Looking From A Distance
Sometimes it is good to know what is in the heart of those who don’t have what we have, who are not celebrating what we are celebrating. I reached out to Victoria to give us 1000 words on what she thinks of final year students and graduates. She sent this. Enjoy.
You would find them everywhere, throwing their weights about shouting; “I am a finalist”. In the fellowship you will hear “FYBs in the house make some noise”. They would all rise in unison screaming and banging the tables. Their screams come with winks and chuckles directed at people like me who still have one year or more to go. I always think they are proud and each time they look at me with such gestures emphasizing that they are finalists; I look back with a scornful face that says, “It would soon be my turn”. However, a part of me wants to be in their shoes.
Every time I see them, I always pity the ordeals they go through. Many times, it feels as if all the expenses incurred for the past three or four years are just a stepping stone for the ones that await them in their final year. They always have something to spend on. Some of the spendings are planned for while some come unannounced. It is that time of their life many lose the evergreen moral; penny wise, pound foolish. Sign out, dinner tickets, dinner wears (gowns, clothes, shoes and make up for ladies), sweat shirts, departmental banners, departmental souvenirs e.t.c are all expenses they cannot shy away from. Many of them struggle to get money for these things but who send them?
Project or Essay is a crucial part of their journey. Projects and long essays are the proof of their interest in their area of study. The units range from three to six depending on the department. For some of them, it is their hope of making a first class or getting published in an international journal. For others, projects are just like the numerous assignments they have done. Each one of them have different tales of their supervisors. Some supervisors are tagged “nice” and they end up being mentors to their students, some are tagged “wicked” and many of them always wish they get done in time so they can leave their watch. Some are hard working and would go the extra mile to do plagiarism check and even give out numerous materials that must feature in the projects being written. Some supervisors are lazy and anything goes with them. Some are never around and there are some whose faces hunt their students around. With all of these, there are always tales to share. Well some tell tales of how they had to buy aso ebi for burials, weddings or naming ceremony done by their supervisors. Others share tales of gifts they had to buy to appease their supervisors. In all, parts of me laughs at them while another part of me feels their pain, but sebi they are the ones doing FYB?
Talk of their last days, I have seen some of them rush to attend conferences, trainings and even attend programs just to make sure they don’t lose out on the free knowledge the university environment affords. Some of them starts business or join numerous committees just to fill up their CV and to lessen the regrets that they did not make most of the school system. When they attend such conferences, they ask about the opportunities from the speakers, emphasizing that they are FYBs and are in dire need of such opportunities. When I see them, I roll my eyes almost ask, should we now fry egg?
The key role they play that is so important to me is the role of a mentor. No doubt they have passed through the road that we journey on and they have reached the end. Only they know where the ditches and stones are. They can tell how not to be a casualty and how to heal from the wounds we are nursing from the little mistakes we have made. In our circle, they are the oldies with the wisdom that we need and I am always glad to listen to them. Make no mistake to think that they all are good and wise, so shine your eyes.
For those of them that are in the same organizations with us and the ones that we have worked with, for those that were our roommates and friends, we will always miss them. We wish they would stay longer but the end has come.
The day their departure dawn on us is the day they write their final paper. They take to the streets, singing and dancing announcing that they are the latest set of graduates in Nigeria. They make noise and even scream without care. They don’t mind how we feel, how I feel, they just do their thing. Each time I see such scenes, I look at them with envy. When you are studying a five-year course (like me) and you see your mates dancing around for being graduates, the urge to explain to people that it is your course duration that has prevented you from joining them is really overwhelming. Rather than doing this, I just miss judging them to be proud and contributing to noise pollution.
Don’t say I am beefing them o. it is just what I feel about them. My own time will soon come and I will behave like them or even do worse. It will be my time and I will enjoy it. If you beef me then, I will understand, but don’t. Rather, wish me well.
Victoria is a law student who loves to debate and speak. She is a law student of Obafemi Awolowo University where she currently serves as the Vice Chairperson of the debate committee. This year, she started teaching people on how to be a Pro at Public Speaking. She loves Noddles and enjoys talking to people.
LinkedIn: Adaramola Victoria
Medium: Victoria Adaramola