Hi guys, I am a final year student of Obafemi Awolowo University. Permit me to make this Anonymous for personal reasons. I am not good at writing but I trust that I will pass the message across in my own little way. When Miss Dami reached out to people on this month’s series, I was extremely happy because I overcame my fears just recently. So, I will be sharing this like a testimony if I am permitted.
I was raised by a single mother, I didn’t get to meet my dad (he died in an auto crash before I was born). My mum told me we had to move in with my Uncle before she was established. I remember I was a very shy kid and this overcame my good sides. My cousins were so intelligent and pretty (all ladies) and their dad always flaunted them. No day passed without him comparing me with them and it became a part of me. I got so used to this comparison that I always looked forward to hearing him talk. It felt like nothing good could come out of me. The trouble was so unbearable for my mum, so, she moved out. Since my dad’s family didn’t want me to be taken away from them, they adviced I resided with my uncle.
He paid my school fees but never bought me clothes or other wears. He compelled my cousins to give me their used clothes instead of giving it out to the homeless. My opinion didn’t count, my feelings didn’t matter, my worries grew and so I always locked myself indoors. I got so used to my space that my self esteem went down the drain. Before I knew what was happening, I was always hiding from everyone (shey they were better than me).
I gained admission into OAU and it felt like I was in the centre of the Atlantic ocean. I was not used to living in the midst of a large crowd so I didn’t find it funny at all. I’d wake up as early as 3am to have my bath and before 6am, I’d dash off to class. On Sundays, I’d go to my fellowship, keep to myself and leave church immediately they share the grace. I felt like something was pursuing me, I just hated the spotlight. It happened like that for two years.
I was in 300 level and we were given this very funny assignment. The lecturer shared us in groups (temi bami). I couldn’t afford to fail, my hide and seek had to stop. We submitted the assignment the day we were asked to and to my greatest surprise the lecturer pointed at me (what group are you in?) I sat on the last row but he located me. He asked me to come to the front and discuss with the class what we did in my group.
My greatest fear had come upon me, I felt like the whole world will come crashing on my head. Everyone was waiting to see what would happen, I thought I would die, I wanted to run out of the class. I got up and moved to the front quietly and when I got there, I don’t know how I landed of the floor. Immediately, two guys rushed me to the medical centre. Eventually, I was discharged later in the day. I got to my hostel and cried my eyes out. Everyone scorned me, I was the talk of town. I had to move out of the hostel because the embarrassment was too much.
I pleaded with my mum to give me some money to rent my own apartment. The news had spread to my fellowship and the sisters’ coordinator tried her best to reach out to me. She visited me and said they had been watching me for a long time. I won’t lie, I told her I was fine and didn’t need their help. Eventually, I did. I was invited to church, I told the president my case and he advised me to mingle with people. It was very difficult as I had never had a proper conversation with people I spent three years with (just a selected few). Before I knew it, I joined the drama department, I was given a role, struggled with performing but I sha tried my best. Finally, my fear went into extinction and I became a brand new me.
I can’t wait to defend my project, I feel so happy each time I step out of the house. I’m a complete extrovert right now (I guess I’m trying to catch up on all I missed over the years). Here’s the moral lesson: criticisms are meant to trigger you to display a better you, so, don’t feel bad when people say nonsense about you. Your situation shouldn’t define you, stand tall and give people reasons to feel gullible when they see your accomplishments.
Finally, you can subdue your fears if you believe and are ready to take a bold step. You won’t find it easy initially but you’d enjoy the process. If I could overcome mine, you will.