I remember this time during my Industrial Training which we popularly call IT, I met a coursemate of mine in Lagos. We got talking about life around IT and she made mention of how certain things discussed in the classroom has helped her with work at the firm she interns.
I was taken aback, it was shocking. First of all, I hardly pay attention in class and that is the first time I have ever heard a student mention how a particular class activity has helped outside the classroom. I remember saying wow like a hundred times and she kept saying true ooh.
It made me jump to a conclusion. As students, we determine if what we learn in class would be useful after school or not. Examine your level of attentiveness in a calculation class, how well do you listen?
Do you even pay attention? Or do you also feel like it would not be useful outside the class? What category of students do you belong to? The ones that look forward to seeing the new things they can learn that would be useful to them? Or the ones that believe what is taught in the classroom is of no importance? Because that wasn’t what you applied for? Or because you feel confused?
Everything we learn in the classroom cannot be useful outside class. Yes! I said it! But what I didn’t say is that some part of it is not or would not be useful. I know! But it is the truth. Anyone who has sat through a Statistic class and has thought about how it would not be useful outside class might not be totally wrong because, from the person’s point of view, it is totally useless. However, that would not come from someone whose life plans revolves around statistics.
Every Jack has heard about Tom and Jerry, but nobody talks about how precise their attacks are. Someone had to sit down and calculate those precisions to life. Such a person would not find Statistics useless. If what you learn in class would be useful after school, it would be a function of your mindset and life goals.
In my discussions with 3 students on campus, the opinions differ based on their field of study. The first respondent, Daramola Funmilayo is a 300 level student from the Accounting department whose ambition is to be fully involved in financial matters by becoming a chartered accountant.
She stated that the activities in class have helped her with her goals as classroom discussions make her realize that she needs to do more even after her Bachelor degree. She however said that activities in the classroom have not in any way helped her aside from the fulfilment of her life goals.
The second respondent, Ogunlade Oluwasegun is a 300 level student in the Geography and Planning Sciences department. He aspires to preach the gospel around the world and trade currencies. His chosen course is to help him reach out to the “uttermost” part of the earth as it is in The Book and class activities have helped him with regional and climatic knowledge that he would not have had.
Meet Ayodele Ayomide a 200 level Economics student who aspires to become a data scientist and machine learning engineer. His classroom activities have helped him with his aspirations as becoming a data scientist and machine learning engineer requires lots of knowledge on data and certain algorithms which he learns some of them in class. Also, it has aided him with time management and prudence.
I also met somebody in 100 level who has decided to remain anonymous. He mentioned that he is not sure what he wants to do in life and does not have any idea on how to channel what he learns in class which leaves his classroom activities useless to him.
You would agree with me when I say that not everybody who is studying Accounting wants to become a chartered accountant and not every Geography and Planning Sciences student wants to become an Evangelist and not every Economics student wants to be a data scientist.
They all picked what fashions well with their goals and apply it outside school and it seems to be working for them. The last respondent has not decided on what he wants to do and is not seeing the usefulness of his classroom activities.
This shows that in fact how useful what you learn in school would be after school is a function of your mindset and life goals. Therefore, refining your mindset is the best path to gaining knowledge in class activities and beyond.
Editor’s note: This piece was published with minimal editing to preserve the intent of the author.
Sophie Ogunmilade is a personal coach, mental health enthusiast, virtual assistant, writer, and Economics student.