do you want to be in future? is a silent killer of dreams , especially when you’re not God to tell tomorrow.
I told my Uncle, I would like to become a footballer when we were kids and he asked me this question ” will you like to stand in this hot sun and run for ninety good minutes or sit in an air condition room with a suit and get paid”……? I couldn’t answer the question but this question changed all my plans. Who knows, I could have been the next Essein. Anyway I think is not a good idea to stop people from doing what they like. Thanks for this.
Hahah very interesting, I guess 90 minutes under the sun created a an environment as hot as hell. I still pray you find something you love and chase it. Thanks for sharing. Do tag your uncle lol
I probably wrote doctor when I was younger but from when I can remember I’ve wanted to be a lawyer, journalist, author, star gazer, translator. With the exception of journalism, I still once one in a while think of becoming some of the others. The interesting thing is that, growing up I always gathered kids to play school, me being the teacher. People around me then always commented on how I will become a teacher but I never once said I’d like to be a teacher when I grow up because of the poverty teachers themselves attach the occupation. Now I know I love teaching, and I plan to pursue that path. Will also definitely bear the title author before my journey ends.
Very important issue here you mention, we are not even thought as kids what this careers being forced on us really meant. You’d ask a kid this question and they’d say Doctor, ask them why and they have absolutely no reason for it.
I think the question can be asked but certain careers shouldn’t be made more attractive than others,hence being forced into the kids, but to allow them from their creative minds say whatever they feel like becoming at a point, changing our minds on various issues is part of growing up. Really love this❤️❤️
Very interesting comment there. I’m glad you have identified what you really like. Thanks
I think this question stirs more fear and anxiety than it creates hope
You know right. Recently my lil sis said to me, so all the school you are going what will you become? It gave me more fear than hope. Thanks
This blog has so much to do with children’s development. Growing up I wanted to be a lawyer, a surgeon, a teacher and a chartered accountant. I was convinced that lawyers were buried with their heads down, equally I was told because of forgetfulness I will mistakenly leave a pair of scissors in a patient’s stomach if I become a surgeon. I then chose business and pursued it, fortunately and unfortunately I was offered health services management, psychology and Chinese at the University of Ghana. I wept for a week but at least today I have found a passion for the courses I’m studying. I believe we give should room for kids to decide on what they love to do best and rather encourage and guide them instead of pushing our unfulfilled dreams on them. Equally, I have a friend whose father has forced him to study business, he completed the University and sat for ICAG’s professional courses and has failed three times, he still keeps registering and keeps failing. Hmmm it’s so sad, so sad😞😞. I hope parents can stop this attitude and cheer their wards on to self fulfilment and not self regret.
Thanks for sharing your story dear, I’m touched. It’s comforting that you love the courses you are studying now. But for your friend who keeps failing it’s rather unfortunate. Life is too short you know, I hope he finds his dreams early enough to chase them. Thanks again
Hahaha. Nice write-up Bridget.
I wanted to be a pilot oo. But like the saying goes, “how many aeroplanes do we have in Ghana for u to be even trained with.
Then I wanted to become a doctor. But Now I’m an Engineer and have not regretted.
Certainly, the question gives more fear than hope. I always wanted to be a lawyer, I love encouraging people and standing up for the weak but in reality am reading Public Administration and Chinese at University of Ghana don’t know what the future holds but just believing God.
Very interesting.. growing up, I wanted to be a journalist and at a point I mentioned being a hairstylist but someone quickly rebuked me. lol
Reading this piece again and decided to also comment. Growing up as a young Mr Coleman 😊 I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer So I quite remember I was sitting with my mom eating when she once asked me, ‘nti Victor wonnyin aarh wopese wob3y3 den? And I just smiled and said ma lawyer oo. Enoaa na mep3. Then she was like arh s3 den nti? Then the usual comments about lawyers came up and this convo died.
Years later, I realized it wasn’t really something I would have loved to do for life. The passion was fading and the interest in languages and also studying my environment and people and know or discover how best you can help came. After SHS, I gave all my books out except my French dictionary because I said I wanted to come and continue my French in the uni. But while filling the forms I didn’t like the course combination that came with French so I decided to switch or try another language and I chose Spanish, Chinese and Russian under separate category and I got Chinese. Upon attending my first Chinese class, I made up my mind to drop it because it sounding someway in my ear. I said to Jessica eiii what’s this? Am I going to continue this for four good years? Naaa. I’m dropping. Chai. But today thanks be to God. It’s my favorites day I wished I could drop my other course and Major in Chinese only. Learning it now doesn’t mean I wanna be a translator. The zeal and passion I have in teaching surpasses that so I’m hoping to teach it one day if it’s Gods will
Looks like the lawyers have some kind of reputation. Through it all you found your passion. Very detailed. Thanks so much for sharing.
Nice piece… I wanted to be a “businessman” just because I was always seeing my dad doing calculations from his daily sales.. and he was always called “businessman” , I didn’t even understand the meaning but I just liked it.. Lol
Now im pursuing accounting so I believe the admiration for my dad being called “businessman” helped
I’m sure your dad is proud of you. He did well being a great role model.