Tuesday, July 19, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day 17 and Day 22

In honor of my Best Student blog win, i decided to resurrect the spirit of the 30 challenge which i abandoned a week ago and do a couple off of it.
Day 17: Something you are proud of
Day 22: Your academics.

Before i dive into that let me say this, I don't think of myself as a "Student Blogger" but i think it's really cool that when my blog was more personal, i won "Best Personal Blog" and now that it's less about my personal life and more about my academic life plus other randoms, i won "Best Student Blog". Pretty cool, don't you think?

Moving on swiftly to today's scheduled programing, My academics and Something that i'm proud of both lumped together. I think as someone who was raised in Nigeria, it's hard for me to tote my own horn and i tend to downplay my "accomplishments" by not talking about it and minimizing it when someone else brings it up. You never want to seem like you are bragging because that's not in good taste. However, there are days when i sit and reflect on how far i've come and i have to give myself a pat on the back.

When i tell people that i came to America to become a pako, they don't believe me. I pretty much paid my way through college. My dad paid for the first year of community college, after which i transferred to a 4 year college and for the rest three years i was responsible for my own tuition and books. Mind you, i didn't qualify for financial aid cos i came here with a V2 visa, so while i was not an international student since i didn't have a green card, i couldn't qualify for financial aid or scholarships. I started off working 2 days a week freshman year, and by sophomore year, i was working 4 days a week and going to school full time. By Senior year, i had 2 jobs, one at a liquor store and another at a research lab. In my last semester of senior year, i ended up leaving the liquor store and working just at the research lab because the pay was much better.

Mind you, the whole time, i was working towards getting into med school, so i had to make sure that my grades were good, i also had to participate in extracurricular activities and volunteer at a hospital, all to build up my resume and make myself more competitive for med school (hence the research). When i used to tell my friends in Nigeria that i was paying my way through school they didn't believe me and would always tease me when i say that i'm broke. I have a friend who always thinks i'm lying when i say that and he keeps telling me i should be ashamed of myself. I tell him he's a fool.

My life was pretty much class, library, work, home, study, sleep, class. Any free time i had was spent writing papers, doing homework, and studying etc I was in the Honors Program too, so i had to take honors classes which was more work. I didn't join the honors programs until Junior year even though i qualified because i didn't want more work, but i really wanted to do the honors in research track and i couldn't if i wasn't in the honors program.  I had days of being stressed where i would just sit and cry because i was so overwhelmed and miserable. There was exams i didn't do as well as i could have just because i had to work and didn't have enough time to study.

But at the end of the day,  i only had one C grade in organic chemistry (the rest were A's and B's) and me being the Ms. Perfectionist that i used to be, i retook that class in my last semester. I still didn't make an A in the class cos by then i was suffering from a severe case of senioritis and just wanted to be done, so i ended up with a B which was ok. I wouldn't do that nonsense now, but back then something was worrying me.

Anyhoodle, as i was saying, i had one C grade, graduated with a distinction in my major which was Psychology (I had a 4.0 GPA in my major), graduated Cum Laude (thanks to my pre-med classes) and graduated with Research Honors. Blood, sweat and tears. Definitely a lot of tears and sleepless nights. I took an elective class last semester - Healer's Art and in one of the sessions we talked about  adjusting to med school and work ethic. Most of the people in my small group never worked through college and they talked about having to adjust to studying all the time and not being able to have a life. When it got to my turn, i told them i had to work throughout college and it forced me to develop a strong work ethic very early because i had to learn to be disciplined and not procrastinate if i wanted to work 4 days a week and still do well in school.

If i had to do it over again, i would chose to find a little more balance and live life a little, make friends and stuff like that. I don't think that my case is unique because a lot of people have to work and go to school but it wasn't a walk in the park for me just for the simple fact that i was aiming to do well in school. I wanted to do everything possible to make sure i got into med school so i dedicated my energy into that. If i just wanted to be a mediocre student, it wouldn't have been bad at all.

Favorite class in college was definitely Honors developmental Psychology (I loved most of my psychology classes except physiological psychology) I can't tell you how many papers we had to write in that class and we were like 10 in the class so you couldn't escape scrutiny. I'm one of those students who NEVER talk in class but being in the honors program forced me to talk because sometimes 40% of your grade was class participation. I talk by force. Besides that, i loved anything History. I took all the history classes i could get my hands on.

Most hated class, hands down was an Honors colloquium i had to take on Irish literature. I HATED THAT CLASS. First of all, forget the honors part, that class was for 3rd- 4th year English majors. I was a science major and have been taking science classes since ss1. I don't do that abstract thinking nonsense. Most of the time i was in the class was spent in bafflement. That class made me HATE poetry. OMG! I hate poems, and i didn't before taking that class. The woman kept teaching us like everyone in the class was an English major, whereas since it was an honor colloquim it consisted people from different majors. Plus we had to write our papers in MLA style and being a pysch major i was used to writing in APA. I had to put out numerous SOS to my English major friend at Morgan State and at the end of the day, i ended up with a B+ in the class simply because i never spoke a word in class, so i didn't get any participation points. I had nothing to say cos i didn't know where they where pulling shit out from, like how does that line of poetry translate to what you just said? Where did you get that from? I never missed physics and chemistry as much as i did while taking that class.

And that my friends, is all she wrote, a whole lot of nothing. Enjoy the rest of your week guys. I feel like a lump of lard. How people enjoy being couch potatoes, i don't know.


  1. haba! Na u go skool pass o! Never knew u were doing pre-med, All d best! And paying ur way through college? Wow now thats HUGE!!

    Ps: You have been awarded the sunshine award on my blog, and yay that u iz back on the challenge!

  2. That was in the past. I majored in Psychology with a pre-med concentration. I'm in med school now. Thanks for the award.

  3. Wow..you are a strong lady.kudos and you will soon start reaping the sweet fruits just dont forget to acknowledge
    God in all this :)..Now I know if you put your mind to it, you can achieve it. If you can think it, you can act it.

  4. Wow!!! you deserve a pat on the back, i'm really proud of you and yes, you have earned the right to blow your horn.

    I majored in Psychology too and all that neurological nonesense in physiological psychology used to drive me insane.

    Congratulations on your award btw

  5. Amazing story Sting! I feel quite humbled by your determination, hard work and focus.
    keep it flying you hear.

    After this story, you deserve to be a couch potato once in a while joo.

  6. Go girl...you're a smarty...maybe I'll fwd my grad sch Qs to you...lol.
    But seriously who takes Irish lit?


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