Thank you Pero for giving me the privilege to share my med school experience on your blog.
…………it’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride, trying to figure out where to start from?
……from the beginning then;
In 2008 I gained admission into UNILAG to study medicine, I was excited. A lot of people tried to discourage me, saying medicine is difficult and involves a lot of reading. I laughed at their concerns because I felt reading wasn’t a problem (delusions caused by achievements gotten in high school).
My first year was a breeze, uneventful except I got to meet great people who had a hand in shaping me into what I am today. After 1st semester I realized my nonchalant attitude, caused by my newly found freedom was going to get me failed, I sat up and with God I crossed to the ‘’LION’S den’’.
Medilag was a totally different environment, everything felt alien, I hated it on first sight……..my expectations were shattered! Class was always full to the brim, lectures were almost always boring, felt like I was never gonna get a hang of all these information. So I gave myself extra push, read, read, read, read; then came 1st in-course, I barely scored above average! I was stunned, discouraged and humbled. Swallowed my pride, went to befriend the guy who got the highest score. He was so nice and accepted me as a reading partner. This new level of seriousness only lasted till after 2nd in-course…… suddenly I started having friends…..became a clique…..then, all hell broke loose; my class attendance reduced, I was barely reading. The most annoying part was that my social life was just as dead as my academic life, we’d just stay in the hostel and gist, gist, gist, eat, gist, gist….lmao.
Then came 1st professional exam……results shocked me, sent me into a trance, I saw my dreams of being a doctor become a living nightmare……… I lost my way with God, stopped attending fellowships and even praying! I carried my books and read my life out for resit, I was on auto pilot all through that six weeks. After writing the exams, I started checking out what it takes to be a physiologist, botanist, zoologist or pharmacologist…… because I was so sure my med school journey was over. While awaiting resit results, I didn’t bother attending 300l lectures since I was going to change course anyways, once my ‘‘F’’ was pasted on the ‘’Board of sorrows’’.
I passed!!!!!!! My joy knew no bounds, it was unbelievable; I was officially in 300l class, bawled my eyes out……emotions that med school brings out of you is amazing. I made resolutions of course (who wouldn’t??). I avoided being roommates with my friends because we were a bad influence on one another, I selected new roomies based on academic standards, surrounded myself with serious students. I enjoyed 300l better, attended classes regularly, read often, and formed an unbreakable friendship that has been tested over and over with my roomies. There was hardly any classsmate’s birthday we didn’t crash, then it was never about the ‘’punch and T-lash cake’’, it was all about the dancing……. My classmates were freaks!!! Beauty of all these was that it was balanced with reading.
When 2nd professional exams came, I wasn’t scared, I had found my way back to Christ, and life was good. Results came out, I passed 4 out of 5, failed microbiology. I was sad but not discouraged, started reading ASAP, while at the same time battling with some personal issues. Still I felt I had 6weeks to read just one course, why on earth won’t I pass it. Well I failed, I hit a level of ‘new low’ I never knew existed.
Repeat??????? What the hell did that mean, God what did I do? People who had to write 4 or the entire 5 courses again all passed…….. Why was I different?? Just one course?? Am not dumb? Am going to ask for remarking? This can’t be happening to me??
I was broken, I sunk into depression, called my parents, and they supported me in a way I never expected……….not a single word of criticism (mum and dad, u guys rock my world). My friends were clueless on what to do to cheer me up, I bottled all emotions in, and no one had an inkling of my state of mind. I remember going home the next day after the results were released, it was in the bus en-route home I released all the tears (the passenger beside me was in a state of confusion, lol). I cried, got home, cried like I lost a dear one, gut wrenching sobs, I was catatonic… my dad was helpless, he didn’t know how to get me to stop. Even as I write this part of my story, my eyes are wet….it was a messed up experience I wouldn’t wish on my enemies. Took me 2weeks to pull myself together (for a strong person like me, I was ashamed).
I accepted fate, but made a decision to get a distinction in this course, just to prove to myself that am not a failure. So I got in contact with my fellow ‘’repeaters’’, we had to decide when to start going to attend classes (e no easy ooo, attending same class with your people who to be your juniors). First day in that class was hell, I couldn’t pay attention, I felt the whole class was looking at me with disgust, I couldn’t bear to look at the board, I didn’t want people to even see me.
Dr Oduyebo (HOD of my microbiology) was a blessing, she called us together, gave us words of encouragement, made our lives easier. We got to have separate attendance, the shame of signing on the same sheet with your juniors was gone, we had our own reps, and we did our things separate from the whole class. She organized tutorials for us. It didn’t change the fact that we were repeating, but at least it made it bearable. I learnt how to read in another dimension, school was just 2days for me in a week, had too much time on my hand. An entire year to read ‘one course’, I didn’t let that derail me though. I read with a new level of understanding, no more cramming. I had the entire senior registrars in microbiology taking me tutorials, every day I was in microbiology lab, having sessions with whoever was available (God bless Drs Osigwe, Ochang & Bode).
I was reading 3 textbooks, using the internet to read, I understood things in a way I never felt was possible, I enjoyed reading, recall was so easy for me, no more struggling. My jotter was called the ‘micro bible’, there was no piece of information that wasn’t in it, and in my head. My reading partner seun was amazing, never a word of complaint, always gingered, always ready and together we aced every in-course………. My aim of getting a distinction started becoming feasible.
Then the devil struck, I fell ill 3weeks prior to professional exams, was on admission in LUTH and was discharged the week the exams started. But I was stronger emotionally then, I knew it was a test of faith. I wrote the resit instead since I wasn’t able to write the main exam.
I passed and my dreams of having a distinction became a reality. I didn’t care that once you repeat, your distinction isn’t celebrated, all I wanted was to prove to myself that I can be whatever I want to be! I didn’t feel an overwhelming happiness when I saw my results, I just felt relieved that it was all over and I’m not a failure.
As at then I thought repeating was a curse! A punishment! I laugh now at my stupidity then. Repeating was one of the biggest blessing God gave me. I learnt how to read!!!! He was preparing for clinical year. I didn’t have to cram no more, I could actually reason things. I didn’t figure this out till I got to 500l.
400l was a close call, I got too relaxed, I made another mistake by letting friendship affect my academic life, I wasn’t able to stand firm. I had so much fun that year but it was still a bad deal! I woke up in 500l, pulled myself together. I found the zeal to read once again, unknown to me the foundation formed during repeating year was standing strong, all I had to do was build on it. I aced 500l. Then came secondary postings, I finally made a good call when it came to making friends………I met Sike Ajayi (I disliked her initially……pls don’t tell her). So back to sec. postings, it wasn’t easy because the courses were boring, all except psychiatry. I didn’t let that deter me, I studied and I passed them.
Now to the grand finale……….. So this is where I mentioned my personal person, my closest friend, my fear fear padi, who became my brother; Adegbola Dare. We’ve been friends since 200l but our bond was strengthened in 500l, while 600l cemented it! Arghhh 600l was a different ball game, I was done playing, done fooling around, done with bad friends, done with distractions. I was a changed person in final year. I started off with medicine posting (Nephrology), it was amazing. I was in the same posting with dare, we were one helluva of a badass team! I started reading foundational courses again, because during 200l it was all about cramming. It was here I finally appreciated ‘’repeating’’. Then God blessed me with favour, my consultants, registrars were in love with me, because of my seriousness (I chuckle inwards when I imagine their facial expressions if they found out I had repeated before). It was stressful, damn I lost weight, looked sick all the time, but it was worth it.
I somehow ended becoming the group rep for all my postings, despite my ‘’anger issues’’. I was always hated by some of my group members, while loved by some. I couldn’t be bothered because I’m aware I can’t satisfy everyone. I met Pero during O&G postings, we hit off on the wrong foot, yeah I can be overbearing, headstrong and quick to anger but I’m still one of the friendliest persons you’d ever meet. We became close friends after, and all was well. Finally Sike and I were in the same posting during paediatrics, we are so alike which was a bad combination and it tested our friendship, but we found a way to deal with it. We worked our asses off in CHER, we won best group, and we were loved by 80% of the registrars, but hated by 90% of our group members…..lmao!
Surgery was my last posting & it was awesome, I was back with dare (we were separated only during pead postings). I made plenty school fathers amongst the consultants, registrars here were just nasty, and unfortunately I couldn’t be bothered, I had finals on my mind. But I also met super registrars who I have so much respect for now, lovely people. I loved the insults the most, it was sort of a drug, made me read more. These doctors are so creative with insults that would reduce your self-esteem to shreds, but I found strength in them!
Then came finals……Sike ajayi I thank you for all the insults and words of encouragement that you gave me when I came close to breaking down. I was filled with self-doubt, I was torn between trusting God and believing I was a failure. All the layers of confidence built after repeating was ripped to shreds! I was a wreck, but only Sike knew. The world saw a confident person, but inside I was hanging on a thin thread. If not for her, I’d have snapped and lost it! I felt I wasn’t reading enough, I mean people were reading overnight and yet I was sleeping till daybreak, I was behind on my timetable, I hadn’t covered plenty topics……. She helped me build my confidence back, I was finally able to cast all my burdens on my God, I was relieved. I stopped comparing myself with others, thinking I was a failure & trying to read like other people. I changed reading partners, met Subomi (my infant….lol), we were so alike, always sleeping till daybreak. Thing was that we were daytime readers and our pace in reading & understanding was well matched, so we made a great team!
….then calamity happened during exams. I made the unfortunate mistake of believing subomi that surgery exam was on a tuesday. So the Sunday before exams, we spent the entire day reading surgery, shade kept asking why we weren’t reading medicine instead…….in our minds we felt like the smart ones! Monday came and O&G was over, I overheard people talking about medicine, I said to myself “this people are confused”…..unknown to me I was the foolish one. By the time I realized Tuesday was meant for medicine exam, I wanted to break every bone in Subomi’s body, Almighty medicine and I was reading surgery. I tried solving pqs, it was frustrating, I couldn’t even answer one question without checking the answer up……that was when I knew it was game over. We slept overnight again as usual, got to the exam with fake confidence, by the time I was done with the mcqs I knew if I had been given a week to read that medicine, it wouldn’t change my knowledge about those demonic questions.
We finally finished finals and God was soooooooo faithful, I cried like hell the day I wrote my last paper because I knew it was finally over! God did it!! God showed me I wasn’t a failure!! I am an awesome creation, a royal priesthood destined for great exploits by God!!
I learnt a lot in my 6years+ about life, friends, disappointments, spiritual growth and God! I finally grew in Christ…..though still battling with a lot of things but I reached a level with him that I never knew existed. Medical school is one of a kind, trust me. It’s not pride, we experienced what it was to be on a normal campus, but survival in med school is a story that’s marked with physical and emotional scars! In Retrospect, it’s still gonna be MEDICINE!!!!! Every past regret was a lesson learnt, now I have no regrets about studying Medicine.
……………ehn there’s tiny regret, I avoided every form of distractions after the ‘’repeat’’, now am graduating ‘’single’’. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so rigid…..lmao. But get ready oo because my ‘’mine’’ will find me soon…….lol.
I’m proud to be a Medical Doctor. Very big shout out to my awesome siblings (Segun, Shola, Tomide and Bookie)…………Shola(2nd mama) & Bookie most especially, you are the best sisters anyone could ever wish for; kind, supportive, caring and never complain when i submit my “ridiculous wish list”=* =*. Finally to my royal friends, Tejumade, Nuga, Mrs Adams, Adebeshin, Christiana, Dammy and to every other person who made an impact in my life (good or bad), I love you all……meeting you guys and becoming a part of you is an honour.
Rock on Royals ’15!!!!!!
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