We had to talk. We badly needed to. I’m talking about that let’s-get-real-with-eachother, no-holds-barred, put-all-the-cards-on-the-big-round-table kinda talk. God and me, we had serious issues to iron out.
Let me start from the beginning.
You see, I came into university with pride as high as an acme. I was one you could call a boss, especially after bagging a WAEC result of about 7A1s and 2Bs. Getting admission on my first try as opposed to all my older siblings for the exact course I wanted added another feather to my red cap. So there I was, the young and vibrant part1 pharmacy ‘efiwe’ with enough gusto to go round.
My first semester was purely awesome. I had done most of those courses in secondary school, so they just didn’t seem hard. My results were smiling brightly at the end of the semester; there was no cause for alarm. Things began to take a different turn in my second semester. That Wednesday evening, I returned from class totally fagged out and badly needing food. I reached my Mozambique hall room and started making spaghetti on my hot plate, with serious plans to hit my bed as soon as I had eaten. Then I remember some guy walking in and talking about his fellowship and stuff. I still can’t place what it was that attracted me, if it was the guy or his advertising strategy, or just silly chance, but I was excited and decided to visit the fellowship he had talked about. Two weeks later, I was hooked. I mean literally hanging down with my legs dangling. It just seemed like I had found my place and I was more than determined to stay there. In weeks, I had finished Believer’s class and was now a worker in the music department. Church for me was so much fun that it had ever been at home- service was always another blissful experience and I had made friends fast. I became so involved that I really didn’t pay attention to other things, and before I knew it, exams crept up on me. I crash-read, gave myself sleepless nights on caffeine, and before long exams were over.
My results were slightly above average, but luckily, I hadn’t failed any course. It’s not like I could fail anyway. 200level was another ball game entirely. In a bid to explore my creative side, I joined a dance group, and volunteered for final year project plays for students in dramatic art, not neglecting my role as a chorister in church. I knew how to do these things well, and it only made sense that I’d give myself to them and showcase my talents. On the flipside of the coin, school work had grown tonnes busier than I was used to, because we had moved to the faculty itself to begin strictly pharmacy business. After just one semester, I had come to one perfect conclusion: pharmacy wasn’t at all what I wanted! It was abstract and stressful and boring and just seemed to be way over my head. It was starting to get frustrating and I just wanted to scream out loud and call for help. By first semester part3, I was drowning. I only managed to escape Fs and wasn’t even getting Bs anymore. And worse still was that I was stuck. My dance group had made me general secretary, my fellowship had made me a cell leader, my boyfriend was starting to complain that he needed more time with me. Oh! did I forget to mention to you that I entered a relationship at the end of part2? For me, that was the right thing to do, first because, that was how I had planned it before I even entered school, and also because I felt I was mature enough for it. But recently, we had begun to quarrel a lot because of neglect on my part, and I felt guilty.
Preparations for exams were crazy as usual, I read while high on caffeine, crammed and crashed as much as I could and just wrote the papers with my fingers crossed. I remember vividly an exam I had in which I could not write anything. I didn’t even know what the examiner was talking about. After the exam I just prayed and hoped that I would once again escape failure like I had previously done. That was all I had left.
On the day the results were out, my class friend, Patricia, called me that she was at the faculty and I should come over as soon as I could. I sighed when I dropped her call, my sweat pores breaking out in watery orchestra. I had failed, no doubt. I had failed! Oh my God! I had never failed before in my life. My legs felt really heavy as I dragged them one step after another to the faculty. I walked toward the board where a lot of folks I still managed to recognize as my classmates were clustered like ants around sugar. With cloudy eyes, I traced my name with a finger in the repeat list. Strangely, it wasn’t there. I began to shiver. I checked the re-sit list and there it was. I screamed so loudly that people stopped in their tracks and looked at me. I jumped for joy severally before getting myself together and running to my hostel to get myself prepared for the re-sit of my exam. That was how I narrowly escaped a repeat. While I was on break at home preparing for the new session, I got the call that would eventually change things for me. The same exam I had redone had been marked and the results were now ready. I had failed this one. I cried till my eyes were sore. I had to come out to my parents and tell them what I had been going through in my academics. Everyone was disappointed, but what was done was done and the only remaining option was to move on, albeit painfully.
Then I prayed. I just had to talk to God about this. I had been totally drained of all the strength I had left, and despite how much some of my friends had disregarded the importance of academics, I never felt comfortable with my mediocre performances. I needed strength again. Tunji had now finished school and broken up with me. Soon, I realized how much I had taken away my focus from the things that mattered and how I had misplaced my priorities. I had initially blamed God for my failures, but now I just repented, seeing His grace was available but I never used it wisely. I consulted a dear friend I knew from back in the day, who was on fire for God and still came out with a first-class from the department of mathematics two years earlier. From her, I learnt firsthand time management and paying attention to the things that were important.
‘Balance, my dear, is what you need. Balance, even in the midst of a crisis. Organize your life better and you’ll see how much difference it would make. Plan each day. De-cluster your life and put things in order. Set a goal for yourself as well. Make friends with your classmates that are sound enough to help you if you need help’. These were her words to me as I bowed my head before her, taking them all in.
All these happened three years ago. Now I am done with school, and gratefully, I finished well. Not many people will get the chance I got to step backwards and look again. For those who still do, I never miss a chance to let them know: It’s God’s will for you to excel academically, and if you co-operate with God by setting your priorities right, it’s only a matter of time before you see a massive harvest in your acaemics.