From Me To You

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Teens Connect with – Nkechi Ibeneme;  08142358958 – (sms only)

he old cliché, ‘You can’t eat your cake and have it’, is waning – especially in relation to school-work balance. You can actually be in school and pursue your passion at the same time. With a dint of hard work, you can excel in both. We live in a fast-paced world and waiting until you graduate from school before chasing your dream is ‘so yesterday’ and counter-productive. Instead of claiming ‘student’ and wasting time on the social media, watching television and visiting friends, you can actually make something out of life by productively applying your spare time in pursuit of your dreams and in building a career.
Gone are the days when (proactive) people wait for school to be over before trying to figure out what the next step would be for them. As you take a step, try to anticipate the next step, and the next, and the next – far into the foreseeable future. In other climes, students have the opportunity to work while studying. They are allowed manageable work-hours so they can earn some money to augment stipends received from their parents. Needless to say, that the hands-on experience also comes handy after graduation. What’s more? Students have access to student loans – a welfare provision by their government to help all those who want to go to school but could not afford it.
Unfortunately, the same opportunity does not exist in Nigeria. Here, graduates find it extremely difficult to secure good jobs, leaving thousands to roam the streets in search of non-existent jobs. Unfortunately, they are wrongly referred to as “lazy” by their country’s forebear). Seeing that those who are ahead of you are “miserably unemployed” and that the same fate is likely to befall you, the wise thing is to take your destiny into your hand and work to create a desirable future for yourself. The best time to make hay is now that the sun of your life is shinning. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Deploy your spare time to build yourself; learn a skill, explore your talent or even learn a trade. Just do something other than academic activities. You never know where your success lies.
Every great achievement or invention starts as a mere dream. If the dreamer acts promptly and hard enough on this dream, it soon becomes a reality. Looking at the lives of great people who have distinguished themselves in the areas of science, politics, literature, entertainment, and all other fields, one will discover that they have two outstanding things in common: vision and resilience. They have dreams which they pursued vigorously and relentlessly despite obstacles. Today, their dreams are impacting the world.
Now that you are young, dare to dream. Reach out and conquer the world. Once you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Career Talk
If You Take…
By Juliet Oji Osuji
If you take a school leaver with an O’ level and enrol him as an apprentice at a tailor’s shop, three years after, he will be able to sew any clothing styles.
If you take a school leaver and enrol him as an apprentice at a mechanic workshop, three years later, he will be able to fix vehicles, even the complex internal combustion engine and its systems.
If you take a school leaver and enrol him as an apprentice at a mobile phone repairer’s outlet, three years after, he should be able to repair your latest iPhone with precision.
If you take a school leaver and enrol her as an apprentice at a bakery, three years after she’ll be baking multilevel cakes in varieties for occasions.
If you take a school leaver and enrol him as an apprentice at a welder’s workshop, three years after he can fabricate gates and just anything made of iron.
If you take a school leaver and enrol him as an apprentice at an event planner’s place, three years after, she will handle your events with dexterity and style.
But, if you take a school leaver and put him in a university under the tutelage of professors, after four or five years plus strikes, he will not know beyond diagrams, formulae, definitions and theories. He will need extra training to work in his industry. He will be seeking for whom to employ him.
Is anything wrong with the school leaver? No. But something is wrong with the system that kept him for four or more years, made him obtuse and out of touch with reality.
That system needs to be over-hauled. But while you await it’s overhauling, o ye students of tertiary institutions develop thy self. Be skilled enough to be self-employed should there be no job after your graduation. The textbook-laden school system should be blamed. But we are also to blame.
Somebody said in a book I just read, “If you go to a bank for a loan, or visit an embassy for visa, they usually ask for your bank statements and not your school report cards/certificates.”
In other words, you are expected to succeed financially and not just intellectually. And have you ever wondered why the rich always rule the intelligent?

• Juliet Oji Osuji is a motivational speaker and the author of the book:  ‘Dare to Stand Out’ – a book for teenagers.

Star Teen
Cowbellpedia Champion, Master Ayodele Akinkuowo wins more laurels
The 2015 senior category winner of the Cowbellpedia Mathematics TV Quiz Show for Secondary Schools, Master Ayodele Akinkuowo, has been awarded a scholarship by the University of Moscow, Russia, to study Aeronautic Engineering.
Before the scholarship, Master Akinkuowo was studying Civil Engineering at the University of Ibadan, but he describes the opportunity to study Aeronautics as a dream come true. According to him, it has been his childhood dreams to study Aeronautic or Space Engineering but had to take up Civil Engineering which was a second choice.
He revealed that the scholarship application process was quite tough and competitive as thousands of other eligible candidates also applied for the spot. He stated that though the process was rigorous, the confidence he gained from the Cowbellpedia competition helped him pull through.
In appreciation of this feat by an ambassador of the television quiz show, the sponsors, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, donated a sum of USD $2, 500 to Master Akinkuowo in support of his trip to Russia to begin his studies. In his remark, the Managing Director of Promasidor, Mr. Anders Einarsson, noted that the company was very proud of the young man for this achievement and restated his company’s commitment to keep supporting the academic development of Nigerian children.

Blow the whistle…
Whenever cases of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and abuse of any kinds happen to you or anyone you know, please, dial this number: *6820# to report it immediately.

Talk to Judy
Hi guys! My name is Judy. I am here to share your problems with you. Trust me to proffer solutions to those mind-boggling problems you wouldn’t dare share with friends, siblings, parents or anyone else.
A lot of people, including teenagers, hurt secretly with problems they can’t discuss openly for fear of being judged. You may hide your identity if you wish. But do write in and let’s discuss that problem. It is not healthy to bottle up problems. Moreover, problems shared are problems half-solved. Or, you think no one cares? I do care!
I will be here every week to help you solve that problem. But, I can’t, if you don’t talk about it. So, do write in. You never know what you call a problem may just be part of growing up.

*****Send your mails to: teensconnectmag@gmail.com. Subject: Dear Judy.

CALL FOR ARTICLES
Are you a talented teenage writer? Here’s an opportunity to showcase your work to the world. Do you have any of the following: short stories, poems, illustrations, riddles and jokes which you will like us to publish on this page?  Send them to: teensconnectmag@gmail.com with your passport photograph and please, state your age.

ISSUES
Teenagers and Drug Abuse
Drug abuse can generally be defined as the wrong use of both legal and illegal drugs to the detriment of the user. From the above definition, one could see that even legal drugs (drugs that are socially and medically acceptable) can be harmful to the body when used inappropriately. It is advised that only qualified medical practitioners should prescribe drugs.
Reasons teenagers abuse drugs:
• Peer pressure: Most teenagers are susceptible to influence. The desire to belong and not be looked down upon by friends pushes them into doing things they ordinarily would not do. For instance, a teenager who neither smokes cigarette nor drinks alcohol is more likely to indulge in the habit if his friends smoke or drink. Sadly, such people often end up experimenting with hard drugs.

• Curiosity: Teenagers are adventurous by nature. As a result, they often experiment with the ‘untouchables’. A mere mention that when one takes marijuana one begins to feel high will make an average teenager want to try it to know how feeling high is and in the process might get hooked on the drugs.

• Stress: Some teenagers when faced with stress be it at home, at school or social gathering, resort to drug abuse as a way of escape. Abuse of drugs does not solve problems rather it compounds them. Try to discuss your concerns with your school, church counsellors or any responsible adult you can trust (you can also talk to Judy).

• Self-medication: Many people, including teenagers, are guilty of self-medication. But it is wrong and strongly discouraged by medical experts. It is expected that people should consult qualified medical practitioners when ill rather than engaging in self-medication which may result in fatality (damage of vital organs or even death).

• To be continued next week.