I worked my ass off at school, I spent half of my life in the library facing the computers. I wanted just one thing: A FIRST CLASS. When I saw my results and realized that I failed to make a first class, I was very disappointed in myself. So many questions kept crawling in my mind:
How did this happen?
At what point did I slip?
What will I tell my children?
I graduated in 2012, and the realization that I failed to make a first class almost led me into what I thought was depression. I felt like a colossal failure. I told myself “Well, I’m not as intelligent as I think I am after all. This is the first opportunity I had to document my intelligence, and I failed to nail it. Maybe, just maybe I overestimate myself”. I wanted to go back to school right away for another bachelors degree, so I can “right my wrong”. Academic excellence is something I hold dear, I’ve got a thing for intellectual slayers, and it felt bad to realize that I just didn’t slay.
When I got back home for NYSC, I couldn’t even look my Dad in the eyes, how was I going to tell my parents that I didn’t make the best of the opportunity they gave me? I told my Dad that I was going back to school for another Bachelors degree, so I can right my wrong. I told him that I was going to tear and burn that certificate and assume that I’m fresh out of high school. But he told me the need to understand that he still believes in me, and that that “paper” is not a true representation of my intellectual prowess.
It took a while for me to build my confidence back. But I decided to abandon engineering for law because I felt engineering didn’t treat me well, maybe it’s not my destiny 🙂
You see, my parents are academics. I was raised to believe that academic excellence is the “in thing”. This led the little Nkechi to become so obsessed with academic excellence that she developed into building her whole life essence, worth and happiness around making a first class. I was a complete desperado. You can now imagine how much of a failure I felt I was when I couldn’t achieve my life-long goal.
I was chatting with a friend on Wednesday, and I told him that I had exams in the next three hours. And he was like “And you are on Facebook?”. Well, I stopped working too desperately hard after my Bachelors degree. The shock changed my philosophy to life. I now live for the moment, taking life one day at a time, and leaving very little or no room for regrets.
I have since learnt not to build my happiness around vanities. I still study hard, but I now combine a healthy social life with academic life and despite being less desperate, my results for my graduate studies are much better than that of my Bachelors.
I’m a strong believer of the saying that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. I like to consider myself a perfectionist (yeah, maybe self-proclaimed). If I don’t think I can slay in an endeavour and bring it to a perfect finish, I most likely will not start it at all. So, falling short of achieving my goals always leaves me in deep disappointment.
I still feel the need to right this wrong, so we can’t rule out the fact that I might wake up someday and go back to the University for another bachelors. Just like my sister who had two offers of admission in 2011; and she had to choose between going for a PhD and another Bachelors/Masters. Well, she went for another bachelors/masters. It’s not all about the name for her, but all about the satisfaction. She recently finished the program, and she is happy she took the decision.
To all the young people reading this, WORK HARD! Aim for the tops BUT don’t “sweat it”, and don’t be a desperado. If at the end of the day you still don’t get the desired results, you can look yourself in the mirror and say to yourself “I gave it my best shot”.
While at it, understand that there are no guarantees in life, thus, your best shot will not always give you the desired results. But, there’s always one vacant room, THE ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
Calm down, breath, live. Life is not that serious
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