bigstock_Stress_In_Study_5099274-600x400With the large variety of communication applications that our cell phones offer, I must admit that it has been a while since I received an SMS from a relative or friend; BBM le Whatsapp ke bosso (wouldn’t sound the same if I translated it into English)!

I recently received an SMS from a distant cousin and friend from back home, I was amazed.  It was not only the beeping of the phone that amazed me; it was the content of the message.  It read as follows, “Ja education does change motho (a person)”.

Fellows, exam time is approaching and when we have written and passed most will be going to spend their holidays with their ‘homies’ back home.

How the SMS and going back home connect is what is important.  After passing Grade 12, you took the decision and step to leave home and further your education while your peers chose whatever ways they chose.  You stuck it out this far and you are doing well, your future is looking bright.

Being on holiday in one of the rural Limpopo communities like mine will stir comments (from peers and neighbors) like, “You have changed so much these days; you do not even greet us anymore.  This education of yours is getting to your head”.

The question is does education really change you into the proud, self-conscious and arrogant person they are now portraying you to be?  Of course, the way you dress will change to fit your new surroundings and to indicate growth.  You will talk and walk with more confidence.

I don’t think that education changes us into what we are told that we have changed into.  If this was the case, there would be no common ground among the youth who had the opportunity to further their studies.

In a conversation with a few University of Limpopo students, I established that the most common group of peers who are very attentive to the so-called changing attitudes of recent graduates and students are those who are sitting at home.  “For whatever reason it may be, they didn’t get the chance to further their studies and now they are bitter and possibly intimidated by our progress”, said Tlabo Samuel.

Frans Motopa, a student from the University of Pretoria and my homeboy, put a diplomatic twist to the answer, “I think it goes both ways.  When you are in university you learn to think faster and more critically, your reasoning ability grows.  When you go back home and socialize with your peers, you simply apply the knowledge and skills you have acquired.   Sometimes when they cannot keep up they feel intimidated and then label you”.

While they might label you this holiday when you go back home for chasing something worthwhile, I say stay calm and keep achieving.  Yes, education does change a person but it is not always in the negative way that they portray it; it increases your reasoning aptitude and saves you from extended ignorance.  You could always just be blunt and make your peers understand that your not calling them or hanging out where you used to has nothing to do with education making you proud.  Don’t they not know that every child grows and matures?

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