YOU WERE NEVER MEANT TO BE HERE
“A Life without challenge will end in abject mediocrity”.
Struggles are unending so far life is concerned. No matter how we paint it, things don’t always go as we plan. I would rather think that ‘life challenges’ are the main beauty of existence through which our character is moulded and our spirit edified. They are also hidden in our ambitions, goals, expectations, dreams just to mention a few.
Actualizing those dreams means success but resigning to fate when they throw us down is failure. I still believe we will not grow if we get all we wanted without a taste of rejection, defeat or challenges.
Without being philosophical, ‘success is not complete without a picture of failure. I wouldn’t want to paint failure so much as one of the criteria for successes but it has a way of making it sprout strong’.
I believe in the concept of success and failure as being relative. For me, Failure is that point when one gives up, that point when we resign to fate.
And now my story though might not be as big as you may expect, but it targets majorly students in their secondary level of education and those in their transitional periods as an encouragement as fuelling them to stand strong with their expectations.
I had perceived myself being a leader virtually through my penultimate years. I have always taken lead roles in school (classes, dramas, renditions etc) and religious events, either voluntarily or by nomination. I take no pride in saying this, ‘I topped my classes academically except in 3 occasions when I dropped to a 2nd position’. I represented my school at quiz competitions and debates; the team had never missed the first or second position.
A quick move further, I made my O’level result at first sitting in S.S.S 2, 5 distinctions, 3 credits and a Pass in Biology, my love for science though. I was always a point of reference to junior students. Indeed, God really blessed me above my equals, yet, none of these things got into my head. A choice of study and institution were imperative in my penultimate year of which sciences was not an option because it was rather a ‘bandwagon’. I wanted something unique, so I started developing a passion for the subject ‘Economics’. My teacher’s imparting skills were impressive. He studied Economics as a part-time student at the University Of Ibadan (U.I). He stirred our interest towards U.I, and every student I have encountered from the institution was exceptional and I was convinced U.I was my ideal school.
I wrote my first U.T.M.E (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Exams) and I had a very impressive score. I wasn’t invited for the Post U.T.M.E due to the wrong subject combination. I had to tell myself this, “it wasn’t your fault, and you could try again”.
I wouldn’t waste the moment, so I was enrolled to acquire computer skills at a nearby cyber-café. In no time, I registered for the next year’s U.T.M.E, my parents registered me for tutorial classes. I did very well at the tutorial’s mock exam, topping the commercial class. I was confident that Post U.T.M.E would not be a problem. U.T.M.E exam day came and I passed, I had a quite impressive score. I was relieved because U.I‘s Post U.T.M.E wouldn’t be a problem this time. I was invited for the Post U.T.M.E. The cut-off mark was a point higher than mine. I was choked in frustration. Some of my friends secured admission to other higher institutions.
Alas, you fail and feel bad, your friends top; you feel worse. My parents met with several people to see if they can help in any way to secure admission, but it was all to no avail. The depression phase soon was all over. I was so obsessed with U.I that the idea of another institution was not gratifying.
With much exposition, I was convinced to be smart and check out other institutions. My parents suggested I included University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) this time around. Acculturation must have been their motive because I had spent all my life in the south-west of Nigeria. I proceeded with all necessary registrations and wrote the exams, results were impressive as usual; UI’s Post U.T.M.E score was the same as the previous year. At some point, I began to wonder if UI had me on their black-list. UNN looked promising because I scored some few points above the cutoff, yet nothing positive was coming up. I started to wonder if God has left me or whether I was clenched down with nemesis.
I would not settle for the less but time was not on my side anymore. Staying at home wasn’t an option again; I picked up a Polytechnic admission form, faute de mieux. I wrote the exam and was offered admission to study Banking and Finance at the Federal Polytechnic of Ado-Ekiti. I resumed lackadaisically lacking words to explain how I felt or what I was up to. Prior to resumption, my closest buddy visited. Our childish antics were as though we hadn’t seen in years.
The A.S.U.U 2013 strike then became the subject matter; all universities were off academic activities. He proposed I take another U.T.M.E placing U.N.N as both choices to study Banking and Finance, supporting that it will be a win-win outcome, as I can continue with my ND program if it turned out unexpected. I was convinced. I took up the form and wrote the exams without my parents’ consent. I resumed my studies at the Polytechnic, made new friends and almost forgot I wrote U.T.M.E.
It was the departmental week; students were quite elated to do something non-academic. The streets were filled with clownish costumes. My friends and I would not participate because the first semester’s exam was same month, we needed to study. The subsequent week was to be our matriculation, we had just received our matriculation attire (only God knows where they were sacked and stored), and the stench from it could lead to the loss of. pregnancy.
We converged at a friend’s hostel to wash those gowns. As usual, guys and banter. I found myself checking out my Facebook feeds as we made fun of ourselves. I scrolled and was shocked to see a feed from “MY UNN DREAMS”, only a lion or lioness would understand. It read “UNN releases her merit list”.
The atmosphere around me changed, I became nervous and soon absent-minded to the conversation. I followed the link and downloaded the admission list. Momentarily, I soon felt my head was heavy, sweat running down my armpits as I scrolled hastily and comfortably to check my name. They noticed my quietude. Johnson, the funniest of us, was about to say something but I cut in with a shout, “YES!”
I dashed out to the lawn, not minding the penalty that may come as a result of walking on it. I knelt know and thanked God.
“Oyaaa, alert for matric don show na”,
This is just another story that shows that failure is not fatal and if you keep trying, you will surely win in the end.
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