Ola was amazed at the structures sitting in the university lands, he had heard of the famous buildings that were intricately built from scratch. He had never been to the school but seeing the buildings he could totally agree with the reports he had heard.
Lectures started almost immediately and Ola was eager to please. He had dreamt of graduating with a first-class and nothing was going to stop him. It wasn’t long before he was noticed by lecturers and his course mates. He loved learning so, assimilation was easier for him than the rest of his peers.
Throughout his first year, he was always topping the class, eager to learn and even help out his friends who were having difficulties with one or two courses, he would study, and then break it down to them slowly. He was widely known for his patience, unlike other tutors who were proud and difficult to learn from.
When the results were released, he got what he had hoped for, it wasn’t a surprise especially given the display of intelligence he had been showing in his department. For three years, he maintained his first-class without issues.
The problem with Ola started when he was in his final year, he began to walk with friends richer than he was, he wished he could dress up and look cool like them, he also wished he could command the respect they had because of their status in the department. He started to act like them, for a while it looked good, he gained more respect and more friends but his studies were taking the blow.
He was skipping classes. Lecturers would ask of him, he no longer tutored people, he spent less time reading and more time trying to keep up appearances. It was hard but that was the price he had to pay for being part of the elites in the school. His friends were worried and tried to bring his attention to his failings, he would promise to change but go back to his mistakes a few days later.
One day, he missed a crucial test, he had gone out with the boys the night before and they came back late. When he woke up, he realized he had missed the test, he paid a visit to the lecturer whose course he missed but the man refused to grant him an audience. He kept visiting until the man decided to listen to what he had to say.
Ola started giving the excuses he had planned in his head, of course, they seemed genuine but the lecturer was not fooled. He asked what went wrong and Ola couldn’t talk. He reminded him of the times he was the star of the class and how he helped others too, he asked him if he would be happy graduating with anything less than first class. Ola kept his head down all through ashamed of himself.
After he gave him a chance to rewrite the test, he went back sober. He couldn’t believe how he had allowed pressure to push him into forgetting what was important, everything he worked for he had cast aside because he wanted to be like others. He remembered the professor’s words, “you will definitely reap the fruits of your decisions. You have to live through it knowing you made the choices.” He wept for himself, he wept for others like him who had allowed unnecessary pressure to jeopardize their lives. At that point, he realized that everybody has their own destiny, whatever happens to another person might not be your own reality.
Ola eventually graduated with a second class upper, he cried silently as his dream was aborted because of his mistake. He wished that a day would come when he would help someone going astray like he did to remain focused on their mission and not give a chance to anything or anyone to pressurize them into leaving their dreams and chasing after someone else’s dreams.
Writer: Empress_writes (Esther Ayoola)