By Oladunni Adenuga

I live on the topmost floor of the block directly at the entrance of Queen Elizabeth II Hall. Now, this block is not called the “amebo” block for nothing. For one, it is so easy to see what is going on outside the hall, all one has to do is just step out of their room into the balcony. On the other hand, when it gets late at night, and the human traffic has reduced, and those that are left are the blooming romances, the lovey-dovey couples, the ones settling an argument, and the guys looking for girlfriends, one does not have to go out to the balcony to hear what is being discussed downstairs. The voices literally float up to us in the rooms. Whispers of love forever being exchanged between “bae and boo”, arguments between quarter-to-break-up-couples, and exchanges of insults between potential baes and bae-chasers; we hear everything. EVERYTHING. With time though, we get used to the noise, and learn how to tune it out.

Last semester on this block was a nightmare. Every night, I had to struggle to shut out the voices before I could sleep. I didn’t understand why people would stay out so late, talking sweet love so loudly. More annoying was the fact that these people were freshers. My roommates and I would often talk about how UI had not given them a proper welcome ceremony, that was the only reason they could be taking their academics so lightly. If they had gone through the mental stress of preparing for, writing post-UTME, and then awaiting the results, maybe they would not be this silly. It is usual to find people talking outside the hall, but not in such large numbers, and in every weather. People would sit in front of the hall from early evening till midnight, talking! Even more baffling was the fact that these freshers did not seem to realise what a 4.0 CGPA meant for them. My roommates and I had a bet: by the time the freshers saw their results, they would come back to their senses at the speed of light!

I love second semesters in UI. The drama is just unmatchable- the anticipation for different events, the hustle and bustle, and unusual crowdiness of the school uring post-UTME exams,and the drama surrounding the release of the Book of Life. Every second semester in UI is incomplete without the drama of “Book of Life”. This is the main reason I call the second semester the hour of reckoning. After people get their results, different reactions are displayed. There are the ones who have scaled through, and who will face the semester with a bright outlook; then the ones who have barely made it, and who will approach the semester with hope; the ones who didn’t make it,but who will resolve to work harder; and then the ones who didn’t make it, and who will decide that they might as well keep lazying around, hardwork is not worth the effort.

When the Book of Life was released, I saw fellow finalists who normally would not be interested, ask excitedly for it. I watched people get shocked looks on their faces as they beheld the story of failure that the numbers in the book told. I heard someone keep screaming, “Zero point zero! I have never heard this before!” Later in the night, while discussing with my roommates, in the quietness of our room, with hardly any voices floating up to our room, we knew that at the end of this session, UI will have a very high number of “TSUNAMI” cases such as has never happened before. Many freshers would have simply come to UI on a yearlong excursion, after which they would go back to their houses.
Since the release of the Book of Life, meetings in front of the hall have reduced drastically. People still meet, but the freshers are not so many amongst them as before. Our freshers have come down out of the euphoria of admission on a seeming platter of gold, and have now realised that there is a lot of work to be done-in fact, much more work than is required in a 7.0 CGPA system. Dear fresher reading this, no matter the category you fall into, please do not be too harsh on yourself. Maybe you did make some mistakes, maybe you were too playful, maybe you didn’t study hard enough. All of that is now in the past. Chastise yourself if need be, but don’t let it be for too long. Forgive yourself, pick up the pieces, and commit yourself to serious studying. “The CGPA system is too hard,” you might be tempted to say, but some people still came out with 3.55, 3.71, 3.88, and even 4.00! As is commonly said, “Do your best, and leave the rest to God.”

Read hard, study hard, pray hard, UI is not an easy school to be in. Surely you know that by now. People may be laughing at you, but remember that you alone will walk your journey in life, so keep your face straight ahead, and don’t stop working. Remember, “Failure is not when we fall. Rather, it is when we refuse to rise after falling.” So,get up and stay strong. Dear baby UIte, we love you.

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