Can you be anything you want?
We have ambitions, we plan our future from the first day we learn what planning is and how to plan. Growing up we have dreams, we know we will go to school(this is a hard fact that we have to live with- I mean who likes school? Funny how later we appreciate it). Then after school, we’ll go to awesome careers, I dreamt of being an ‘aeronautical engineer’ as a kid. That was a big deal, probably still is, because I always had to explain to my peers what an aeronautical engineer is. Maybe I should have led with-I was in a rural school and like almost everywhere else kids wanted to be pilots, but not me. I wanted to be an aeronautical engineer!
I’m a dreamer, and I believe in myself more than anyone else, I guess that’s just normal. But I remember around my 10th birthday, I was in class five back then, I changed what I wanted to be to just an engineer. An uncle of mine had just finished high school and went to do a diploma in Electrical engineering. He was making good money, at least to my young 10-year old eyes that was good money. I wanted to be him and so I settled on Electrical Engineering. Back then I made a choice when I got to high school, Physics was not going to be an elective, not for me. I lived up to that!
The way was tough though. I had moments in high school I fell in love with other subjects. Around form two, I was crazy about chemistry and changed my future career to chemical engineering for a while, then it became Analytical chemistry. Before I knew it I was deeply in love with computers I was sure Software Engineering would be it for me. Come the year 2012 I was graduating from high school, the little boy from my past came back and I remembered my dream of electrical engineering. I could either choose to do computer engineering or electrical. This was not going to be an easy choice so I chose a compromise, Electrical and Telecommunication Engineering.
Everybody was happy with my choice, me, my parents, friends. Well, I was, at least for a while-if around two years is a while. Around late 2014 or maybe early 2015 I had found a new love, Artificial Intelligence. I wanted to do something about that but my rigid coursework wouldn’t let me, I was in my second year engineering. I decided to start small, so my first decision was to learn a relevant programming language. My first choice was C++, I had had a little background in it during my coursework but I quickly changed to the easier option and favorite for beginners, Python. What I didn’t realize at the moment was this would throw me into a world I had previously not anticipated, within a year I found myself immersed in the more general field of Data Science.
I learned about Andela from my friends, stories of guys who left school to join this awesome startup for programmers- a startup that invests in your growth. I was really excited at first and thought I should do the same and join Andela then I’d further my data science skills from there. Now you can imagine my disappointment when I realized that they major in web development, the one field in programming I had somehow managed to convince myself I wouldn’t delve into. I mean, how would that ever merge with my engineering interests?
Not so long after that, I decided to try and see what this beast called web development was all about. Thanks to my basic python, that I had learned for data science and awesome python community I chose to try python frameworks for web development. So I tried Django and Flask tutorials. And I actually liked it. So now the big decision, I am pursuing an engineering degree, with huge interests in machine learning and now caught up in web development. What do I do?
After my fifth-year first semester final exams, February 2018, thanks to lecturer’s strike I decided to do something constructive with that time. I decided the most constructive thing I could do was try applying to Andela, what’s the worst that could happen? Maybe I just don’t make it. So with every challenge, I just give it my best and somehow that turns out to be enough and to the next challenge I go. It has been probably the most educative two months now of my life. And from where I am sitting now, I feel like the story has yet to begin.
Looking back I realize my attitude has had a lot to do with my journey. I don’t know when it will end or how it will end but I know one thing for sure, I will learn more each coming day. We all have our different stories, and no one’s is the same as the other’s but one thing we can agree on is that having a “growth mindset”, being willing to keep on learning new things is a more beneficial way than having a strict approach to life, or what ‘they’ term as “fixed mindset”. Be ready to face new challenges, in new environments never seen before. Build yourself and never stop learning. Go forth and be anything you want. I say, “Yes, We Can”.