Reflections of a perennial student

By Umu Jalo

It is said that education is life long, and that we are constantly learning, be it informally or formally. For some, self teaching is a constant staple, with short courses and platforms like YouTube having all the knowledge needed for the different skill sets. For others, formal education seems to be the solid rock on which they stand and are always in school, an evening class, doing something. Then there is the rest of humanity, that is content in gathering life lessons and experiences as the best teacher in life. All are valid ways of gathering practical knowledge and wisdom and I personally have sampled all three in the different phases of my life. 

I currently am in my continuous formal education phase, where as a working student, I dedicate my week-evenings to a few hours of formal training at my Alma matter, USIU-A. The transition from full time to part time student in graduate school was swift but necessary, having completed my undergraduate studies recently. See, I’m not a Rockefeller, yet, so as normal adults do, I still need to do adult things and make a living. That said, I love the balance that a week-night routine brings once you settle in, because let’s face it, the 3 plus hours we all have after 5 pm would still be wasted somehow, either in traffic or by endlessly scrolling on Tik Tok, or both. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, especially when you have assignments and group work to be done and handed in before the stipulated deadlines, it’s always a mad rush against time, until you submit the paper just before the deadline and you mellow down as all the pressure subdues. I currently am thriving on that high, like a junkie, knowing the end game is always around the corner before another assignment or quiz is thrown my way. 

Despite all the things I need to do within a 24-hour cycle, there is indeed a method to the madness, and it works pretty well for me, despite looking like a hot mess to an outsider. I have a weekly planner, pen, and paper the old school way since I haven’t really integrated gadgets and apps in planning my life, and to be honest, I don’t intent to. My system of doing things works pretty fine and will have it that way for a long time.

As I enjoy my current phase of life, I’d like to pose a question to you dear reader. What is your current adrenaline fix? Your Ikigai if you may? That which is currently setting your soul on fire? If you answer this, and trust me there are no right or wrong answers, you are well on your way to living in your purpose. 

Remember to have fun while at it okay? Cheers! 


Umu is a daughter of Africa, with roots from both the east and west of the continent, namely Mali and Kenya. She thrives in communications and is both a graduate student at the United States International University – Africa and an entrepreneur, specialising in the provision of language services in Africa. She is passionate about young women empowerment especially in the entrepreneurship spaces and is often a leader in such spaces. She believes that despite all our differences in religion and the faiths that we all practice, deep down we are all one and all are a reflection of our creator.