MEMIORs OF A GRADUATE
“those who walk; walk with many, those who run; run with few but those who fly; fly alone”.
There was a tug of war going on in my mind as to go or not. I’ve heard just too much about university life and how it is supposed to be fun all the way, so I was eager to be there to know what fun really meant but this was not to be. On that fateful night, my mom brought home the admission form for a private university that she had decided was best for me. For God’s sake, this can’t be true! I’ve heard so much about the university; the strict rules, no jeans, no phones, no cooking and so on, only for me to find myself headed there.
Reluctantly, I resumed in September 2005, and a day which was supposed to be the first day in the university was hell. First was the stress of the registration which is peculiar to all universities, followed by the hustle to get food from the cafeteria and above all, the threat from the hall attendant that I would be expelled because I had come downstairs putting on just my singlet!
Feeding on campus was something else. Never in my life did I think I was going to be confined basically to three kinds of food. I’ve always believed that in universities, you were supposed to do your cooking or go to the “BUKA”; but here, you are confined to a cafeteria where all you can find to eat was either rice or basically nothing. Anyways, I ate rice twice a day throughout my stay; noodles and spaghetti, too. I am certain I would have eaten nothing less than 50 cartons of noodles during my stay in the university. I should think I have consumed all the noodles a man needs in a lifetime!
Another thing was the No Phone rule! In my school, phones were not allowed. If you are caught with one, it is tantamount to 4 weeks suspension for a first time offender or a year suspension for a second time offender so owning and using of a phone while on school premises was out of it, though truth be told, about 70 percent of the students were still able to use their phones while on school premises. I remember vividly how when I was in 200 levels, a guy was caught with a phone and he quickly hid it in his pants but that phone chose to ring out the very second it got into his pants. By the time I graduated, I was certain that not less than 85% of the students used phones while on campus.
Social life was like 25% because there really wasn’t anything social about the place; our social life was ‘suffocated’ by our spiritual life through going in and out of the chapel non-stop. Notwithstanding, our laptops kept us busy; we could play games on it, watch films and that really got students going since there were no issues of partying, clubbing and stuffs like that except for those who decided to go against the school rules out rightly.
I had less time for play by the time I was in my 400 levels because of my final project which was very stressful combined with assignments, tests, and my not-nice-at-all supervisor. As a ‘big boy’ who had been around for some time and with whom nothing about my school was news anymore, life funnily had turned interesting; no threat could scare me no more.
My last days on campus were the most interesting especially the day I wrote my last exam. The ‘congratulations’ came in torrents and the atmosphere was soothing but deep down within me, I knew I was going to miss something unique about my school.
My graduation ceremony was graceful; everyone looked radiant and food, drinks, etc. were all over the place. Though I was happy to be graduating, I was filled with longing. One of the famous proverbs of our Chancellor struck me. The proverb that says “20 friends cannot play for 20 years” then I realized I might never get to see some of my friends again. I was going to miss the school, the chapel services, the signing of roll calls, collection of exit permits, and all that, but life had to move on.
And though I didn’t attend a Federal or State university as I initially would have wanted to, I now know that attending a private university was a wonderful experience. When some of my friends who didn’t attend my school calls it ‘Advanced Secondary School’, I tell them those rules are instructions and according to the words of wisdom from the chancellor, rules are instructions and those who walk; walk with many, those who run; run with few but those who fly; fly alone. You need common sense to walk, skill to run, but those who fly only fly by instructions! We are high flyers which explain why we are referred to as “EAGLES” and no matter how people perceive schools like mine, there are some things you can’t take away from them. I can boldly say the level of spirituality was awesome, the academic environment was superb, and above all, the rules brought the best out of every student; if you could survive in my school, you can survive anywhere.
Then I understood that university life isn’t easy for it requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation to pull through. If you have passed through my school, or you are just passing through it, or you intend to some day, you must know that endurance is the key because as my chancellor would always say “It is better to pay now and play later than to play now and pay later.”
As for the Federal and State universities students, I encourage you to also set standards for yourselves; you must be self-disciplined and focused as you attempt to reach for an enviable future. And as youths- wherever we may be, we must learn to adopt the principle of sacrifice because there is NO STAR WITHOUT A SCAR!