If we had exceptional results at the end of freshman year, we could cross to Medicine. And so many of us did excellently well. Hopes were high. Excitement levels were fever pitch. Some started buying textbooks for Premedical classes.
Then again, the oddly unique thing happened. There was a new provost in the College of Medicine who wasn’t so excited about crossing into Medicine. So, he banned it for that year. Again, this was the first and last time something of this sort happened.
We were heartbroken. We were disappointed. We had had high expectations that we had missed up to 5 weeks of lectures in our parent department. Everywhere looked bleak. Many of us were further disillusioned by our senior colleagues who told us that all we achieve as a physiologist graduate was a lecturing job. That sent shivers down our spines! So, that ‘disorientation’ caused us to search within and without for what we could do with our lives. Now, we are still pretty much confused. But this time, it isn’t because we don’t know what we want to do. No, it’s because we are spoilt with various mouth-watering career paths to pick from!
As I glance over my shoulders, I can’t help but to see God’s hand at work in The Platinum Set of students admitted into Physiology in 2009. He caused us to be beacons of light in a place where that had been the darkness of anonymity. He caused us to be rivers in a dry and weary land. We are salts that are adding flavour and taste to where there was none before. Despite all the ‘oddities’, we have pulled through. Suddenly, we find ourselves as a point of reference, as a result of our ‘uniqueness’. We are condemned to Greatness, so, you’d better stand by to be stunned!!!
Another chemistry course was Inorganic Chemistry. Majority of high school chemistry was inorganic. So, my approach to preparation for this course was lax. Soon, it was exam time and when I saw the questions, I almost chewed my pen halfway. There were 50 questions, each starting with ‘WHICH IS ODD?’. Then there were 5 extremely similar options to choose from. How were we expected to fish the right answer out? Well, all I know is that I passed!
We also had fond memories of our Physics courses, especially the BASIC PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS II. The name struck me as something like a movie series. Interesting.
However, when the time came for the exam, I didn’t find anything amusing about the course. The course was just too abstract. I couldn’t relate with it. I had never been a fan of cramming stuff and I would never be. That’s why I try to understand whatever I’m taught. The bottomline’s that I had never before in my life written an exam like this one! There were options for each question. And naturally, only one was the correct one. Only that, I couldn’t relate to the questions. They were hostile. The fans in the exam centre were on, yet I remember sweating profusely.
I had 2 hours for the exam. An hour and half later, I was at Question 3. Out of 35! I was even sure the answers I picked were correct. Soon, I saw my self shading the answer paper randomly. It was THAT bad! At the end of the paper, I was earnestly praying to have the passmark, which was 40%. I knew I had no hope of passing. Eventually, when the results were out, I passed and got higher than my expectations.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Physical Chemistry had been overhyped for us. And rightly so. The Almighty 157 was responsible for sacking over 100 students the previous year! Everyone was afraid of being nipped at the bud. So, many faced the course, at the expense of other courses. Different weapons were flashed in the face of the enemy course. I started reading overnight, solving past questions, going for classes earlier than normal, and the works. It was also at that time I started praying like I won’t read and reading like I won’t pray. It paid off. At least for me. 70% of the students who wrote the course failed it. I didn’t get a ‘WOW’ score like I used to in high school. But hey, I didn’t fail!
The funny thing about this course was the exam format. All past questions that I used for practice were in the Multiple Choice Format (MCq). However, in my set, the format was changed! We had to fill answers into blank gaps! I never fully grasped the course but I had been relieved that there would be options to work my calculations towards. And, as was the case of the UME scores, the format was reverted back to MCq after my set. And it has not been tampered with again!
TO BE CONTINUED…
As at the time I was running around for my admission, I had not written my SSCE. When the time came for that, I made up my mind to do very well. And I did excellently well.
So, here I was, ‘overqualifying’ for the course I had changed to. I had a weighted score of 75.6 while those who had a weighted score of about 66.0 but didn’t change their course were picked for Medicine. I consoled myself with two facts. One was, I wasn’t the only one with my predicament. The other was the mouth-watering prospect of changing back to Medicine, if I did excellently well at the end of my freshman year.
I soon finished with high school and the rest of 2009 was uneventful. There was also a general strike in all public universities, including UI. You can check my post, ‘ Strike Three- You’re Out!!!’ for more on that.
January 2010, all universities resumed work. I and all my classmates with a similar situation with mine devoted ourselves to ending our freshman year with excellent results, so we could cross back to Medicine. There were more than a couple of shocks and surprises waiting for me. For example, I had thought that high school Physics and Chemistry were the last in my life. Instead, I was met with 5 physics and 4 chemistry courses. That, for a freshman!!!
TO BE CONTINUED…
Days later, the results were out. I rushed out to check my score online. 225. 225 out of 400! I was sad. I fought back tears. Then, I cried. How was I ever going to study Medicine with such a score?! Though I had been convalescing when I was writing the exams, I couldn’t forgive myself for falling ill at that time.
So, what was the next step for me? Staying at home till the next year’s UME was not an option!
I soon found out that I could change my desired course to one that was not as demanding as Medicine, in terms of admission requirements. Then after obtaining admission, I could always change back to Medicine. The idea sounded good. The only clause was that I could only make use of this card once. Fair enough! So, I changed my preferred course of study to Physiology.
If only I knew the events that would unfold as the days went by…
TO BE CONTINUED…
The story starts with me.
At least to some extent I got to know myself before meeting other people. In high school, I was somewhat an all-rounder. Academically. Though I was never the sporty type, I was quite playful. Looking back, I have discovered that I excelled in all my subjects, despite not always reading. I was neither a geek nor a whizkid. All I can say is that there was, and still is, a grace working in me.
So, because I performed well in my subjects, I was persuaded to pursue a degree in Medicine. At that time, I had no idea of what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was that I wanted to be where the brilliant students always went to. And in this society, that was Medicine.
My stay at in high school was drawing to a close and soon it was time to sit for the University Matriculation Examinations (UME) for the year 2009. I got the forms and filled in for Medicine and Pharmacy for the University of Ibadan and the Obafemi Awolowo University, respectively. I got the necessary materials for practice and started my preparations in earnest.
About 3 weeks to the exams, I came down with typhoid fever. The sickness was so severe that I gained admission into an entirely different institution. A hospital. The day for the UME exams drew nearer and near. And I was unable to prepare. In fact, I was discharged from the hospital about 4 days to the D-day.
On the fateful day for the exams, I was less than a shadow of myself. So, I went in for the exams, did my best and came out…
TO BE CONTINUED…
In a bid to outstandingly stand out from a selected group of people, it is imperative for one to possess something that the others do not have. In my post, ‘The Real McCoy’, I talked about the fact that each individual is the only one of his kind. Others may be similar but they are just not quite the same. Unsurprisingly, a way to stand out is to realize that one is unique and consequently choose to be noncommittal to the norms and unspoken rules of the community or society. I searched my mind for the best example I could use to buttress my point. I couldn’t come up with anything better than the set of students to be admitted into the University of Ibadan for the 2009/10 Academic Session. Especially those of us who were chosen to study Physiology.
The story starts with me…
TO BE CONTINUED.