Jumping off a roof is not that dangerous….

Recently I came across an interesting story. It was about a man who jumped off the roof of a 2-story building that was on fire. (yea, real story). I concluded immediately, that this dude must have died. Come on! No one can survive such. Luckily, the dude escaped with a few broken bones and a hero notoriety. Someone even compared him to superman (like seriously? He can’t even shoot laser beams from his eye or carry a 10-tonne truck). He was featured on television shows and even adverts.

To make it clear: am not justifying jumping off roofs neither am I trying to explain a safe way to do it. I strongly advise against it. I will explain my reason for referring to the incident below- just follow me.

After reading about the “roof-jumper” a funny thought arose in my mind: what’s more dangerous than jumping from a roof? I promise you; this was not me trying to think of a crazy thing to do (I’ve done some crazy things). The inquisitive me just wanted to know.

So, what’s more dangerous than jumping off a rooftop?

The answer is: waiting to finish college before learning a skill.

From personal experience, 80 percent of college students (especially in developing countries like Nigeria) go to school only to get a job. They are so engrossed with books, theories, practicals, and the likes but have no time to learn other skills. Parents encourage this not because of hatred, but because they were trained that way too. But why does this happen?

In the case of colonized countries, the answer is not far-fetched: colonialism.

For most colonized countries, there was a hiring boom which started from the season close to their independence, till 20–30 years post-independence. As the colonizers were leaving, gaps opened up in many industries, government agencies, schools, and so on. As a result, each indigenous graduate from college was guaranteed a job with numerous perks immediately after graduating. In some cases, there was a massive campaign to encourage them to work. Parents who lived in that age developed a mindset whereby success was associated with a college degree. At the turn of the century, these gaps were filled up and the job market progressed from prioritizing college degrees to placing greater emphasis on skills. Therefore, a new gap was created: the skill gap. Sadly, the present educational system does not train students to fill those gaps.

The only way to stem this tide is to do one thing: do not gain a college education at the expense of learning skills and do not learn skills at the expense of your college degree. As much as you can, balance the two of them.

As dangerous as jumping off a roof may sound, leaving your future to be determined by a piece of paper is more dangerous.



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