- Mikah Edwin Nuilondea, Mentor @ Open Dreams
Open Dreams Scholars, I bid you farewell!
Dear Open Dreams Scholars,
As you all embark on your respective journeys, I bid you farewell. As you all take off the tarmacs of Douala or Yaoundé airports, in a quest for what you all deem a bright and better future, do not be frazzled about what lies ahead. As you have taken this giant step forward, towards transforming what a few months back was but dreams into reality, I bid you farewell.
However, mind you, that from the day you gained admission amongst the elite few of Open Dreams' Pre-scholar community, and even more, now that you are full scholars and mentors, you took a voluntary commitment to yourself and to the communities you live in. You had by this action, chosen the path of academic excellence and like a clergyman, you dedicated yourself to quality service delivery to your community in particular and Cameroon as a whole. You all bear great visions that will outlive you, which soar above personal, individualistic and family benefits. Need I remind you of the beautiful plans and visions you shared with your admissions officers and scholarship boards alike.
I have no doubt you're the finest amongst your peers, are prolific young men and women heading to a new environment that you hope will spur and bring out the best of you. You are all energetic, creative in thought and very innovative. This is critical, as many of you are only starting to create a personality for yourselves; guiding principles and your life philosophies are being built. It is critical because in just 4 years everything you've once believed in could be put into question – your religion, culture, ethics… While I urge you all to have the best of experiences in your new homes, I urge you to ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR ORIGINS AND THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES YOU UPHELD THAT HAVE LED YOU THIS FAR. Most importantly get your priorities straight and never forget WHY YOU ARE WHERE YOU ARE NOW! It doesn't take a lot to get lost in a sea of ideologies flooding in from every angle. Do not weary! Stay focused and remain steadfast to your goals, aspirations and the dreams you wish to bring to life.
Do not forget many of you are not only the hopes of your families but your communities, towns and the entire nation. Cameroon is impatiently awaiting your return. It doesn’t matter how long it may take, what matters is that many took a bow so you could mount their shoulders. Take a bow; do the same and commit to grooming a miniature you, if not and advanced version.
Finally, dear scholars, your journey is only beginning. Merrymaking is over. Time to celebrate your scholarship is long gone. Shove your high school glories behind you. Do not be lured into complacency by the glimmer of your past achievement. They’d never determine your future after your undergraduate degree. The next 4 years will either mar or make you, so wake up from the slumber of your current exploits because your journey starts at first light. The college will bring you face-to-face with life, nothing like you have ever seen – it will be the best of times and the worst of times.
You've gained a place to study at the most elite universities and colleges around the world, I think Congratulations are due. However, that also means this journey just morphed into a forward-biased diode – you can only move forward. There is no retreat! You may never have such equipped laboratories or infrastructure as you'd find on your respective campuses. So make the best of them. You may never again be in such an international or multicultural environment. I thus urge you to make friends and to network. These great things of life may never be shone on you this bright ever again. If you have all your financial obligations taken care of, then give your sponsors good value for their money.
Just know that all bridges behind you have been burnt out (Well you can return with a BSc but if you give up, sorry!!). You must choose between success and moving ahead or MUST succeed and MUST move ahead. 4 years goes by very fast and I hope many if not all of you will be presenting the valedictory addresses on your respective campuses. Do not content with where you are, hunger for more and let the world know you’re coming. Let them know if any hurricane bears the name of an Open Dream scholar, they had better start evacuating or brace up for your arrival.
The journey only started, see you on the brighter side!
Take Action: Make a little card of why you are where you are, read this daily before you head of for lectures and access how close you get to it daily by every action your enterprise.