About a month ago I looked down at my phone to find a new email in my inbox. I skim-read the first few sentences before realising it was another rejection email. It was the second graduate scheme I’d applied to since graduating, but getting to the final stage of a selection process only to be unsuccessful was something I seemed to be good at.
I didn’t tell my parents for a couple of days; I couldn’t help but feel like I had let them down. Being the oldest child, sibling, cousin, niece in a Nigerian family, I couldn’t help but feel some pressure on my shoulders. Maybe I’d wasted my time staying on for a Master’s. Maybe I’d picked the wrong job sector. I had no plans on becoming a doctor or lawyer; I’d decided to study within the Humanities. Maybe I’d shot myself in the foot by not picking something more vocational. So, naturally, I started to panic.
In fact, I’d seemed to be in this state of panic months before receiving that email. Grudgingly I had moved back home with my parents, back to our small town, and I just didn’t want to be there. I love my parents, but the move felt like a step back.