My Nigerian University Experience

by Uche Onegeria 20 Sep , 2017  

Most say that you will be defined by your university (undergraduate) life.

Others claim the secondary (high) school is their most profound experience.

In my own case, it was the former which saw me grow into the woman that I am today.
I got into the university in 2005, for a 5-year course in Geology. Prior to that time, I had just graduated from an all-girls’ boarding school. I was one of those nerds who stuck to my guns about not wearing makeup until I graduated from secondary school.

So you can say that I was your typical wide-eyed innocent teenager, with stellar academic grades who thought her father was the maker of the universe and that the world revolved all around me.

I was in for a shocker after a short while in university when I realized that it was a twisted social experiment, different from my secondary school experience, which I wanted no part of.

Here were some of my observations:

  1. Fellow students went out of their way to not be nice to others. Being rude was the new black.
  2. The same students went out of their way to be nice to others, because of their perceived status on the silly university social ladder, which is all irrelevant today.
  3. Some students lived well above their means.
  4. Many students I met just reeked of fake lifestyles from every fiber of their beings.
  5. Some of those fake students quickly assumed that just because some of us lived in the SE part of Nigeria (Onitsha), that we were poor. Meanwhile, we so-called poor SE Onitsha students could smell their desperation from a mile away.
  6. People expected a specific lifestyle from me because they knew I could afford it.
  7. “Boyfriend” was everything. People would give their arms and legs for their boyfriends.
  8. You have to be Jennifer Lopez-fashionable, else you’d be relegated to the bottom of the social ladder.
  9. Being a slut was more socially acceptable than being a deeper life member.
  10. People do not need to have facts about you. Gossip makes up for what people do not know about you. I mean, who needs the truth when we can get creative and say you were in Paris 2 weeks back. Pfft!

Here’s how I handled all these:

  1. Apart from the friends I “inherited” from secondary school, I did not make any new friend because very few people were worth it. I have great intuition about people so naturally, my realness beacon could spot the fakeness from miles away.
  2. I lived the life I wanted to live not the life others expected of me. I had a great apartment but I used the 14″ television I got from my elder brother when he graduated. I had an average size bed which I refused to change, even when my friends nudged me to change it. I could afford the lace wigs and other human hair products but I stuck to a budget. I ignored what every other person did and did ME.
  3. I had a great relationship and somehow, probably because my realness beacon properly screened him when we met, he and I had the best relationship many married couples today would envy. We kept our business to ourselves, solved our problems without involving others and we stayed faithful to each other even when many relationships crumbled all around us.
  4. I was an introvert and I remained so. My friends would always say, “I cannot say any item that Uche might be crazy about. She just seems to be level-headed about everything in life”. And I truly was.
  5. I refused to be in competition with anyone and focused on myself.

It paid off! Now, I am the most self-sustained person you would ever meet. I am so in love with myself that no one can come to redefine what love is to me. It also enabled me to open up my mind to the world which made me meet many incredible minds and expanded my knowledge bank.

However, those who knew me in the past might have thought that I was strange. Others might claim that it was impossible to have been me, probably because they could not fathom the idea of anyone immune to similar identity crisis which plagued them. Many might have a lot of phantom stories to tell about me – but what do they know? They were never close to me and I kept my lips sealed most of the time. 1 thing they would rightly say would be that I had very little patience for nonsense and bullshit, and that has not changed! Haha!

I am Uche! No one knows me more than I know myself. No one can derail my path of growth.

My life is special and I make my own rules. You should too. Its appeal is stronger and more potent than any drug.

It would give you peace when everything is going to hell all around you.

It would give you a new perspective on life and enable you to see the world clearly, exactly as it is.

Story of my life!

Want to read more? Please, comment and tell me what you will like to read from me and what you think. You can also share your experience with me too. I’m truly honoured to share my experience, my mind shift journey with you.

Header image by Quentin Keller on Unsplash

2 Comments

  1. It is obvious that the education system in Nigeria is nothing to write home about. I congratulate you for being able to through and survive such a terrible system. Hope you are enjoying your stay at Canada?

  2. Hey, its my first visit here.

    I love the way you unfuckwithably wrote about your live experience at school… I just graduated from a university somewhere around your hometown in Onitsha.

    Well my main intent… here was to pitch you for a guest post on your blog … I would formerly do that asap….

    I really admired the way you write at quora.

    I blog at firstratedgeek.com

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