By: Tolulope Ayeye
So you got into UI and became the one percent of the one percent that made it to the first and best university in Nigeria. After eight months, you don’t know if you are to call yourself a fresher or not. Maybe we should stick to calling you a semi-fresher. I mean, it’s barely a month into the semester and school work, yet you’ve spent up to a year in this same 100 level.
Now with your 1-year to 1-month experience in this same UI, the one you had bragged about in front of your friends, the one that gave you that very high shoulder pad, you have come to realize that the fess and Bess may not be all that. Or maybe it is, but your expectations were just too high, and now they have come crashing down with so much gusto and with nothing to aid their fall.
The Game of Expectations
Close that book in front of you, and let’s play a game of expectations versus reality. You have no choice but to participate because, let’s be honest, you joined this game the moment you chose UI. You were so happy about joining the prestigious university of Ibadan that you didn’t realize that the first and best more or less stopped at academics. If you came to UI thinking you would not only be a bookworm but also complement that by being a social butterfly, I don’t have to tell you to dead that thought because it died after the second week of resumption. You should know that UI only has one mumu button, and that is book.
To remain in the good books of your school, you need to know how to press that mumu button; there are barely any allowances for anything non-academic. You could choose to join the football team, but it’ll only take two to three training sessions to have you know that you will be choosing either your academics or your sports career. Even after choosing your sports career, it doesn’t necessarily mean the team would come back with the next NUGA cup. I know what you are thinking, Monday to Fridays are for books, and for the weekend, you will fly fly fly away. But do tell me what you’d do when your social butterfly meets a 3-hour Saturday class by 11 am, and a test on Sunday by 12?
Even the Academics May not be Academicing
Yes, UI has consistently been dubbed number 1, but that surprises you too, doesn’t it? I mean, we do have some infrastructure that functions but once in a while (some students were instructed to prepare for online practicals); LLT chairs that may leave you on the ground – I’m not throwing shades, but Social Sciences catch your sub – and if you are unlucky to borrow courses from some departments, canceled classes that could make you scared for your grades. So while you were continuously expecting to go to a conducive class and make mama proud, UI has other plans for you, and you might as well stick to reading course materials in your not-so-fancy hall of residence.
Maybe Your Hostels are not it?
After watching a thousand and one foreign University movies and seeing their top-notch hostels, you must have thought that your hall in UI would be no different; one of a kind. Well, it is one of a kind, not just the type you were expecting. Even though you throw shades at the other halls in the school, you know that your hall of residence takes the crown. You live in an animal-rich ecosystem; you have friends, and some of them are rats and if you are lucky, (maybe) snakes. There is also the hall police that may be out for your head, of course deeply conniving with some of the facilities in the Hall. But you cover the shame of your hall with hype because no be everybody supposed know say all is not well.
Throw Your Four Years Plan in the Dustbin
When they told you first, you said it was a lie, and you threw several ‘God forbid’ their way. Now you’ve seen it with your own two eyes and you know what’s up. When you were packing your bags for school, you had planned that you were going to get your degree in 4 to 5 years, go for NYSC, maybe get your Master’s degree, and then you were set for the outside world. One thing you forgot to do, however, was allocate X years to ASUU. Well, let me tell you, being in UI means that ASUU is a prominent stakeholder in your education and how long you spend in school. Eight months have passed, and even though you did not give what belonged to ASUU to ASUU, it has forcefully collected what its own is, and you have no say about it. When they ask how long you’d spend in UI, your answer should be, ‘by the grace of ASUU and UI, I’d spend 4+x years for my 4-year course,’ and if it is a 5-year course, you have to do the same.
Now, the expectations are broken, and it seems like you are doing a “what you ordered for vs. what you got challenge.” You are the new definition of Dem no dey tell person, because honestly, for this UI, dem no dey tell person; the realities hit you harder than you expect. When it comes to keeping you on your toes, the school is always ten steps ahead of you. The only time you get to say Me-10, UI-1, is once in a blue moon. Even at this glaring realization, you have no choice but to push ahead and try as much as possible to ‘wing am’. Even though the scale is seemingly imbalanced by the ratio of bad to good, you should still try to focus on the good parts of the school. Because in the end, like everyone, you’d rather not let UI happen to you; instead, you want to end your 4 or 5+x years in this school and say Veni, Vidi, Vici.