Gazing at the stars from the window beside my bed, I felt the soreness of my muscles. I hurt all over and sleep was eluding me. Today was particularly stressful, I had to pay my school fees and get the bursary clearance. There I laid in the coldness of the night; reminiscing. I never thought I would make it here. To walk on these streets which have become so familiar with but here I am in this moment, a Bowen University student. I remember vividly how happy dad was; mom had not smiled so deeply in a long while. ‘Praise!’ dad called ‘Bowen has given you admission to study medicine, congrats boy! We leave as soon as possible’. I was thrilled and undeniably happy. I arrived optimistic, looking forward to a new and adventurous life here, but she is not dazzling princess I imagined. A frown crosses my face as I thought about this place where I have found myself.
I must wake up early on weekdays to ensure I attend 8 o’clock classes. Waking up early for a class is the worst thing that can happen to a man. I mean who detests a goodnight sleep and a couple of hours on top of that in the morning? Sometimes all I want to do is sleep for as long as I want to, but that is not an option here. Class now, class later, ‘I need some time for myself’, I always say, but time is never enough for any man, is it?
I go to chapel three times a week here: on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays! Another one of her encumbering rules. The number of times I go to the chapel a week does not make me a better person or better still a better Christian but it is mandatory I go each time irrespective of how I feel. Being a good student can be exhausting but the rules should be obeyed. There are other activities that she makes of compulsory attendance, how can I forget the drug abuse seminars? I find them annoying and a waste of my time. I do not do drugs and therefore I do not need them. Nevertheless, it does not hurt to be reminded repeatedly that drug abuse kills, and I do not want to die young.
‘You, where is you tie?’ Oh God! This Courtesy Officers have come with their wahala again. ‘Sir, it is 2 o’ clock in the afternoon and the sun is hot’. I put on my tie and I walk away. A typical day for any of her students, they are everywhere looking for law breakers, and just when you think you have escaped surveillance, boom, they catch you. They have a way of always making me angry. Well, I guess they are just doing their job which is maintaining law and order. Tomorrow is Wednesday; you had better carry your tie along.
The break period is from 1-2pm. The cafeterias are flooded with people now and more people keep coming in. I like this, I get to eat and socialize at the same time, but the part that I don’t like is when I cannot get food without struggling. Tempers flaring on every side, I need to intensify my effort to buy my food and leave this stand before the frenzy escalates into something else. Food in hand, I look for a suitable place to sit. The food here is okay; although occasional bland, it is sometimes delicious. I like the days when the food tastes great. She has a couple of cafetarias, so craving for a change in taste is always satiable. I still miss mums cooking , no ones cooks better than mum does.
Fun? Not an entirely strange word. We have trade fair every session and during the trade fair commodities are sold at very affordable prices. There is food, clothes, shoes and lots more. Last year, I bought Shawarma just to find out there was suya in it.’Scammers! Where is the chicken?’ As you would imagine, I ate my shawarma with even more relish. There are number of fun-filled activities here: sports, departmental cups, departmental dinners and so on. Sometimes healthy competitions are held like Bowen Got Talent, Essay competitions where participants get the opportunity to showcase their skills and talents and win various prize and lots of fun. The most fun thing to do is to live with people who make you laugh. I met my friends here, great people I must say. We have our differences but the fun times are better. You know how it feels when you laugh so hard and it starts to hurt? I have experienced it one time too many.
I am encountered with rules at every turn; sometimes trying to understand the rules feels like a labyrinth. I do not understand it, I do not like it, but I know it is for the better. Yes! She does love me, making me a better man with every step. Sometimes, love involves pain and doing the things we hate most. There I laid; lost in my thoughts so much I did not realize when the arms of sleep reached out to me.
About the Writer
Praise is a 400l Medicine and Surgery student who has passion for writing. His writing skills is drawn from happenings around him and to him, writing is a lifestyle.•