“God’s time is the best” – If you are like me, I grew up associating that sentence with very sad situations. It was usually someone who was waiting painfully for something and was trying to convince listeners that he/she is consoled. I just became a year older on the 31st of May, and I took sometime during the days leading up to my birthday to reflect on my life these past few years. My experience getting my US visa still stands out in my mind. It’s a story I tell myself over and over again; probably one of the best stories I know that makes “God’s time is the best” not sound so painful.

It all started in 2008. I was in SS3, the equivalent of 12th grade in the US. I was excited to finish secondary school and start university as a medical student. Most of my classmates were going to apply to universities in the eastern part of Nigeria. I and a few of my classmates were interested in going to the west. I was even more excited that it was my father’s Alma Mater (University of Illorin). He had done an excellent job selling the school to me, and like every daddy’s girl, I was so excited to be like my father.

My last visiting day in secondary school started like any other day, but it was the first time I really felt the weight of a crushed dream. My birthday also fell around that period, so I was excited to see my parents come with food and all the goodies I asked them to bring. I was STUNNED, when I saw my uncle walk down from the school gate by himself. I can’t even remember as much as greeting him. The words that fell out were: ‘where is my daddy and mummy?’. Long story short, they couldn’t make it and he came in place of them. I started feeling like crying at that time, but it was not so bad yet. A spoon full of coconut rice would have fixed that problem quite easily.

He gave me his phone to talk to my dad. I was really nervous about the call because I was also supposed to find out about the result of the JAMB (SAT equivalent) I took. As I held the phone to my ears, I couldn’t wait for the pleasantries to be over and get to the meat of the conversation. My dad being a father, started by telling me how I did well and how the result wasn’t bad, and then proceeded to drop the inevitable bombshell, I had missed the cut-off for my dream university by 3 points. Now the floodgates broke open, and tears streamed down. I barely remember eating or being normal after that phone call. I was trying to wrap my mind around the nightmare of not getting into the university immediately after secondary school.

Growing up in Nigeria, I was very accustomed to the meaning of not being in the University as a young person. It’s by far the worst situation of living in LIMBO. Youth would stay with parents or relatives, not have jobs to do or places to go, and worst of all wait with uncertainty, as the next year and subsequent years could be EXACTLY the same. It terrified me. I was a little girl full of dreams. Very few things threaten me, but anything that comes close to taking my dreams away sends my mind amok.

In between my tears, confusion, and worry, I didn’t even have the slightest clue of what the next year of my life would be.

continue part 2 (here)

Make it a Winning-Day


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