Dear Young Folks (Series 7) Embracing the Journey: The Power of Quitting to Move Forward

Dear Young Folks

Exactly ten years ago, I withdrew from my ongoing Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture just two weeks into the first semester exams. The bi-weekly journey from Enugu to Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria was not only financially draining but also emotionally exhausting. Additionally, the program was not eligible for a Master of Science in Architecture.

Nearly five years ago, I started almost from scratch, graduating in the top three of my faculty in 2022. I then proceeded to pursue a Master of Science in Architecture, only to call it quits a few weeks before the first semester exams. Initially, it was about the funds needed to continue, but funds arrived a week after I made the decision. It dawned on me that it was never about the money; it was my intention to take time off to focus on the February 25 and March 18 general elections, where some of my friends were participating.

While some of my peers, with whom I started the program, will be graduating in a few weeks, I had a very special moment attending the induction into the postgraduate program again last week, knowing that I had already completed one semester.

This experience further proves my resilience and my determination to do things at my own pace. I am my only competition, running my race not to finish first but to ensure I complete it no matter what. I have learned to call it quits if necessary, only to come back stronger and excel.

So, when you hear “don’t quit,” it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t take a step back and reassess the situation before continuing. Those motivations can often become “motigbetional,” and you might struggle to continue what you should have stopped.

Quit if you must, but don’t stop moving forward. Congratulations My Guy.

Idris Animasaun
Architect and Social Change Advocate

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