LIFE IN UNILAG: FIRST IMPRESSIONS
When I first gained admission into the University of Lagos, Akoka, there were many things I expected, I guess I expected it to be a student utopia of sorts, filled with intelligent students, eager to effect change and revolutionise the way things are done in this Nigeria. I had watched all these college movies you see, so I was lead to believe it would be a place that not only encouraged cultural and philosophical diversity, but, also thrived on it, but that’s not quite the case.
There’s so much I have to say, so let me start by telling you about my post-UTME experience. On the day of my post-UTME exam, I ended up writing an exam that I should have written at 8am at nearly 9pm. I had to stand on a queue on an empty stomach for hours on end. I eventually wrote the exam but, I was disoriented and exhausted as I walked out of the exam hall, having rushed through the quiz, answering the questions I could and doing “timbo timbo baskelebe” when I couldn’t figure out the answer to a question because, I was too tired and hungry to task my mind answering questions whose answers did not immediately come to me. I reached into my pocket for my phone but then, I remembered that I had to drop my phone with a stranger at the gate of the venue because we hadn’t been allowed to take such things into the examination hall with us. I was alone, cashless and had no means of contacting anyone as I couldn’t find the woman I had given my phone to, she had closed up shop. I must say, I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole thing, and I was beginning to wonder why I didn’t just go home when I had the chance, I thank my stars that I didn’t after all, I’m now a proud student of Unilag. That was when I ran into Samuel, a childhood friend of mine. After discussing briefly and discovering he had be sent to look for me by my very worried mum and my brother who had both been trying to reach me for hours, I asked if he could take me on a tour, he obliged my request. He showed me the attractions the school had to offer, I was pleased, it seemed to be a lively environment.
After Samuel, bless his soul, bought and paid for my meal at Cafeteria 2001, a meal which ended up giving me food poisoning, to say I never ate there again would be an understatement. He took me to his room in Sodeinde hall where I was to spend the night. Now Sodeinde used to be the worst hostel in the whole school, it was decrepit and rundown, the stench of pee and other unsavoury elements drifting down the hallways, it was closed during my first year in school, but I had the displeasure of having to witness it first-hand on this day. after discussing a little bit more, since it had been a long time since we had seen each other, Samuel went to his friend’s room to sleep so I would have a bed to myself, I really do appreciate the help he offered me that night. I lay down to sleep and was soon in la-la land, but I was disturbed when the bunk began to shake violently. Was it an earthquake? I wish, I looked up to see my bunkmate for the night shaking his mattress. Things were falling on my face, some in my mouth, I asked what was happening, I shouldn’t have. Apparently the stupidt boy was trying to get rid of bedbugs, right above my head! what kind of man was this!? I had to get up from the bed in my tired state to go downstairs, there were a few things I had to get after all, I ran my errand and went back upstairs, I sighed with relief to see Bedbug man was done, I flipped the bed over, and went to sleep, luckily, I didn’t have any other disturbance that night.
I woke up the next morning and began to get ready to go home, washed my face and mouth then I went to find my host. We set off together to the place I had dropped my phone the day before to discover the woman I gave my phone to wasn’t there, after being directed around and getting no useful results, someone finally sent me to the senate building where I was able to retrieve my phone, I had dozens upon dozens of missed calls and texts from worried friends and family, then came the issue of finding my way home, I didn’t have enough money on me to transport myself, but Sam helped me with that, and after what could only be described as a near catastrophic experience, I was finally on my way home having learnt one lesson, that the school hostels weren’t to be screwed with but there were more lessons to come.