Let’s find out more.
“I don’t know” I shrugged. As funny as it may sound, I did not know. All through my years in senior secondary, I was thinking I’d figure it out before the time comes but there I was, ranting about not getting into the university, and yet, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to study.
I expected her to laugh at my answer but she didn’t. Rather, there was a very surprised look on her face “You don’t know?”
She sighed ‘You see? The more reason you should take this one year for a blessing. You can’t just jump into the university without a goal. You’ll get lost”
“I know,” I said “I know”
As a kid, I’d wanted to be a pilot. Now that I think about it, every child wants to be a pilot. My reasons then were so I could be traveling to different countries with ease and coming in contact with the whites. When I grew up to the age of 7, my mentality changed and I knew that if I became a successful person, I can always travel to any country of my choice. That was when I started admiring the medical profession. Whenever I was asked, I’d say that I want to be a ‘doctor’ and because people in my neighborhood knew how intelligent I was, they started calling me ‘doctor’ and my mother became ‘Mama doctor’.
During that time too, I discovered my love for music and writing. I composed songs and sang them with pride and as for writing, I did it daily. I so much enjoyed it.
The confusion came when I entered SS1. In my school, SS1 students offer both Science and Arts subjects so that they’d know where they are good at. I don’t want it to seem like I’m tooting my horns but I was pretty good at both. If I were to go for Arts, I would choose to study Law, Music or Theatre arts but in sciences, the only profession I admired was Medicine.
When I got into SS2, it became a huge dilemma for me that my parents had to get involved. My mum in particular kept talking me out of Arts. In the end, I chose the sciences. As we progressed, I gradually began to develop hatred for Physics and Chemistry. Especially Chemistry but I never really failed them in any exam.
Because I was struggling to pass, I began to wish I’d gone for Arts instead but there was no need regretting then. My WAEC exams were fast approaching so I was studying hard to make sure they don’t dent my result.
Had it not been for my current situation with Chemistry and Physics, I’d have confidently told Aunty Rose that it’s Medicine that I want to study but for one to study such prestigious course, you’ll have been good at those subjects and at that time, I was an average student who was fighting hard to remain at that position at least. So, I didn’t see the possibility of studying Medicine and as for other medical courses, as I told you early on, none of them interested me. That was the problem.
I gradually came back to the present. Aunty Rose was waving at me “Hello? I’ve been talking to you for a while now” she said, “Are you zoning out?”
I laughed and shook my head. I was not zoning out. I’d already zoned out and got back. I leaned in “Aunty can I ask you a question?”
“How did you know you wanted to study Radiography? Did you just wake up one morning and decide it?”
Then she told me the story of how she came to know about the course and fell in love with it. It reminded me of the first day she came to our house. I’d asked her the course she was studying and she proudly said “Radiography” although I haven’t heard of the course until then, I knew it must be a medical course but jokingly asked her if they were being trained on how to repair radios. She laughed hard at that before she explained what the course is all about.
“So just like that, you knew you wanted to study Radiography?”
“Yes,” she said “the key is to follow your passion”
That day I decided within myself that I will go for Medicine. I thanked her and took the plates to the kitchen sink.
WAEC exams came and went. The same with NECO. I passed all my subjects though I narrowly escaped failure in Chemistry and Physics with C6. After a few months had gone by, I was enrolled in a computer school and JAMB tutorial center at once. I had JAMB tutorials in the morning and computer training in the afternoons. I was so psyched that soon I’d be sitting for the exam that will take me into the higher institution. My best friend did not get admitted so it seemed our dreams could still be achieved after all.
“What is inertia?” our tutorial teacher asked now facing us. I’m not someone who likes to answer a question other people know the answer to. I feel there’s a glory that comes by giving a correct answer to a question others don’t know. So when the whole class was silent, I looked around in surprise before raising my hand.
“Precious again?” he asked, “isn’t there anyone else in this class?”
He waited for another hand to go up ut after some time, he let me answer. “Yes?”
“Inertia can be defined as the reluctance of a body to move when it’s at rest and its reluctance to stop when in motion”
“Very good!” he exclaimed while I sat down and from the corner of my eyes I could see that I was now the center of attention. I smiled.
Ever since I showed up at that tutorial center, I’ve been greatly noticed and for nothing else but the way I answer questions in class. I was offering English, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics and it seemed I was the favorite student of all those teachers.
Many people surround me all the time. Some came for me to teach them something they did not understand in class, some were trying to be friends with me. I grew overconfident and complacent. Just because I got answers right in class, I began to think that many other things did not matter anymore.
I always get back home at about 5:30 – 6:00 pm each day, do my chores, play music, chat with friends, sometimes read but most times I just glance through the past questions and feel I’ve known it all. Is it not me again? The ‘brainiac’ as my tutorial classmates nicknamed me. I’d sleep till morning then prepare my siblings for school before leaving for tutorials and I repeat this cycle each day.
Soon, JAMB registration commenced. My friend and I bought the form together and filled it out side by side. Her first choice was Nursing in UNN while mine was Medicine and surgery in the same school. Because of the long process and queue, we couldn’t finish with the registrations till the next day. I was really happy that everything was going as planned.
When the exams were almost at our doorstep, one of our tutorial teachers called me aside to have a little chat. “How have you been preparing?” he asked
I smiled and cockily replied “I’ve been preparing”
“it’s Medicine that you filled in as your first choice, right?”
“Are you studying like someone who wants to study Medicine?”
The way he was questioning me that day scared me a bit but I didn’t show it “I’m trying” I said
“Which day is your exam?”
“Next week Thursday”
He smiled at me “I know what you can do my dear” he patted my shoulder “I wish you a success”
‘Thank you sir” I said and we parted ways.
On the D-day, I went into the hall very nervous, and even when we’d been instructed to commence the test, I did not input my reg number. I sat there staring at my screen and imagining the kind of questions I’d meet. I soon braced myself to face my fate. I started with English which is my fave then, Biology before Chemistry and Physics.
In my overconfidence, I clicked a lot of wrong options at first before carefully reading the questions again and correcting the mistakes in English and Biology. The other two dealt with me. At a point, I started clicking answers without even reading the questions because I was certain I did not know the answers to them.
When I was done, I had less than a minute remaining and instead of submitting it myself, I just sat there helplessly and watched the time go by. When my time was up, it was automatically submitted for me and I walked out of the hall. I was so dizzy when I got outside so I bought myself a snack and a can of coke.
Since my center wasn’t that close, I got back home at night. I met my parents and siblings watching television in the sitting room and when they asked me how my exam was, I simply replied “I don’t know” then I staggered into my room and threw myself in bed.