An Open Letter to my 17 year old self — Toni Ajewole
Hi Oluwatoni, here’s an open letter written from the future. I know you are excited about your 17th birthday; coupled with that, you just gained admission into the University. I know you chose Law but were admitted for Education and English. I know it makes you feel insufficient and inadequate, but I want to assure you it does not matter that much.
Do not be ashamed of who you are. Education is not a course to be ashamed of — in fact, it will come to be something you will love so much. Those in Law and other so-called Nobel professions are not better than you. There is no need to be insecure about it. So, stop comparing yourself with them.
Enjoy the process — learn about making the educational system better. Learn about John Holt, Plato, John Taylor Gatto, Ken Robinson. I want you to step outside of your comfort zone. Do not rely totally on what you are being taught. Instead, spend your time and resources reading widely because you will find your interest in reading.
Also, do not get caught in the loop of consumption. Go out and do stuff. When you learn a thing, find ways to put it into practice. Build a community, start a business, hang out with friends, write a book, own a blog, etc., and do them consistently. These are the things that will matter after school. Also, write more than ever. Writing is thinking — that is where you will find clarity. Write about everything and share shamelessly.
I am not promising you that it will be a bed of roses, but I can assure you that it will be worth it. It will be challenging, but you must be ready to do the hard and boring stuff to amount to anything tangible. So embrace the chaos and conflicts — do not run away from them. They would mould and shape you!
Have difficult conversations but spend little time arguing with people. Your ego is a gift, but it can also be your downfall. Do not let it get in your way; instead, let it be your compass. Apologize when you are wrong. Ask questions when you do not know, walk away when not needed, and do your job diligently.
Be confident in yourself. Ensure you always starch your shirts and do not hesitate to talk to people that catch your fancy — most importantly, ladies.
In all, do not forget God! Serve him with all you have — time, money, and energy.
Originally published at https://blog.ulesson.com on January 28, 2022.