I Hate Studying!My father took critically ill and lay in hospital for months near death. I decided to leave school with 2y still to go, and went to work 7 to 5 in a factory so I could start to earn my keep. Soon on, though only sixteen, I realised I had only one life - make something of it, or lose it. I started night school to get my school leaving so I could maybe go to university.
It was rough. The factory was 5 miles away across the African bush and I only had my bicycle. Riding in mid summer on a beautiful morning along a dirt road then footpaths and crossing streams was fun. But come rainy days, mornings, or when the frost lay thick on the ground, leaving forty minutes before sunrise when it was still fairly dark, just wasn't fun. Come knock-off time at 5pm, it was back onto my bike and some 7 miles into the nearby city and into classrooms. Some nights I was lucky and classes ended at 7pm, other nights they ended at 9.30pm. Then it was on my bike with a 3 miles ride back home. The next day was the same routine.
After a year of this, I passed all my subjects and was ready to see if I could get into any university degrees with a few extra school subjects only to be told by the school, with apologies, that they didn't have the correct mathematics for university, so they put me into the course they were running without telling me. I was devastated.
Years passed, eventually I was 23y and found I could get into varsity on 'mature age exemption', but with a bunch of conditions. The next year I enrolled in night lecturers for a B Com degree with 104 others. By then I was married with our first son and a demanding job. 5y later I graduated with four others, the other hundred dropped out.
I started work at a university for one of the largest research institutes in Africa in its field, but to be on professional staff, I had to have Honours, so back to the grindstone this time studying by correspondence. By then our family was larger, the pressures greater, but in 2y I finished. However, the Director unethically, and I believe unlawfully, refused to put me on professional staff until I had my Masters. This degree was my first stroke of luck, I simply wrote up my work, submitted it, and got my M Com. I was then allowed not just to go onto professional staff, but to start my own research department.
Having got this far, I decided I might as well go for PhD, beside, the international academic fraternity are the worse bunch of small-minded snobs and won't really be seen talking to a mere Masters graduate in public. Running a research department along with researching and writing my PhD proved living hell. I found I could work 20h one day, but had to drop back to 18h for two days. I lived across the city from the research institute so I had to get to and from work, eat, bath, spend time with with our children, and also sleep, all within that 4h to 6h. I kept it up for 3y then graduated with a PhD.
My Doctoral thesis was requested by hundreds of universities and organisations around the world, and research has taken me to many parts of the world with my work and publications in Production Economics and Finance being the only one in this field in Africa for many years.
I have only written this to encourages others who, like me, don't have much of a hope in life. But we only have one life, if we don't make a success of it, we can't press a "Reset" button and live it again. Had I not gritted my teeth, done what I really dislike intensely, and studied for 12y, I would be spending what, to me, would have been a grossly unhappy and unrewarding work-life, if I'd been able to find work always. My family and I then would have spent our lives in poverty, our children very likely would have low self-images coupled with the little education I could have afforded them and their lives may well have been dismal too.
Qagidi 46-50, M 3 Responses 2 Apr 17, 2011