Lessons from having a second degree in Nigeria

I’m simply honored to have my amazing sister Bola Jay write on her experience in two Nigerian Universities. She is the CEO of Hope Foundation, a charity organization based on Isaiah 58:12. The organization has not commenced philanthrophy operations as at the time of this write-up. She finished her first degree in University of Ilorin and is currently pursuing her second – Medicine and in Nigeria. Whilst reading through this article, I had powerful truths to learn about the simple key of moving on despite life’s throws at you. Turns out, simple keys open great doors. I hope you enjoy the simple keys presented in this fantastic write-up.

Passion goes a long way in achieving ones goals. Determination and diligence are the fuel that drives one to accomplishment and satisfaction.

Let me go formal now, I am Agbede Esther Omobolanle, popularly known as Beejay Smith #winks. By God’s grace I am a B.Sc. holder in biochemistry with a second class upper honors. I have also been privileged to serve Nigeria in a northern town called Argungu, Kebbi State.

If asked “why under heavens and above earth would you go for medicine after a first degree?” I’ll say it all started in primary school. Yea, I was little and didn’t know much about life but I knew I wanted medicine. Perhaps the only information I had about medicine then was it was prestigious – most popular future ambition in my school. So it was something to take pride plus my father is a practicing medical doctor.

The urge to study medicine persisted in my secondary school days though I was still indecisive. At a time, I wanted to be an accountant like one of my uncles and probably because I found it difficult to cope in science class when I was in SS1 because I had issues with physics and chemistry (the crazy two!). However I could boldly say that biology was the love of my life.

I almost gave up when my grades weren’t encouraging but for some reason I didn’t. I ended up writing a combination of science courses in my external examinations. I do not know what kept me moving in sciences.

My admission into the university was via pre-degree. Unfortunately, at that time(circa 2008), medicine was not a course that could be taken using this mode of entry. I eventually chose to study Biochemistry though I had not the slightest idea of what the course was all about. It seemed close to Medicine plus it has ‘Bio’ in it.

After trying this new course for a while I discovered it wasn’t a bad idea after all. I enjoyed it along the line though I still had at a corner of my mind the will to study Medicine. Even at that, I still had a driving force to push ahead to study medicine despite the options for Master’s degree after my first degree. With the help of God, this strong will of mine alongside the side attractions of the many benefits I have heard of being a doctor landed me in the University of Ibadan.

At last I got to study the course I had professed with my mouth right from primary school (yippee!). This brings me to quickly chip in two important things:

  1. The power of the tongue; as a little child in my naïve state (saying those things innocently), I believe my words contributed to me being where I am today.
  2. God knew what I was going to be, it wasn’t a straight road to achieving it but on the long run, after many crossroads, I am here studying Medicine.

Life as a medical student has its own travails. So far, it has been a journey filled with mixed feelings: from disappointments to fulfilled moments to stressful and awful moments (especially the first time I saw cadavers). There were times I felt like quitting due to the workload and test scores that brought tears to my eyes and I’d ask myself if this entire thing is worth this much load of stress. After all, I have a degree already.

However, the recall of these noble sentences encouraged me: ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets going’, ‘a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor by Franklin D Roosevelt’. I admit it is better said than done or applied especially when you are faced with compromising situations, but I tell you as I am telling myself right now that those sayings are true. The truth is I (or you) can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (you) and I’ll keep saying this to myself even though my mind plays games with me due to the stress my body undergoes, giving me reasons to chicken out. I am not going to allow the workload overwhelm me, I have been given the grace to surmount pressure and achieve what I have been called and equipped to do(I am not going to settle for anything less).

We all at different points in our lives have painted lovely future pictures, that’s cute but it is worthwhile to remember, nothing good comes easy, ‘no food for a lazy man’. To be exceptionally great in a field, the person must go the exceptional mile (you can’t do things the way everyone does it). Of course, this takes determination and diligence; two other simple keys.

I believe team work is of great importance. No one is an island. This I have also learnt as a medical student during group discussions. The principle applies everywhere in life. I’m pretty sure you can’t attain greatness without other peoples’ input. The inputs could be in the form of advice, criticism or encouragement. All these have a way of molding and shaping you to be the best.

Without God, nothing is possible. Man is limited; it takes the input of the divine to reach the pinnacle of success. Only his creator can take him to where he destined him to be. God is the beginning and the end.

Agbede Bola Jay can be reached on her facebook page. When she’s not taking care of her niece and nephew, she’s either watching a movie or poring over medical textbooks or her Bible.

 

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