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University Life

University Life – Excelling Or Succeeding? The Question Of Why You Fail

University Life – ‘Excelling Or Succeeding’

Life is a mess, the university community is a mess. Different colors filled with traits imbued with diverse training and threaded with the strings of nature and nurture.

We heard about this before we came in. “In the university…”, Mama had exclaimed, “You will find different kind of people; the good and the bad, the responsible and the irresponsible people, witches and wizards too, your path is your choice”. Your path is your choice. True. That voice sat on the proverbial stool and viewed the iroko tree of university life. But, little did we know that we would use the footprints of others to guide our climb.

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At the beginning of the first year, the university made us play chess, finding what combination of pieces will give us a checkmate. In a single file, our pieces became alike. Kings came in 5 unit courses. Queens staggered between 3 to 4. Rooks, bishops, and knights were two units. The pawns? They were the extra-curricular. Soon, we looked at our pieces and saw that all were alike. Our chessboard is alike, we said, hence, we should play the same moves; our game should be alike, so we should checkmate at the same time.

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In the second year, we looked around. Some games had more captured pawns than others had. A couple appeared to have finished the game. The king had been captured. Yay! Checkmate! You celebrated them, half-heartedly. These were first-class players. But for you, with similar pieces in this game. You whose parents have warned you of the shame of failure. To you, the game was a failed boomerang. You threw in a lot, even up to heaven, but your reward remained in there, in heaven, like the dividends of your secondary school teachers.

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Life became a parallel line – long, straightforward but you could not see the end. You saw it before, at home, at the feet of your mother. You saw it in our first year, on a stack of files you had barely filled; you had seen it on your degree, four years past you. Now, it is still a parallel line, but with chronic paralysis.

Third year, the chessboard is chafed. The pieces are fading. You are stuck at one move, while others, the first-class players have left your local chessboard to begin international championships. Alas! The school has become a scam. The game suddenly does not make sense. How can it? We had the same chessboard, you say. Since we have the same chess pieces, we should have the same moves. So why could we not have had the same success? Why? The school has to be a scam.

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And you stare and think and you exchange sighs like a Lagos street beggar exchange naira notes and you are depressed and you cry and you feel like taking it out on something, anything, anyone and you consider yourself, the architect of your failing structure and you think, the building is failing, why not demolish it silently, with few drops of liquid afterlife and you became the lines of a nursery rhyme…la la la la la la la

“…And all the King’s horses, and all the King’s men, could not put Humpty Dumpty together again”

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