One of my more interesting memories from University was one of my preceptors in LUTH during my 400 Level SIWES (synonymous to student internship) asked me, in all seriousness, whether I had narcolepsy (Dictionary definition- sudden and uncontrollable attacks of deep sleep, sometimes accompanied by paralysis and hallucinations). Basically, we were expected to work 8am- 4pm but I got there late because most times, I would wake up late and I would still always sleep anyhow during work. Obviously, he was exaggerating but sleep is my absolute favourite hobby.
I remember in final year of secondary school, telling my friends that in University, I would never have my hair out and I would always have either a weave or braids on. Ha, what a joke! I ended up being the girl who cut her hair and stopped having weaves sewn in all together (PS. I will never have a sew-in in my life ever again!). I really thought I would be a make-up maverick, but till today, I still don’t know how to ‘draw’ my eyebrows.
I cannot believe that it has been a whole year since my convocation ceremony! Where did the time go?
There is so much hope and expectation that comes with new life phases. Prior to beginning, we plan what we want to happen including how and when they would happen.
I got in University with so many expectations, and I am both happy and sad that I did not get all I wanted. There are some things I really do wish I knew prior to this post- Secondary school experience. Gosh, I am old now (I say this a lot, I know). I cannot believe I am talking about University in retrospect, but then, here are five greater lessons I learnt from years of hardwork, fun and perseverance. Here, we go:
READING DOES NOT GUARANTEE ACADEMIC SUCCESS
I absolutely love reading. I might even qualify as a nerd of some sorts. I thoroughly enjoyed reading in pharmacy school even though, in retrospect, I was probably reading mostly for the A’s, not knowledge. I still loved it and it gave me joy to read, especially Pharmacognosy.
Now, we know that life isn’t fair, but with this reading thing ehn, it seemed even more unfair. I met several people who read all night and still didn’t do very well and there were those people who just had to look at something once and ace it so easily.
It is important to know which one works for you and embrace it. No need for wishful thinking.
Desire here has to read twice (or more) to fully grasp what the hell the handout is really saying, please figure out your own algorithm.
There was this peculiarly annoying thing that constantly happened to me. Due to the massive amount of topics to read, I might not finish all of them, and then, for some reason, at least eighty percent of the time, the topic(s) I couldn’t read would be staring at me in the exams. It was quite enormously frustrating. So even if I literally had no sleep the previous night, my results might not show that. There were people like me and people with even worse stories.
Basically, reading does not equal great results… sometimes. Absolutely best thing to do this is: Do your best and leave the rest.
YOU LOVE AND YOU LOSE
I have amazing friends, great people God put in my life to make it better. However, like me, you might not have the same friends you had in 100 Level in 500 Level. This might not be because of anything malicious. I became friends with some of the best people in my life in 500 Level (Hey Neme, Hey Obinna) and my only pharmacy friend from First Year is now so distant, its actually sad to think about because I cannot find a concrete reason as to why that happened.
I really wish someone told me that 90% of romantic relationships I would encounter, personally or otherwise, would result to items of conversation and reminiscing, because it would have saved us all a lot of emotional meltdowns and provided more time to sleep.
Sometimes, life just happens, you drift, you meet people who fit your aesthetics at that phase of life and you let go of those who don’t.
I finally learned to accept this as part of our journey.
SPEND YOUR HOLIDAY WISELY
I always looked forward to holidays and downtime, because I always just want more time to sleep and not have to worry about in-courses and exams. Looking back now, I wish I did something worthwhile with my holidays. I should have worked or learnt a skill, instead of lazing about and complaining when my mum called me to the kitchen. My project partner, Busayo, learnt how to sew during the holidays, and now, she’s gone commercial and is really good at what she does. If I had worked during my school breaks, I am so sure I would have a better CV, experience, skill, knowledge and maybe have a few ‘connections’.
So if you’re still in University or plan on going soon, make use of your time wisely because it really never comes back once it is gone. It may seem irrelevant to do take on holiday job, but you have nothing to lose and could gain a lot, so what would it be?
LECTURERS ARE HUMAN TOO
Nollywood portrays Nigerian lecturers as cold-hearted, sexually-driven, unapproachable people, and for the most part, this is an unfair representation, even though we probably still have those people (as with every walk of life). Thankfully, I never met such, and I never actually heard of such in my faculty.
I only really spoke cordially to one lecturer throughout pharmacy school and honestly, it was because he was a family friend of a friend. I was genuinely not interested in the lecturers and workers in the faculty because they seemed quite non-relatable and distant, especially in the earlier years. However, after my final exams, I realized that these people were actually normal people with families, just doing their jobs. It was literally like a veil was taken off my eyes.
A lot of my lecturers were in positions of importance and could have been of great influence in the ’real world’. Some of them really had the potential to be of great help to me since they were already years into a profession I was just preparing to get into, but I never tapped into it.
If you still have the opportunity, please seize it. What is the worst that could happen?
Ps. Always be super polite and realize that you need them probably more than they might ever need you.
NO REALLY, YOU CAN DO IT ALL!
You don’t have to have a triangle life (school, religion, read) to excel. If I had a dollar for every time I met a student who runs a business and still does well in school, I would be sipping coconut water in Barbados right now… No, really, if there was ever a time one needed to give 100% to school only, the time is long gone. We are at such a great time where your passion is as relevant as formal education. You could run a blog, business, learn a skill, have a part- time job as required.
Now, to be clear, this is not easy at all. Unfortunately, I was a triangle girl so I don’t have tips for this, but what I have seen from these people is Balance. You really need to prioritize effectively and be ready to work harder than the next guy, but it is definitely worth it! ( Just ask my sisters here and here).
These are some of the things I wish I knew a couple of years ago, but then, the lack of knowledge made for a really good experience. I guess if I knew all these things, I wouldn’t have learnt a lot and this post would not even be in existence. I hope this has been of help in some way or at least enjoyable to read.
Thank you so much for reading.
Can you relate to any of this? What do you wish you knew prior to University? What do you wish you did or didn’t do in University? Let us know in the comments!
VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.