Once upon a time when I thought that my success was tied to the number of books I knew how to read.
I decided to live in a fairy land, and stopped reading much – thinking I knew it all by listening.
I relocated to another land, and read like there was no tomorrow because I wanted to be the best.
Are you thinking what I am thinking?
Yes, I guess you are right. This has one time or the other been what you believed in or what someone around you believes in.
We’ve all had tales of “once upon a time when I…”, but some got caught up and forgot about their tales. I was nearing the end of mine, when I heard a testimonial that stirred my boat in the right direction. I was like a slave who just received her freedom.
It started from her secondary school days. Most brilliant, best female student, the Head Girl, and every other honorary position a man could dream of. She was the star girl and everyone wanted to associate with her. Lucky for them, she wasn’t proud. After her West African Examination Certificate which she aced, she was admitted to study Medicine and Surgery at the University of Ibadan. Life was easy for her, and her grades kept increasing, learning was easy for her and she became the tutorial master for her classmates. When the 100level result was released, guess what –
She aced it all, she had 4.0cgpa that some lecturers had to call her to see her. On entering 200level, her name rang on the lips of almost all the lecturers and she was becoming the star girl again. While all this was going on, she and her colleagues would go for tutorials in different places and their seniors, executives, came to speak to them over time. On one of such occasions was when Gbade, a senior came was said – “see you people should know that medicine is hard. You have to read like there is no tomorrow. See, let me tell you what we did, we dipped our legs inside the water to read, we drank several cups of coffee all because we wanted to pass MB part 1. And you know what that was just the beginning, as we kept preparing for other exams, we had to up our games by taking more coffee and going to the extreme of injecting ourselves with steroids to keep us awake. Many people usually have carry-overs.” This was the game-changer for her – Annabel.
Annabel smiled it off that day when she heard those words and continued her reading habits. We could not tell if she had a 4.0cgpa in 200leval as medical students are no longer graded with CGPA.
The period they had all been waiting for came, Annabel prepared as she would for every exam, she found no need to study extra long as she was used to that normal way of reading. While her colleagues were burning her eyes out, at times, she lay on her bed and rested. Alas two months before the exam came and everyone was up and down and studious. Annabel was reading but she noticed that she fell asleep easily. She was used to reading for at least 8 hours on a regular day but this time, she could not even read for up to 2 hours.
Her initial thought was that she was tired and needed to rest so she did that for a week, but it persisted. This was when she remembered that Gbade said something about drinking coffee and dipping legs inside water, she opted for it and I tell you her Keith Moore textbook fell into the water.
Finally, the exam came, and guess what, she still passed as the best.
By now she was becoming confident that she didn’t have to read as much as everyone was reading and even if she was sleepy she could sleep – some would consider this as foolishness, but I say it was a lack of knowledge. The next MB came with her preparing like a sluggard – mind you, she didn’t ace all like the previous ones, she had to re-sit a course, and this created a scar for her.
Questions arose of where she had missed it and then she happened to come in contact with another senior who said that was how life was in medicine, you fail some and pass some. With those thoughts lingering in her, she went through medical school, failing some and passing some. She struggled with the disappointments and wished she could turn the time and listen to her mom’s voice that told her that she could do anything she wanted and no matter how hard a course might be, people still pass it at once.
Now, she is a certified Medical Doctor, happily married and working in Abia State.”
Are you still wondering where I am going with the story? I am not here to preach to you or make those goosebumps appear. I come bearing that word that you can succeed in whatever you do. Don’t get me wrong, I agree Medicine and Surgery is not the simplest of all courses, but remember that no course is simple, every course comes with its peaks and people navigate through it. And it is most of the time, the first words that you hear about a course that marks what your experience would be. Hear wisely and know how to filter information that are hazardous because they – BURN!
One thing that matters for your success in school is having a mindset that school should not and doesn’t have to be hard for you; hearing words that you can achieve those big tasks by believing within you that nothing is impossible – because truly, to him that believes (not have a head knowledge), all things would be possible.
Writer: Ifemide Omolawal
University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria