Journey to America (Part 1)
My journey to the America Part 1
This story is quite long as I plan
to start from the very beginning.
For that reason, I’ll be breaking it
into several parts and posting on
different days. Here goes.
I decided I wanted to study Chemical
Engineering when I was in S.S.3
because further-maths and chemistry
were my favorite subjects.
However, my parents convinced me to
study Electrical/Electronics Engineering
instead because it was a much broader
field with a myriad of job opportunities,
unlike Chemical Engineering that was
a narrow field.
I was quite the stubborn goat who didn’t
like to be told what to do, but on this
occasion, I’ll forever be grateful I listened
to them and changed my course of study.
Both of my parents attended UNILAG
and my elder sister was studying at
UNILAG at the time so naturally, I too was
going to study at UNILAG. But, some of
my mum’s lecturer friends at UNILAG
advised her to send me to the America to
study instead because Nigeria did not
have the facilities to properly teach
When my mum told me this, I refused
and insisted I was going to go to
My mother told me she was going to
pay for the TOEFL exam, I told her I
wasn’t going to write the exam and
her money would waste.
Why did I refuse to go you may ask?
Thank you very much for that question.
It was a very stupid reason actually.
All those high school movies I had
watched about the new girl in school
being bullied, not fitting in and always
being sad convinced me that was
going to be my story if I schooled in
Obviously, I didn’t tell anyone this
reason I just vehemently refused to
even consider schooling abroad.
However, UNILAG wasn’t what I expected
it to be AT ALL.
My first semester was especially horrible.
I hardly went to class, gained a lot of weight,
was bullied by my bunkmate and her friends
and spent a huge portion of my time crying.
The only person I ever told this story to
was a friend in my class during a 10-hour
conversation we had in my 2nd semester
I went back and told my parents that I
was ready to school in the America because
UNILAG wasn’t working out but my father
said he had already paid diploma fees and
I should finish up in UNILAG after which
I’d go to America for my masters.
Sometimes I wish I fought this decision
but perhaps undergrad in the US wasn’t
meant to be.
It was in my 400 level I decided I was
going to travel to the US for my masters
and the reason for this again was a very
My dad had such high expectations of
me that had rubbed off on me.
He believed I would finish with a first
class but by 400 level, I knew that
wasn’t going to happen. But I believed
the university system not I was to blame
I don’t know about other people, but I
didn’t learn anything in my 5 years at
Most of our elect/elect teachers were
Some failed to show up in class, one
particular one would be whispering while
dictating notes and you dared not
interrupt him, the ones that showed
up just came to fulfill all righteousness
and you were lucky if they gave notes.
You couldn’t even ask questions in class.
I went to Federal Government Girls
College Shagamu and I had competent
teachers who cared there.
Even when you had incompetent teachers,
you had good, well-written textbooks
to fall back on.
We didn’t have the required reading
materials in my class.
In fact, the lecturers never recommended
any textbooks - I don’t know if it was
their personal desire to see us fail.
Some sold poorly written handouts that
barely made sense. And when exams
came, you would just be wondering
where they got the questions from as
the exams most times bore no resemblance
to what they taught in class.
I was quite the lone-ranger in school so
I didn’t find out until it was too late that
most lecturers repeated the same exam
questions year after year so if you had
access to past questions and were
able to cram the solutions to them,
you were most likely to pass.
By then, I was already disillusioned with
the system and offended they denied
me my first class birthright. And so I
was going to go do my masters in America,
finish with a first-class and prove to
myself and the world that indeed I
was first class material.
I kid you not, this was the singular motive
behind my wanting to do my masters
Foolishness was really in my heart.
To be continued...