Thursday, 14 January 2016

10 Things Naija Teens Should Care About In 2016

1. The slump in oil prices: Oil prices have fallen so low since the record highs witnessed in the past few years. It’s almost as if the prices are on a mission to break new records in 2016 only this time in the opposite direction. Nigeria, being a largely mono-crop economy dependent on proceeds it makes from crude oil sales has had its economy hit hard by this slump in prices. The problem is going to affect everything. I’m sure you have heard your parents lament the problem. The problem doesn’t seem to be going away quick and so families will have to re-strategize in a bid to stay afloat in what are no doubt hard times while we await the measures to be taken by our government to diversify our economy.

2. Tertiary education: Many teens will be proceeding from secondary school to one tertiary institution or the other this year 2016. There will be WAEC to write, Cambridge O Levels, A Levels, SATs, JAMB and so many other exams to write all in a bid to get into the tertiary institution of the candidate’s choice. But what tertiary institution is the tertiary institution of your choice?   A lot of the public institutions are prone to strikes and closures for a myriad of reasons. There are however some that are more stable. Not all the institutions available might have an accredited department offering your desired course. How about scholarship opportunities and bursary allowances? Are they available? These are some of the thoughts which you might want to give as you look forward to starting Higher education this year.

3. #BBOG: The girls from Chibok are still missing! So also, several other girls and boys that were kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group still remain missing. No one knows if they are still alive and if so, what the situation is with them. Are they serving as sex slaves to these deranged terrorist? No one has been able to answer and so they remain MISSING.

4. The Nigeria Police and other law enforcement officers: As a teen get older, the Police and other law enforcement officers who always saw you as a child, incapable of doing wrong start to take more and more notice of you. Have you started to drive? Have you gotten into the Higher institution and probably attend parties in a car packed with other teens? Is this likely to be you this year 2016? Then you have to begin to give some thought to your relationship with law enforcement officers.   

5. Future Careers: It starts now. A good thought has to be given to your future career now so that you can steer yourself properly towards its attainment. Discuss it with your parents, guardian, aunt, uncle or any other trusted adult. Do some research online on the requirements for your chosen career.  You could start to learn about certain professional qualifications which you could do along with Uni and which could add value to your degree. The holidays and perhaps strikes could be good times to schedule the courses except you are nerdy enough to do both at the same time.

6. China: with a population of over a billion people, and an economy that is hot on the heels of the US economy, you need to care about China. They are fast becoming the largest investor in the Nigerian heck African economy. Most of Nigeria’s importations come from China. It is time to demystify China. Read about China, learn the language, take a trip there, make some Chinese friends just care about China this year.

7. Insecurity: The world is increasingly becoming more insecure. Wars are being fought in almost every corner of our dear Planet. If the problem was that Nigeria wasn’t safe, the simple solution would be to emigrate wouldn’t it? But it is a worldwide problem. No country is really safe or truly immune to terrorism and other forms of violence. This is a year for teens to care about this problem. The future being set today is truly worrisome. 

8. Trades: start to learn a trade. Farming of some kind, fashion and beauty, film and photography, music or electricals. The list is endless. What are you interested in? Why not take steps to learn from professionals. They are always a good way to make some extra cash and who knows, they could be a future career.

9. Inter-personal Relationships: It’s funny how we seem to maintain almost all our relationships with other humans on social media. This might be where the world is headed but hey, it might not. The social rules on social media are mostly entirely different from those adopted in the real world. Therefore, honing social skills required to be regarded as hot or cool on social media is incomplete without being able to translate that appeal in the real world. A conscious effort should therefore be made in 2016 to work on inter-personal skills.

10. Population Dynamics: it is estimated that Nigeria will by 2035 have the largest working population in the world. 174.2 million people between the ages of 16 – 64. That is only about 19 years from today. If you are a teen today, you will be well within that age bracket by then. It isn’t too early to start to give some thought as to how to increase your chances in what will certainly be a dog-eat-dog world by that time.

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