Yes! You read that right. It is not some mistake or Ibadan-accented title. It is what it is: an appropriate description of this latter slice, this second semicircle of the academic calendar. The first semester has come and gone with all its twists and turns. But no matter how twisted or turned it might have been, it is no match for what we are about to behold. Those series of welcoming parties and orientation programmes are not the mates of the events lined up for this season – quantitatively and qualitatively.
And so, how better to describe this period than with the pun: second se-mesh-ter? It is indeed nothing but a sea of meshes waiting to entangle us in its booby traps. It is a sea of mesmerisers, coming at us left, right and centre. If we throw caution to the winds, it might also wind up as a sea of mess, making complete chaos out of our pampered only son – the Cumulative Grade Point Average. However, we must not equally lose sight of the fact that as much as it is a second semester, it is also a fecund semester – one with multiple utilities and countless benefits.
Whether this semester exits your autobiography with its fecundity translating to profuse fertility or it exits after deflating your CGPA like a trespassing vehicle depends on what you do with it and how you approach it. The clouds are gathering, the storm is yet to come and heavy rain is yet to fall. But it shall come and it shall fall, and you shall be drenched though you hide under the thickest of roofs. This is not a prophecy of doom, it is merely a forewarning of what looms. Of course, many of us know this for a fact already. Nonetheless, as the Romans would say: repititia juvant (repetition or remembrance does good).
By the time the weeks start becoming pregnant of other ‘weeks’, and the days start conceiving other ‘days’, we shall inevitably be weakened and we shall no doubt be dazed. We shall host the hall week with its extended family. The departmental week shall wait in the guest room to engage us. And the faculty week, while this madness is going on, shall confidently knock on the door. Neither deterred nor discouraged, other strangers too shall nudge for our attention. We have the NAOSSes day (of Oyo, Ogun, Osun and Ondo). We have competitions of different tastes. We have seminars, workshops and conferences. And unfortunately, we still have just 24 hours on each single day as well as 3 months of lectures.
Only a fool would host all these programmes in his sitting room without exception. And only a lesser fool would host all these programmes with little exception. The wise ones will develop a semi-permeable membrane to external invitations and stimuli. They will give to Olayinka what is Olayinka’s, to Nifemi what is Nifemi’s and to God what is God’s. They will attend their dinners and Iyan Days with handbooks in hand. They will not party till their mommas call them; rather they will not just part with anything partly party-like but anything bordering on frivolity.
The best way to survive in this peculiar semester is to grab it by the neck when it has just arrived. Seize the day and cease not in the night. Start burning the night candles earlier, and do not wait till the shadow of examination is cast upon you by its table till you start making your notes. Wait till you have no choice before you stab classes. There is no better and easier time to be serious than now. No better time to stifle the reading rooms or for operation #Occupy_KDL than now. In short, start early! Start early before your leisure time gradually dwindles before your eyes while your chi stands helplessly.
We have all heard the tale of the greedy monkey who once went terribly hungry. It searched and searched but found no place wherein to satisfy its complaining belly, until fate brought it to the periphery of a private farmland with plenty fruits but also with a huge fence. It managed to gain entrance into this farmland through a tiny hole in the wall. But, greedy as hell, the monkey did not only silence its wailing belly, it went on to stuff it till even the oesophagus had fattened like an anaconda which just swallowed a goat.
Not long after, it heard the footsteps of the farmer approaching his territory. Alarmed, he scampered back to the big wall’s Achilles heel which had graciously allowed him to enter. However, at this point, he was overqualified for admission. His tummy was too large and his limbs less agile. In the end, he managed to force his way through, but all what he ingested had to be spewed. Thus, as he came, so he returned. Our friends in law would say BLLB (bo se lo lo se bo). Dear reader, do not let this be your fate. Enjoy yourself, but never at the detriment of what is most important.
Once again, welcome to the second se-mesh-ter!