Retracing my footsteps… pt 3
Continuation from Retracing my footsteps…pt2…
There were a lot of perks involved in being a G&T student. I got a very subsidised school trip to New York for 5 days which was fabulous! We also got extra revision classes, which I was very grateful for. I continued to work hard through out my 2nd year Alevels. I was such an efiko (book worm) that once, the some guys in school got into a fight with another gang (different school). This gang then came to my college with guns. So the teachers sent everyone home.. but get this, they did not think to look in the library.. which was where i was studying! All I remember is coming out of the library on my way home to find a deserted school and then someone gave me the low down.
Time to apply to universities, we could only apply to 6, so I picked the following:
University of Nottingham and
University of Birmingham
I got an interview to all except Cambridge. I got a place in 5 out of the 6 of them, all provisional on my final A levels grades. I was a bit upset that I didn’t get into Cambridge, but oh well. Imperial was top 3 in the UK so it was equally as good in my opinion. The pressure was on as i needed at least 2 A’s and a B to get into Imperial College which was my first choice and University of Nottingham was my second choice because they had this scheme were they gave students money if they got A’s. That wasn’t enough to lure me to go there though because Imperial was it for me!
I decided to give Maths a breather and focus all my attention and energy on Economics. Also, as I had done really well in all my Chemistry modules, I only needed 91/180 in my final chemistry exam to get an A overall so this meant I focused all my attention on Economics.
The summer our results were to be released, my grandma was in town. All the family members in Nigeria had called to wish me good luck. My cousin at this point was in South Africa, he went on a trip with the church there so I was on my own, going through my nervousness alone with the occasional text to/from my friends. My aunt then asks to put some wine in the fridge in anticipation of our results so that we will celebrate the next day. This only made me more nervous.
I could not sleep that night, maybe 3 or 4 hours of sleep. If i remember correctly, we were to pick up our results at about 10am, I am not sure. So the first thing I did when I woke up was try to log on to the UCAS website to see if Imperial had accepted me. If they had accepted me then I had nothing to worry about. The UCAS website was so busy it took forever for me to log on. I eventually did and saw that Imperial had accepted me. I was so happy because it meant I either got 3 A’s or 2 A’s and a B. So I told my aunt, uncle and grandma and they were all very happy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t log into my cousins UCAS to check for him so they all had to wait.
When it was time to leave the house to collect the result. I was a lot more relaxed. My aunt dropped me off in my college and then herself and my grandma drove to my cousin’s school to pick up his results. He got 3 A’s, I was very proud of him. I joined the queue to pick up my results. I saw people collecting theirs, some with smiles, some with tears. I saw this girl smiling and I asked her how did she do and she goes, I got 2 C’sand a D.
It was finally my turn and then I saw my results… and the smile faded from my face. 2 A’s and a B. I was very grateful, but the B was in Maths!!!! Imagine. I had taken it for granted because I really wanted to get an A in Economics. Not only did I get the A in Economics, I got (I think) 585/600 or something along those lines (I went ahead to win an award for outstanding performance in Economics). I was in utter shock at that fact. The principal saw me looking gloomy and walked up to me to ask how I did and I told her. If she was naija I am sure she would have hissed and walked away. She looked at me and told me to be happy and I have done very well. So I took heed to her adviced and walked towards the entrance of the college to wait for me aunt. I bumped into my Maths teach who I apologised profusely to and my Economics teacher, Mr Rowland told me he was proud of me and never doubted me.
I was finally by the entrance of college, na so I jam journalist (and that is how I met a journalist) from the local newspaper. He asked a couple of questions about my grade and then took a picture of myself and a couple of other people for the newspaper.
Unfortunately, I do not have a link to the original article with my picture but I managed to find the article without a picture on the newpaper’s archive online. Please click here to read the article. So that was my 5 minutes of fame! Got loads of phone calls from my aunt’s friends and I kept getting recognised in the mall.. (I am not even making this up)! But it only lasted a couple of weeks. I told my dad. He was so proud of me he made loads of copies of the newspaper to show his friends. I am sure there are still some copies in my house in Nigeria.
It was finally time to go to univeristy. I had been waiting for this moment for so long because my Dad and I got into an argument because of this university issue. He said the school was to expensive. I cannot deny that fact but I wasn’t willing to back down without a fight. He then went on to suggest that I move to America because American schools are relatively cheaper seeing as they give scholarships and Imperial College had none to offer me. If you recall in the first part of this series, I said there I would love to do SATs (but this time, I was not willing). When he said this, he just totally upset me! I cried non stop for 2 days. I was a walking zombie. What does he mean by America? After spending 2 years writing my Alevels, I should now wait another 2 years (seeing as I had missed the admission process for the next year) to go to university. My uncle and aunty had pity on me and spoke to my dad. He then agreed for me to stay in the UK but go to University of Nottingham instead. Our fight started again. I tried to help him understand that it is not about the fees, it is about the reputation of the school and Imperial was top 10 in the world etc. He reluctantly agreed and that was good enough for me at that point in time.
The day I was to move into my dorm finally came, I had done all my shopping and just couldn’t wait to get out of the door before my dad changed his mind. I got to my dorm late in the night. My room mate was this lady from Korea (I think, or china.. very bad of me to have forgotten). She was studying mechanical engineering and me chemical engineering. By the time I got to my room, everyone had gone out for the freshers party. I used the time to unpack and get myself ready for the next day. Unfortunately that meant I had no friends because everyone had gone out. As I was settling down in my new room, I just saw something tiny run across the room. It was a RAT!!!
To be continued…