How I spent 6 years getting a degree but never regretted it – Mariam Olayiwola

How I spent 6 years getting a degree but never regretted it – Mariam Olayiwola

Her story is an amazing one. It simply demonstrates resilience and the need to find one’s purpose early in life. It also captures the essence of self discovery. As an undergraduate, she had to move from Biochemistry in natural sciences to Mass Communication in the social sciences. Consequently, she had to lose about three year because she had to start from 200 Level after having got to 300 Level in her previous course of study  so as to get a degree in a course she has demonstrated passion for. Today, she is happy as her decision has paid off. She has changed jobs twice when millions are finding it hard to find  one. Meet Mariam Olayiwola in this chat with Rasheed Adebiyi where she talks about her journey so far.

Tekedia: Could you tell us about yourself?

Mariam Olayiwola: My name is Mariam Omomolade Olayiwola, a Millennial striving to do things differently and creating magic in this world. I am a digital strategist, content curator, social media manager and a bunch of other things media related.

Tekedia: We learnt you spent six year in the university before you eventually graduated. What happened?

Mariam Olayiwola:  Moving from Biochemistry to Mass Communication was born out of my interest in media and communications after I joined a campus journalism group in school. I started finding myself and my interests after I had started Biochem, and it was hard to deviate from the things I actually loved. My interest in media kept growing and the bad grades in sciences were discouraging me from continuing the course. I just had to opt out.

Tekedia: How does it feel having to go some years back before you graduated?

Mariam Olayiwola: Losing some years was inevitable due to the disparity in the two courses. I already weighed my options and thought it made more sense to lose two years and be fulfilled rather than continue with my worst nightmare and be miserable.

Tekedia: Looking back now, how do you feel about that decision to move from the sciences to the social sciences?

Mariam Olayiwola: Getting a Mass Communication degree is the best thing I’ve done for myself. I can say I wouldn’t have been more useful for myself if I had continued with Biochemistry, and I wouldn’t be happier. For me, my happiness is paramount, and that, I get from my career.

Tekedia: Any takeaway for parents and young undergraduates about choice of career and course of study?

Mariam Olayiwola: It’s odd to give parents advices, because I’ve never parented before. But I’ll like to say my experience has thought me that it’s important to allow people follow their heart and chase their dreams. It’s also very important not to decide for people millennials especially). Our generation is a very complex one, and it is highly different from the previous generation. Therefore, let people find themselves, chase their dreams and make their career decisions themselves. Doing things differently is one thing that keeps Millennials going, and for me, doing things differently saved me. For young undergraduates, I was like you a few years ago, but I distinguished myself by trying my hands on everything positive that could make me relevant. It’s not too early to start creating magic.

Tekedia: Your advice for youths in any educational system that is finding it hard to see clarity and purpose in their life journey?

Mariam Olayiwola: Finding purpose doesn’t happen overnight. I think it’s one of the hardest things about life because sometimes you think you have found your purpose and you still find yourself gallivanting about. Try your hands on the things you love and you naturally find yourself doing. I believe most times, our career paths are born out of hobbies, talent and passion. Do some mental exercises, find these things and develop your interest in them. Finally, back it up with some form of spirituality. I mean you have to pray as well.

Tekedia: Thank you for your time.

Mariam Olayiwola: It’s my pleasure.

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4 thoughts on “How I spent 6 years getting a degree but never regretted it – Mariam Olayiwola

  1. There is a lot to say but I had just make it short.

    This is really the best decision Mariam made for herself and her future and it is extremely inspiring.

    To be honest it’s not how far but how well. Sometimes we just have to trust our instinct. I wish you all the best in life and thank you for all you do. May God bless you and keep you.

  2. It’s been some years now, but reading Mariam’s story again, is still inspiring. Her courage is exemplary, and her zeal is definitely worthy of emulation.


    Wow, she has done very well for herself by discovering herself very early. I have two cases in my hand, both are close relations:

    i) A lady abandoned her PhD in MIS (in US) at the point of defending her thesis. She has completed all other things except the thesis. The reason she gave was because her supervisor was changed, she claimed that the new supervisor was wasting her time and that she no longer has interest in completing it. She will be 29years old this year.

    ii) A young lady just dropped her PhD program in Petroleum Engineering/Geology to start afresh in Accounting at an undergraduate level. She is about 24

    Both decided their initial course of study, nobody decided for them. They also changed their minds without consulting anybody.

    Above examples look funny? That is exactly the situation.

    I am curious because this was not too common in the past (may be to me). I only remember a case of Fela Anikulapo Kuti that switched from reading Medicine to reading Music (before commencement).

    What is responsible for this change of “direction” (after commencement) among the millennia children?

    1. The millenial deserve being paid attention to. They are a special breed. Their level of endurance and ability to tolerate obstacles is something else. Patience is equally not a virtue to them. Parents of these days need to understand that the demographics of the young men and women of today has changed totally.


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