Varied opinions have been expressed about life. Some of these opinions have been informed by ones religious, social, academic, economic and cultural inclination. Whiles most believe life is a journey, others are of the view that, life in itself is a destination. These thoughts continue to inform the actions and inactions of many.

Life may be seen as an “academic assignment” with a deadline. Yes a deadline which we all have to meet and will meet someday. The creator of the universe in this sense will be our Professor. He has given us the topic of the assignment. The topic is rooted on His purpose for creating us. He has promised us of a reward if we successfully complete the assignment. The reward is “Life everlasting and prosperity” but interestingly, the deadline for submission of the assignment has not been given. How then are we to know the pace of work? How then do we come out with a schedule to guide us in undertaking the assignment?

Interestingly, unlike most of our academic assignment where both content and number of pages matter, this assignment of life focuses on content. If it’s a page and rich in content, the reward is merited. If it is a 50 page document with rich content, the same reward is given. Quite interesting. It does not matter how long you live but what matters is the impact you make whiles you live.

For those who see life as an academic assignment, copying others who are presumed to be “academically sharp” remains the best option. They copy everything about others hoping to get the best of grades but rather forget that, those they are copying are not the lecturers. They sometimes forget that, the marking scheme is available to all of us, that is, the Bible or Quran and for others, their faith in their object of worship. Why copy from someone when you have the marking scheme to guide you?

Another group of people who see life as an academic assignment but are often either lazy or busy with other stuff also outsource it out. With this group of people, their lives are often dictated by others who they have outsourced it to. It could be their spouses, mentors and religious leaders. They forget that, like an academic thesis, they will have to defend the thesis before their Professors before they are awarded their certificates. How do you defend a life you haven’t lived yourself before a competent and capable professor?

What then is life? The Akan’s have a better way of expressing life, they refer to it as “obra ne woara b)” which literally means, “Life is how you make it.” Life is all about you and your priorities.
For those who will continue to see life as an academic assignment and copy, remember you may be penalized severely for academic dishonesty (plagiarism) and your assignment may be rejected. To avoid this, probably, a literature review will not be a bad idea so that you identify the gaps and fill those gaps with your life. In all just remember that, “All shall pass”

Kwame Ohene-Ntow

The writer is a graduate student of Development Policy and Planning at KNUST and an alumnus of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).

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