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THE RHYTHMS OF A MONDAY MORNING IN UI

-By: Olamide Tejuoso

Contrary to calendrical prescriptions, Monday marks the beginning of a new week (expect when on break) for an average student. With a gush of seriousness and alertness, the usual bright morning sweeps in; dusting laziness off hesitant bodies, and spurring weak limbs into action as alarm clocks blare on and on, in reckoning to the consciousness of a new week.

To an ordinary fellow, Monday could translate business as heads flow in different directions across streets and on the roads – where car owners struggle with the pedestrians to manage the narrow paths. Noticeably on every face, an active mode is activated with straight heads, impatient hands and anxious feet, marching to a certain promise land.

Tomiwa, a final year student in the faculty of arts, believes a Monday morning is “no fun” as the thoughts of going for classes and meeting deadlines, usually worries him from Sunday evenings.

Drowned in the consequences of mental stress, an average Uite appears with little or make-up, almost racing down to the venue of lecture to meet up with time – especially for 8:00am classes.

Sometimes, students are traumatized and pushed into ditches of frustration, just to meet up for classes. As the first and most crucial working day, the late wakers trudge out in halls of residence only to find out that there are long queues at the tap side, another in the bathrooms and yet again, the mere thought of the struggle for bikes and cabs as many students labour to get to their respective faculties and departments, makes one cry out in utmost helplessness for a divine intervention. Well, it can only get worse when power supply is cut short earlier than expected in the halls.

The stress of attending “back-to-back” classes leaves one almost useless at the end of the day, after you realise that you still have to read for a GES test the following day.

This hallowed “Money-making” day is often characterized with resumption of duties, routines, difficulty, and tasking responsibilities. When life gives you a Monday in UI, all you want to do is to stay in bed and let the cup of worries pass over you. However, this is not the case of an unprepared Awoite, who is a freshman; as wearing bright colours or favourites to class, can prove abortive when a test is to be written on a Monday morning.

Following the diagnosis of anxiety, many female students are noticed faithfully panting to class and fighting to catch their breaths to early morning classes – especially the ‘sevens’ and ‘eights’.

Mondays are popular for doubles; ‘stress-wise’ for a university student and ‘profit-wise’ for a business man. Is life after all, not a two-sided coin? Tee- Jay, the dark slim guy who does printing works behind faculty of arts, would always pray for a moving Monday thus confirming this saying.  However, Damilola, a 22-year-old Uite suffering from hypertension, moodily recounts moments when her body literally boils as she rushes to attend her early morning classes. “It’s part of the sacrifice; it’s not easy being a UI student, because you just have to survive. I barely get 5 hours of sleep at nights and when I remember that it’s another week and I have to attend classes, submit assignments and term papers,  make presentations and write tests – in order to pass”, she said.

Despite not having breakfast, many a student comes late for classes after mustering all efforts to be at the venue before the lecturer (who may not even take interest in such healthy lifestyle) arrives. In an interview, Kolade Olanrewaju Freedom, an author, editor and student, who works with Poets in Nigeria (PIN), describes his average Monday mornings as “very rough and busy; highlighted with a loss of serenity with the hustling and bustling that laminates the atmosphere…”

Having to contend for an escape during traffic jams, is enough to discourage many students from attending lectures, but then, UI students still make it to classes. “Terrific and unusually busy” – a Stalite reports as she narrates how she often get stuck in traffic as she comes to school from her aunt’s place at Eleyele. “Sometimes, the cabs and bus owners get choosy when you don’t have change to go aboard. It can be very frustrating…”

After the relaxation and relief of the weekend, Eniola who stays off campus, describes a typical Monday morning as one driven by an emergency and consciousness that screams “it’s Monday”- an uneasy cycle she has learnt to cope with by preparing before time. “But I feel really really bad when I arrive class some minutes late and my lecturer says not to enter class because I couldn’t make it on time. It ruins the whole day for me”, she added, swinging her head and arm to match a disappointing mood.

This article is not to becloud your thoughts with pessimism about Monday mornings or conclude that the patterns of a typical Monday are sealed with negative lyrics. In fact, a few students describe the ‘moon’ day as normal and lively.

A lecturer however commented in line with the thoughts of Antonio Villaraigosa who said, “don’t let the Monday morning quarterbacks stop you from being bold. You’ve got to set a high bar”. He submitted that “no excuse is enough to justify students’ failure to adapt to an academic environment. “Students should always strive to beat the time for classes every day. It is part of learning.”

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