The Experiences of the Average Nigerian Boarder.

Hey, readers!

I’m done with my WAEC exams and am back from my 1-month+ boarding school experience! I’ve actually been back since 23rd July, but was only able to get this post out now.

I’ll be going back by Saturday (16th) to get ready for my first NECO examination paper coming up on Monday (Physics practical). Wish me luck!

Having just had my first-ever taste of boarding school, I can now relate with the things those of my friends who are boarders tell me about what they face in school.

Even though not all Nigerian boarding school experiences are the same, because there are fancy, top-rate boarding schools in Nigeria where their owners try to simulate school life in foreign countries, I still believe that boarding school life will always be boarding school life – the struggle of boarders is a unified one. 😂

And so, here’s what you should know about the average Nigerian boarding school, and what boarders face.

JUST A NOTE: The headings are general boarding school encounters, but the narrations in normal text are unique to my experience.

EN-joyee!

Okay, first of all, the bad experiences:

Little food. I can only imagine our faces when we were served our first ever helping of refectory food. It was barely even up to two normal-sized dishing spoons. We did complain, the management acted like they cared, and then ignored us after that. So, we survived mainly on our provisions: biscuits, beverages, bread, cereal, etc. and on our pocket money.

Waking up early. 😬 The hostel door is opened by 5:03am, and by that time, we’re supposed to start getting ready for the day, beginning with our morning devotion/prayer. For the junior day students, that’s their routine, but for us SS3 arrivals, we can wiggle out of it and sleep till 6am at least. Hehehe

Bathing cold water – all the time!🥶 The only exception to this is if you’re sick and the matron is sure of it, and also on some very cold, rainy mornings. After the morning devotions by 5:30am, the junior boarders go on to bathe cold water by 5:30 in the morning!. Well, that;s for them, we bathe our own share of cold water after six am.

Sunday service and night vigils. 🥱 The Sunday service is okay, and the last-Friday-of-the-month vigil nights are lively, but they really made me miss my parish. 🥺

Manual labour. This activity is supposed to be for every boarder, every Monday morning (because Monday has been declared sit-at-home a day in South-Eastern Nigeria), but SS3’s again have the least share of this for seniority reasons and whatnot.

Night prep. The almighty night prep. Everyone hates night prep. It lasted from 7pm till 9:30pm. Although there are some serious-serious quiet-quiet students who probably like it, everyone generally hates night prep. And we SS3’s thought that the prep regulations would be less on us since we were the eldest, but they were in some ways even stricter on us. It was only after our exams that we were allowed to sleep during prep – and that was only for us science and some commercial art students who were done with their exams, the rest SS3’s had to read and summarize at the end of every night prep session!🤣🤣🤣

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

The supposed presence of spirits. I really don’t know how true this one is, but one night one of my classmates woke up to use the toilet and said she saw a spirit; it was shining with a very bright light and was making a strange sound, according to her. She started crying and woke us all up. We all started crying, thinking that we’d come to a haunted school, and then someone suggested we pray. We prayed and sang so loudly, we woke up the matron and teacher in charge of male boarders. They told us to go back to sleep, that it was nothing. We finally did after hours of sharing stories about spirits and demons that haunt boarding schools.

Before I came to boarding school, I used to hear stories of such things. My boarder friends say they’re true, that they’ve seen some themselves. Even though the stories differ from school-to-school, they remain ultimately true. 👻👻👻

The lack of water.There were so many times we had to manage water to wash our hands after eating garri (granulated cassava) and soup, manage water to wash our plates and clothes, manage water to bath or go to the toilet. There were even some really horrible days where we had to stay hours without taking our morning baths. We could manage without bathing in the evenings, we could just change into our nightwear – for those that didn’t sweat too much during the day.

I remember, on one of those mornings when there was no water, sharing half a bucket of water with my classmate just so we could bathe and get ready for our exams that morning.

But on extremely bad cases, when no one had even a drop of water, we had to go out and fetch water at the house of one of the students of the school. Which was highly embarrassing – walking on the road with buckets and kegs. Luckily for us arrivals, we didn’t know anyone in that vicinity. 🤭

But one day stood out from the rest: the day we left. There was no water in the house of student we normally go to, so one of the SS1 boys had the bright idea that we go to the community stream to fetch water. Well, we were homesick, tired of prep and tired of the little food we were being fed. We’d decided to leave by 12 noon that day, and not even the distance of the stream was going to stop us. The walk was longer than we thought, but many of us got to see a real stream for the first time – or at least the stream’s shortcut; we would’ve gone to the main stream if the road to it wasn’t so steep and slippery. We wondered how it would have been, because the road to the stream’s shortcut was already dangerously hilly, steep and narrow. But all that was nothing compared to how sore our hands were from carrying our buckets and kegs full of water all the way back to school!

And I can’t believe I’m going back for a part 2 of all this for my NECO exams! 😣😩😬

But then, there are some good sides to being in boarding school…

Away from home. Away from the chores, the being yelled at, and the general stress of home.

The feeling of independence. Because in school everyone takes care of their own things, acts individually in most cases, and is seen as a single person, there’s that sense of independence. In the mornings, you have to make your bed, you have to clean – and try to keep clean – your corner, you have to get up early on Saturday morning and do your own washing – although some girls with huge piles of clothes wash together: one washes and the other rinses and spreads – you have to fold your clothes into your suitcase when they’re dry – I love this part best: folding my clothes and tidying up. 😊

For me, it all gives me a kind of foretaste of living on my own or with a roommate when I get into university. And even though I haven’t yet tasted it with the chores of living alone added, I really like this kind of life.

Big-girl spending. 🤑 This is just my personal term for it, it’s not a general name. Driven by the epic hunger we experience, we spend our pocket money on food and snacks. Even though the things we buy are the things we’ve probably eaten at home, that freedom to buy whatever and whenever we want is what’s enjoyable. On school days, when local food vendors come around, we buy food like abacha (African salad) or moi-moi (beans pudding). Day students sometimes help us go outside the school to buy pepper soup or peppered fried fish. 😋

Hostel quarrels.😂 Y’know, it’s really amusing to watch people argue about virtually nothing: who’s being stingy to whom, who scattered someone’s bed, who messed up someone’s corner, and things like that. Of course, I’ve gotten into my share of these, but I still love to add fire to others’ quarrels in a good-natured way that reduces the tension when (and if) they get the joke.

While on the bus, on the day we went back home, we really laughed about those silly fights of ours.

Being a senior. The whole thing is just about the feeling of seniority. The ‘power’ to send juniors on errands and have them scurry away at doing them, and the respect gotten from our immediate juniors (the SS2 students). Unlike the boys who derive optimum joy from this privilege, we girls don’t have the heart to be tyrannical to our juniors, and sometimes see the boys’ behaviour as overly-harsh. 🤷🏿‍♀️

I know that each Nigerian boarder, average and top-rate alike – and maybe even boarders abroad – can relate with these experiences. If there’s any experience unique to your boarding school that I didn’t capture here, I’d love to hear it. Comment on it below, and let’s talk.

For boarders who live abroad, what do you think? Is it the same in boarding schools over there? Leave a comment on it, and let’s learn from each other.

And even if you’re a day student, Nigerian or not, I’d love to hear what you think of the unified struggle of the average Nigerian boarder!

See y’all again by August!

Advertisement

I’m Going Away, but I’ll Be Back.

Hey, readers!

It would be unprofesional of me to go on a blogging break without even a message of farewell. So here it is, my message of farewell:

I did previously write an entire post about my going away, but wasn’t able to publish it because I wrote the post on Microsoft Word, and didn’t take it to WordPress, so that at least I could publish it using someone else’s phone.

Well, that’s by the way, that avenue is gone. 🤷🏾

My main reason for writing this post is to inform my readers that I’m on a blogging break. Know that I won’t be gone forever; I’ll only be gone till July – August.

I’m already at my boarding school, my exams have already begun, and I really would have written this sooner if only I could, but at least I finally have.

For new visitors to my blog, I haven’t stopped blogging, this is just temporary. Have fun reading through my other posts, you’ll really be happy you did. 😊

Till then, readers! 👋🏾

Caio, 💋

6 Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing a Career Path.

Hey, readers!

I know, I know, before I made my previous post, I went on another unannounced break. I’ll explain in two words: exam preparations. My posting will be scanty till I go to boarding school in the first week of May. 😥

I recently had an eye-opener on the importance of avoiding destructive influence when choosing a career. And to help me exploit my exposé, I penned down some factors to keep in mind while one decides on a career. And I’m happy to be sharing them with you today.

Here they are!

1.Choose a career that feels natural.🌸

Choose a career path that you’ve always felt drawn to, like it’s been ‘calling’ you, form the time you knew what careers were. A ‘natural’ career often originates from a talent or natural ability of yours.

Look out for that thing you do perfectly with little effort, that thing you always find yourself drawn to no matter how hard you try to suppress it, which – when you finally get it done – makes you feel peaceful and happy.

That should point you to your career path.

For me, that ‘thing’ is writing. I find writing, and words as a whole, so easy to handle that earlier on in my life, I wanted to be a writer. But in later years, I chose a new career path in technology, and I’m learning that tech is so flexible an industry that even writing can be absorbed into it… with the right amount of creativity.

So by embracing my talent, my career path is a nice balance of writing + tech + creativity!

2. Don’t be daunted by sayings of ‘going out of your comfort zone.’🚀😴

There are a lot of sayings about pushing limits and getting out of comfort zones, but don’t let that influence your choice. Everyone has a natural limitation and a special role he/she is meant to play on earth.

Know that a comfort zone can be our little get-away for brainstorming, and it can also be the birthplace of an unexpected leap of progress, depending on how we choose to utilize ours.

3. Remember the academic requirements of the career.🤓

Take time to ask about and google out the subject requirements for of the course you wish to pursue, so you can be sure you can handle it when you face it properly in the university.

4. Have friends of similar interest /career paths.💕

This helped me so much in the early days choosing of technology as my career path. In times of frustration and confusion, a little chat with such friends of mine refueled my confidence. 💪🏿

And even with writing. Seeing fellow bloggers who write about relatable topics gives me the morale and joy to keep writing. 🤗

And even if you have no ‘physical’ friends of similar interest, there are always chatrooms, social media groups, organizations that reach out through internet platforms, and other online outlets where you can connect with like-minded peeps.

Such an organization that reaches out to people online is Girls Who Code. Although they operate physically in America (New York, mainly) and India, I believe, they reach out to, encourage, help foster sisterhood in tech, and give opportunities to girls outside of these countries who wish to venture into tech.

5. DO NOT choose a career because of ‘people’.🏃🏿‍♀️

I repeat, DO NOT choose your career path only because of:

  • your grades in school. It’s normal (at least in my country) for teachers and counselors to advise students with high grades to go into sciences. It’s okay to listen to your gut feeling and pursue your interest, even if it conflicts with the advice you’ve been given.
  • people’s expectations. Maybe, just maybe, there is a person/persons who’ve supported you for a long time, majorly because of your initial career path.

Don’t let the fear of their reactions or of disappointing them keep you from dropping a career you’re no longer interested in.

people’s general perceptions of you. Maybe people who’ve been around you for a really long time that know you at a personal level might often suggest a career path as ‘right for you’. If it really doesn’t appeal to you, don’t be influenced.

6. Be sure that you aren’t just trying to take the easy way out.🤔

Yeah, yeah.

Even after all, the truth should still be said. Some people just back down from their initial career choice because they want to run away from the challenges of that career. And most times they find that, in hindsight, they were actually capable of scaling those challenges, if only they had tried harder.

Most times, people back down from careers like engineering because of maths (like I wanted to). But we should learn, even as we know our limits, not to be afraid of obstacles – ‘cause we’re going to have to overcome them at some point in order to move forward.

So be sure before making a choice of career. Even though we can always make a change, I advise not wasting our creative energy on frequent changes. 😊

Which of these headings can you relate to the most?

Is there any point you wish to add?

We’re all learning here, let me know what you have to say in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Stay cool… and springy, 😎🌺🌼

A Girl’s Expectations – A Collab with Maggie.

Before I begin, I wish to thank Maggie for agreeing to do this collab post with me. It really means a lot to me as a new blogger! 💜🧡🤍

A girl’s expectations. That’s a rather broad topic. And I mean a reeeaaallly broad topic, when considering the many, many dreams the average girl has.

Every girl has things she looks forward to achieving in her lifetime, her expectations. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the expectations of all girls, notwithstanding diversity factors, can be linked to one another in some ways, because a girl will always be a girl.

But even though we as girls have common, underlying expectations, the different societies we find ourselves in tend to influence some aspects of our expectations.

So what are we doing?

Are our anticipations changing or not?

In this post, I’ll be answering these questions (and more) from my perspective – a Nigerian Igbo girl’s.

JUST A NOTE: Maggie’s headings were in the form of the questions I asked her to answer; I’ll be answering the same questions, but not in the same way as her headings.

That make sense?

Okay, here we go!

Obeying Society’s Norms. 🙆🏿‍♀️

In Igboland, and in Nigeria as a whole, no matter how intelligent a girl might be, she is only said to be a true girl if she knows how to handle domestic activities: cooking, cleaning, balancing her academics/work and would-be family requirements, managing stress, and all she can do to be a balanced woman-to-be. And we learn this domestic aspect from our moms, from childhood up until we leave our houses at adulthood.

In times past, that was enough. Back then, with a well-grounded domestic background, a girl was more than sure of getting married to a good husband. But that was all people thought a girl was good for back then.

Nowadays, with so much exposure in our societies, the eyes of us girls have been opened regarding our capabilities, and the lengths we can reach, thus bringing about change.

Strong, brave Nigerian woman like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Buchi Emecheta, Dora Akunyili, Chioma Ajunwa, Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola, and many other women, were some of the first to realise this, and they blazed the trail for us girls to follow, and to even create new ones of our own.

By default, in the traditional Igbo society, girls are meant to follow the dictations of society. If a girl does something that strikes up noise, or causes heads to wag, she should stop it at once. Girls are meant to be obedient and quiet to a fault, only doing and saying what they are asked to, especially in terms of careers.

But thankfully, with our parents being exposed to the male-female balance in workplaces of the world, they are letting us go into careers we choose, and letting us realise our potentials.

But in other cases where a girl might want to go into a career in entertainment (acting, modelling, music, etc.), for example, the average Nigerian parent disagrees and tells her to ‘be sensible’ and go into a more professional field. 😥

And if she remains unwavering, her parents often leave her to her fate; because in Nigeria, professionalism and corporate jobs are held in high esteem. People in entertainment are widely seen as ‘loose’ and ‘spoilt’.

Freedom.💃🏿

A girl’s freest age is adulthood. At childhood and teenage, she is still heavily under her parents, and these are the shaping years. We all know that at teenage, teens tend to crave freedom and independence.

The case is no different with Nigerian girls, but we are only allowed a small bit of freedom, as our parents, teachers and elders are never too far away to discipline us when we try to go too far.

Parents fear the behavioural outcomes of teens abroad. From what we see in movies and the likes, teens abroad can be openly sexually active and/or homosexual; when a teen disrespects an elder, no serious punishment is given; teens abroad can choose their own lifestyles, deviant or not, and parents often take no severe action.

Whether the image portrayed in movies, books and on social media is true, Nigerian parents fear that the same fate awaits their children, and so the average Nigerian parent doesn’t even give their child a smartphone (or even any phone) till he/she is (at least) done with secondary school.

They closely monitor their children, most rigidly during teenage, and make sure they are never too far away when they reach adulthood; all just so their child does not ‘spoil’ or become wrongly exposed.

Is Religiosity a Must?🙏🏿

In my view, the most actively religious people in my country are Igbos – our religion widely being Christianity. Igbos believe that a girl can only effectively overcome the challenges she is to face in life if she is actively spiritual.

Not a lot of emphasis on spirituality is laid on boys as it is on girls, because if in a marriage, for example, the wife is actively spiritual, the family is okay. The woman can rub off her spirituality on her husband, or be the one to pray the family out (in a case where the husband fails to pick up).

And girls who are not actively spiritual can most times be said to be ‘loose’ or ‘spoilt’, because it is highly considered that spirituality = morality.

What Our Society Should Really Expect.😊

While I actually commend my society’s rigidity towards the upbringing of young people, especially girls, I still frown at parents who dictate to their children what to do, holding them with an iron fist.

The older generation of Nigeria should learn that the world we live in encourages diversity, and young people, especially girls, should be given the chance to pursue their right, unique aspirations.

Societal groups should stop stereotyping. In Nigeria, when a girl tries to make a statement, tries to be different, tries something new, she is gossiped about and backlashed – and this is seen as normal!

These gossips and side-talks kill our morale and make us doubt who we are and our capabilities. Societal groups, especially women, should learn to give us young girls a chance to express ourselves rightly – not killing our buds before they bloom.

My Advice to Girls Worldwide.🌍

Your expectations are unique and personal, girl. Never waver in whatever you’ve decided to achieve in your lifetime, no matter what. Here are some points I can give to help you out with this:

  • Embrace your diversity. Diversity I mean here is your unique aspirations. Don’t be moved by ‘what everyone expects of me’. The only person that matters is YOU. Do what you love, and those who truly love you will appreciate you for it.
  • Morality is the emphasis. Yes, in my society, it is believed that spirituality = morality, but nowadays I find that that is not always the case. Do what is right, especially in terms of morality and sexuality.

I won’t lie, I’m not a fan of LGBT movements, because I see them as unnatural. But whatever it is you choose, always make sure you do what is right: try to be positive, lend a helping hand whenever you can, and try to put a smile on someone’s face every day.

  • Respect your body. Still linked to the morality point, anyway. I again commend my society for kicking against sexually active teens and unmarried adults.

I’m not against dating, even as a teen, but make sure you’re serious with your relationships. Jumping from one relationship to the other will only distract your attention and make you lose focus.

  • Listen to your heart. We’re girls. We have it going on when it comes to listening to our hearts. Always be sure that every step you take – big or small – is in harmony with your dreams and aspirations. Never do anything you aren’t at peace with.
  • Work hard. Never neglect the steps you need to take to get to where you want to be.

Put your head down and run, girl. Run towards your dreams! 🏃🏿‍♀️

I once again thank Maggie for doing this collab with me. I look forward to doing more collabs with you in the future!

Head on over to her site to read her post on the topic. I bet it’s a really amazing one!

Thanks for reading!

Feeling inspired, 😇🙏🏿

Asking Ourselves the Hard Questions.

Hey, readers!

It’s been a while since I last wrote in the Teen Talk category of Ọlaedo – the meat and bones of this blog. So here’s something I’ve put together for today:

In today’s post, I stress the importance of asking ourselves, as tweens, teens and even adults, the hard questions.

I believe that everyone frequently comes to that point in their life when they ask themselves: What am I even doing? What am I living for? What gets me up from bed every morning? How am I living my life every day in respect to what I hope to achieve in life?

… and a score of other related questions. Towards the ending of last year, I resolved to make a new list of my priorities from time to time, so as to keep them up-to-date with the changes in my life.

But let me not give away the gist of this post just yet.

 It’s important to ask ourselves the hard questions, but it’s even more important to answer them honestly and transparently. I may not be able to think up all the questions we need to ask ourselves, because people and their lives are different. But here are some questions we should ask ourselves from time-to-time:

What do I want to achieve in life?

It’s the same as asking: What do I want out of my life? Everyone has a sum-total dream or goal for their life.

Correction: Everyone should have a laid down purpose for their life.

But it’s sad that many people don’t. Maybe they once did, but now they really don’t know anymore. Maybe they’re just going with the flow of things and seeing where they’ll find themselves.

You might have pledged to become something professionally, or maybe have pledged to do something for society, or have pledged to achieve something you know will make an impact in your generation, no matter the size. But that might have been some time ago.

As we grow, change and get into new environments, we experience challenges in our mentalities, and many times, these challenges prevail and change our mentalities. When such a thing happens, we are to sit down and reason out whether or not the change is positive or negative

As a person, there should be that ultimate dream you wish to achieve. It is important to identify what that is early enough, so that your younger (teen) years can be used to lay the foundation for the work that will begin in the prime of your youth.

But who’s limiting? You can be or do whatever you want to, whenever you want to. In our age and time, there are few limits to success.

The takeaway from this is: Sit down and think of what you want to do with your life. You might have done this before, but if you feel like you have undergone some changes in your mentality and that path doesn’t suit you anymore, it’s okay to make a change.

Just make sure you are happy with your life’s goal.

What actions am I taking every day in order to achieve my life’s goal?

It’s not enough to map out your life’s goal; you should also break that goal down into mini-goals that you achieve every day in respect to the big one.

I know I sound like a motivational book. But that’s the truth.

Take for example: I want to be a software engineer. I realised that I don’t have to wait till I’m in university till I start learning the concepts of programming and how to write code. So, I took up learning to code with lecture videos on different programming languages. I may not be getting the same experience as a person going for physical coding classes, but my endeavour is of benefit to me; I find that, during Computer Science classes in school, I have already learnt many of the things I’m being taught, through my coding tutorial videos.

It’s a step – maybe a small one – to achieving my life’s goal.

Whether professionally or humanitarianly, whatever you want to achieve in life should begin TODAY, no matter how small.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with [today’s] step.

What are my values and principles?

I learned what values are from a book tittled The Power of Self-Confidence by Brian Tracy. From what he explained, I can say that values are pillars which hold all your actions; they are those traits or aspects of your life that you cannot compromise for anything, no matter what.

And of course, if you have values, you have to have them in order of importance.

I’ll explain the next heading.👇🏿

‘Principles’ is kind of like my synonym for values. Principles are like your personal Ten Commandments, or a personal constitution. You do not break the rules of your principles no matter what.

So values are like aspects of your life that you arrange in order of importance and make decisions in respect to how important one aspect is to you over the other. While principles are the rules you’ve laid down for yourself to guide your life.

Values and principles are important because they guide our lives. There is a sense of pride that comes about whenever we act according to them, and this continuous sense of pride should exist in order to keep us believing in ourselves and taking us through every day.

Do I prioritize?

Like I said I would, I’ll explain ‘prioritizing’ here. Prioritizing comes about when you’re making your values list, or when you’re just making a list of your priorities.

I didn’t state this earlier, but, taking an example from my values list, your values list can be something like this:

Godliness

Happiness

Creativity

Continuous best standard education

Beneficial company

Going by this list of values, it means that in a time when I’m to choose between my friends and, maybe, continuing my education abroad, I would have to choose my education. It means that if I had to choose between doing something of my will I ‘think’ will make me happy and something of God’s will I ‘believe’ will make me happy, I’ll have to pick what God wants first. Why? Because God never gives us more than we can handle; He teaches us, sometimes, with adversity.

So, back to the point. You just need to get some (I’ll call them) traits that summarize aspects of your life and order them according to importance. These will help you whenever you need to make tough decisions. I never forget my values, and they haven’t changed since I defined them in 2019.

Of course, yours can change if necessary, but make sure that the change is for good, that it will make you a better person as you live by them.

And when you come to priorities, they are the sentence form of values. An excerpt from my latest priorities list is:

God

Being a better person (personal growth)

My values and self-confidence (personal life)

My parents

My exams

Coding (career)

… etc.

Usually, your priorities should be a reflection of your values, because your values are – should be – the backbone, the foundation of all your actions.

Prioritization is important at frequent intervals because we, as well as the pattern of our lives, are constantly undergoing change. I advise to make a list of your priorities at least at the beginning of every month. It will help you to take on the month with a sense of control and purposefulness. And if it seems your priorities are still the same, it’s okay to leave them as they are. The most important thing is keeping to them.

And – talking honestly –  I may not have perfected the fine art of prioritizing, or even always sticking to my priorities, but I really do try; I try because I believe prioritizing is a good cause to chase after.

Who are my friends?

Who-are-your-friends? What kind of people do you associate with? What do you look for when choosing close friends? Can you tell the difference between fake friends and true friends?

These are the kind of questions you need to ask yourself now.

From my JSS3 (that should be, like, eighth grade in the American school system, I guess), I told myself that my classmates, the people my age I relate most frequently with, were of little benefit to me, because they cared about the wrong things. As a result, I shut myself out of conversations with those of them I knew were of little benefit, and only talked to a few people about non-academics-related things. I did have a classmate who was a close friend, though, but he was only good for talking about career-related, academics or school-related things, and he was also a boy. I could never really talk to him about, y’know… personal stuff.

But it was ironic, though, that my best friend later on was a boy. I made him my best friend still in JSS3. I was drawn to him majorly because of his coding knowledge. I still say this with pride that: he dared me to take up here-and-now coding; meaning, he made me see that I didn’t have to be in university before I could begin writing code. So, our friendship sprang up from the mutual ground of the quest for coding knowledge… and has continued till today – although not as strong as it was back then. 😥

So the point of this whole narration was that you should be brave enough to decide what kind of people will actually benefit you if they come into your life. I’m not saying you should shut every other type of person out – that was a mistake I made back then that I have corrected. All I’m saying is to choose those friends that you will keep close and those that will be far, in order to avoid corruption and/or diversion.

What kind of relationships am I getting into?

I suppose you must have guesstimated (can’t believe this is a word 🤯) what will be contained in this heading.

Yes, at that point in our lives when we will, we will begin to feel for someone, and a relationship might start to bud. Decide early if you’re ready to have a serious relationship, so you don’t go playing with someone’s heart 💔 and wasting their time.

I highly recommend you check out my post, Don’t Settle for Less. After reading it, I know you’ll be convinced of the importance of setting standards for the kind of relationship you wish to have.

Look before you leap. Nowadays, people with true intentions are becoming harder and harder to find. Look well before you pour out your heart and life and time and opportunities at the expense of a person.

As always, I recommend prioritization, and discovering first who you are and what YOU want out of YOUR life, before you begin to lean on someone else.

Am I academics-inclined, skill-inclined or talent-inclined?

Yes. A very important heading to discuss. The failure of most people stems from the fact that they do not know their inclination.

By default, parents want their children to be academics-inclined, and that is why they send us to school. But as the years go by, our true inclinations surface, and it is only the discerning, brave people who realise them and make a shift.

The academics-inclined person dreams of becoming some professional, like a doctor, lawyer, geologist, software engineer, 👧🏿✌🏿 or any profession that involves study and training in order to actualize.

The skill-inclined person does not really focus on academics or study or stuff like that. He only learns the skills he needs for his profession. Such a person could go on to become a baker, a furniture maker, a hair-dresser, a fashion designer, a crafts-maker, a salesman, or even an electronics expert of some sort. All skillinclined people need is to learn the skills they require or are interested in, and they’re happy doing what interests them.

The work of the talentinclined person originates from within. Before any advanced formal education, such a person already begins to show special prowess or expertise in doing something. And out of their love for something that feels natural and easy for them, they go on to pursue that career or line of study. Talent-inclined people often go on to become dancers, writers, 👧🏿✌🏿 artists, hair-dressers, bakers, crafts-makers, comedians, musicians, actors, makeup artists (who are also artists) and many more. The main thing here is that their career choices stem out from their natural, default likings and expert abilities.

BuuUUUUt. Before you begin to claim that you are skill-inclined and not academics-inclined, or whatever, carefully examine yourself and tell yourself the truth. I believe that the academics-inclination is the hardest to pursue, but we should not run away from something and begin to make excuses against it just because it seems hard.

The joy is always in the chase… the struggles of the chase, that is.

Make careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

-Galatians 6:4-5. The Message Bible.

Do I believe in God and/or religion?

Notwithstanding the stereotypes that exist in our society (when speaking from a Nigerian’s perspective), we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in God and/or religion.

I hear many people say nowadays that they are ‘agnostic’, some others say they believe God exists, but they don’t believe in religion, others say they don’t see the need in going to church, others challenge the doctrines of whatever church or religious institution they wish, and some others, like me, stick to their religion and live by it the best they can because it gives them satisfaction.

The truth of the matter is that humans were created for supplication. A person must always feel the need to acknowledge a supreme or controlling force for certain things happening in his life. It just puts us in perspective.

Nowadays, there is more freedom for things like these, people now define their religiosity. That’s fine. Even God gave us the freedom to choose. Ask yourself whether or not you believe in God or religion and give reasons why, so that you can convince yourself, and anyone who asks you, on the reasons for your decision.

What do I see as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’?

I was discussing with my best friend two Sundays ago, and he told me that the best way to live my life is to: do what I know is right and don’t do what I know is wrong.

I still marvel at how wise that boy’s words always seem to sound to me.

Define what you believe is ‘wrong’ and ‘right’, and live accordingly. Always remember to be honest, and to try your best.

Who are the important people in my life, and how am I reciprocating their impact on me?

The heading is self-explanatory. There must be people who impact positively in your life, in whatever aspect. Make sure that their love, care and support is not one-sided. Anyone who cares for and supports you should be important in your life. Always make them see that their care and support are being acknowledged, and try your best to show them the same in return.

Remember that no man is an island. We’re all in this together. You can’t do it alone, so don’t push away the people who love, care and support you by being so self-centered. Pay attention to everyone.

Love’s repaid by love alone.

And after a ton of finger movements over my keyboard, and a million typing errors, I reserve the right to say that this post is done. I know it’s long (if you were so polite to read it all till the end), but I also know it’s not boring. (Yup. I said it.)

So be brave enough to ask and keep asking yourself these questions, and answer them truthfully. You’ll be amazed at how much more organized your life will be, how much clearer your vision will be, and how much more fulfilled you’ll feel as you take on every day.

Yup. Still sounding like a motivational book.

Ciao, 💋

P.S. I guess you’ve noticed my featured image.

*wink wink*

After School Routines I Recommend.

Hey, readers!

This seemed like the most appropriate blog post to write, since my school life has been trespassing into other parts of my life for the past few weeks.

Thus the reason I didn’t post for some weeks.

In a sense, apart from my encroaching academic life, you can also say that I’ve kinda gotten into my ‘get through it’ routine again. But I’m out of it… as soon as I realised I was in it.

So, with the introductory ramblings done, I guess I should move into the post proper.

For this post I’ve drafted down two of my after school routines. I hope they’ll be of help for anyone who finds it hard to get things done and still have a bit of breathing space at the end of the day.

Like me *hehe*

So ‘ere it is:

After School Routine 1

  • I get back from school by, say, 4pm at most, so 4pm is the starting time. From 4pm, I give myself 2 hours to get house chores done.
  • First, I put water in the kettle for my siblings and I to have our after-school baths.
  • While the water’s on the fire, I wash plates and then clean our school shoes.
  • Most times, the water gets ready before I’m done with cleaning or washing, so I turn it off and then finish.
  • When I’m done, I go and have a bath, bathe my little sis, and then wash our school uniforms.
  • As I go to spread the clothes I washed outside, I start to warm the food we’re to eat. 🥧
  • We eat, I wash up the plates.
  • My siblings and I chat a little, and before I know it, it’s 5:45 or 6 already.
  • *I sometimes prepare our evening food, or the food we’re to take to school the next day. (Whenever I do this, I finish my chores by 7 or 7:30pm).
  • I set my alarm for 10pm and go to bed.
  • I wake up by 10pm to read, ‘cause by then, everyone is asleep, and I can read in peace. 😇 I also set another alarm for 2:30am (or sometimes 3am, if I wake up by 11pm), so I can go back to sleep in preparation (that word sounds too serious 😂) for my next wake-up-time: 4:30am.
  • And by 4:30am, I wake up and prepare for school.
Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

After School Routine 2

  • I get back from school by 4pm.
  • Eat.
  • Have my after-school bath, alongside my siblings, and wash our school uniforms.
  • Spread the washing outside and clean our shoes.
  • Wash plates.
  • *As the case may be, I prepare our evening food, or food for the next morning.
  • As always, I chat a little with my siblings before I move on to do my homework or read.
  • I usually do my homework or read till, like 7:30 or 8 before I feel sleepy and need to rest. When this happens, I set my alarm for 11pm and go to sleep.
  • I wake up by 11pm, or sometimes 12am and begin reading or finishing up my homework. I set my back-to-sleep alarm for 3am.
  • By 3, I go back to sleep, to wake up for school by 4:30.

My after school routine depends on how I feel for the day. If I come back from school extremely fatigued, I know I have to eat once I come back. But the personal dislike I have for Routine 2 is that by the time I’m done eating, I’ll be full and then begin to feel lazy.😂

Routine 1 is my all-time best, and I try to follow it the best I can.

Yes, there are days when unexpected events pop up and eat deep into time frames, but at such points I just have to do the most important things and leave the rest.

Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

-Mathew 6:34.

So these are my after school routines. I really hope they’ve been of help to anyone who’s having a hard time making do with all the commitments of each part of their life… after school.

I’d really love to hear from you! Tell me in the comments what your after school routine looks like, and if mine helped you in any way.

Ciao. 😘

P.S

Just a little note: It felt really good to write an Ideas and Info post from my own ideas alone. I haven’t written in this category in a long while because I’ve always felt that to write a post that passes across info on how to do something or on how to improve a part of your life, you need to have made ‘substantial research’ and stuff like that.

But having seen ‘how to’ and ‘tips’ blog posts from fellow bloggers written from their own ideas, it felt just right to write one of my own.

After all, 90% of the stuff we read on the Internet has already been thought of and written by someone else. In reality, one article is only more popular than the next because of:

  • Search engine rankings by date, relevance and SEO.
  • And the simple truth that the writer of the article you liked just managed to make his content more interesting than the former.

January Wrap-Up.

Hey, readers!

Happy new month!

Wow. I’ve begun to see how much work and attention a blog needs. I personally love writing, but etching out time to write blog posts and publishing them at regular intervals is really a lot of work.

But dats bye da wei.

The tittle: ‘January Wrap-Up’ sounds so foreign. Being a semi-new blogger, this is my third wrap-up. My previous wrap-ups sounded like: ‘November Wrap-Up’, ‘December Wrap-Up’, and now comes ‘January’.

Jeh-nu-ah-ree (as most of us Nigerians would pronounce it.)

It’s a four-syllable word that sounds foreign as is used in the tittle – to me.

That’s just what I wanted to say – in essence.

Now that I’m done wasting your time – if you noticed.

Let’s get into my jeh-nu-ah-ree.

Y’know, only a few readers will notice that was just trying to be amusing and/or funny.

Hope it worked.😜

Blogging.

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

Well, my blogging escapades this month were very few. School just started for second term, and the rush of assignments and study deadlines kinda made me keep blogging aside for a bit. And I could only get out one post for all of January😭:

I also have a bit of good news to share: my blog reached 100+ all-time views, and now as 20 followers! An improvement when compared to the developments of last month.

It’s amazing how WordPress helps foster community. I find new blogs all the time. And the ones I found this month that most interested me are:

In the same light, from the blogs I already follow, I enjoyed reading the posts of the following bloggers this month:

Soooo, that’s ‘bout it for this. Keep scrolling, please. 👇🏾

My Spiritual Life.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

This month, God and I basically worked together. As always, there was a time my faith made a sharp plummet, but God, the more capable, stronger and wiser ‘Colleague’, raised me up and kept me going.

I did something really kinda stupid this month. It hurt someone very dear to me, and I prayed that God would touch his heart to forgive me… and God did! I’m more than thankful for what God is doing in my life, and how He’s using my relationship to make me a better person.

And quite amazingly, after the whole incident and I was forgiven, I found a verse in Proverbs 17:

Love forgets mistakes.

-Proverbs 17:9. The Living Bible.

That was so true in my case. It was because of love that I was forgiven. 💕

My Personal Life.

Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev on Pexels.com

The stupid thing I did this month made me begin to ask myself questions about who I really am and what it is that I believe in.

I messed up… bad.

But the thing that happened made me realise the amazing people I have in my life, it made me realise that it is important to hold on to the people who look out for you, reprimand you, care for you and make you smile every day.

Before this, I was ungrateful and selfish – as I came to realise.

But it surprised me, because I try my best to be near God, so why did God still let these still be part of my personality?

Simple answer: He wanted me realise it and decide to change all on my own. And then He wanted me to ask for His help to finish the work of changing.

So, my personal life this month was one of ‘broken-heartedness’, followed by an epiphany, and now strong-willed efforts (and prayers) to redefine my person and get rid of my ungrateful and selfish sides.

School Life.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Like I said in my wrap-up for last month, I’m shooting for the moon for my exams. This means reading a lot and stuff like that. Well, I’m not reading a lot.. I’m hardly even keeping up with assignments.😥

I really want to be done with secondary school and pull of my school uniform and school bag for good, but it’s a long, long way between now and the end of it.

I’m really trying to regain my footing. The best remedy for this is another definition of my priorities, and the setting of some short-term goals.

Wish me luck!🌷

So, that’s my January in three headings. I hope you liked it!

Ciao, 💋

P.S

Is it just me, or did January go by so quickly?!🤔❄🌞☘🌳🌺🍀

No Matter Where You Go, Remember the Way Home

I may not have graduated from secondary school to university before, but I certainly have a taste of the feeling. It is leaving childhood, leaving teenage and moving into young adulthood. Wow! At this time, many schools have already held their graduation ceremonies, and some schools are yet to hold theirs. All the same, I wish all who are graduating this year a happy graduation!

I’m being very particular about those leaving secondary school because I believe that’s the pinnacle of all graduations in a child’s life. I can remember the air of the day on the graduation ceremony of one of our SS3’s. Skeleton Move by featuring Master KG was played that day, and the lyrics stood out to everyone:

No matter where you go, remember the road that will lead you home… that will lead you home.

No matter where you’ll go from the threshold of teenage, remember who you are, remember what you’ve been promising yourself that you will make out of your life for as long as you can remember, remember the friends worth keeping – those who have had a hand in shaping you into the person you are today – remember your values and principles, remember the road that will lead you home – the place where you can always find warmth, inspiration and comfort.

‘Home’ might be different things for different people; it might just be the place where your family is, it might mean the place where you can be with those who make up the best part of you, it might mean a place you know you can always feel refreshed when you visit it, or might be the place, the moments when you connect and talk with God one-on-one.

Home is where your heart is,” as the saying goes.

Underneath all the hysteria, joy and exuberance of this time in the life of a person FINALLY leaving secondary school, there is still that feeling of sadness at leaving, and a longing for a replay of those times when you were just a care-free child. Those in this category know how true this is.

As a person who holds wise sayings in high regard, I leave you with these sayings I picked up from here and there. I hope that they give you the strength you need to begin the new responsibilities that will soon begin to be laid on you, the inspiration to always be and never be ashamed of who you are or to change to be a better person if need be, and the reminder you need to “…never forget what is [or those that are] worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.

“There’s something so special about a woman who dominates in a man’s world. It takes a certain grace, strength, intelligence, fearlessness, and the nerve to never take no for an answer.”
—Rihanna

“You can’t do it alone. Be open to collaboration. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life.”
— Amy Poehler

Remember this: You are awesome. I’m not suggesting you be boastful. No one likes that in men or women. But I am suggesting that believing in yourself is the first necessary step to coming even close to achieving your potential.”
—Sheryl Sandberg

“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”
—Taylor Swift

“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
—Babe Ruth

“I’ve learned it’s important not to limit yourself. You can do whatever you really love to do, no matter what it is.”
—Ryan Gosling

“It is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”
—George Burns

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
—E. E. Cummings

“A WOMAN WITH A VOICE IS, BY DEFINITION, A STRONG WOMAN.”

– MELINDA GATES

“The best remedy for those who are frightened, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be alone with the sky, nature, and God. For only then can you feel that everything is as it should be and that God wants people to be happy amid nature’s beauty and simplicity.”
—Anne Frank

“Take your risks now. As you grow older, you become more fearful and less flexible … Try to keep your mind open to possibilities and your mouth closed on matters that you don’t know about. Limit your ‘always’ and your ‘nevers.’ Continue to share your heart with people even if it’s been broken.”
—Amy Poehler

“There are no regrets in life — just lessons.”
—Jennifer Aniston

“The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.”
—Joy J. Golliver

“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself.”
—Emma Stone

“It’s the choice. You have to wake up every day and say ‘There’s no reason today can’t be the best day of my life.'”
—Blake Lively

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”
—Dr. Seuss

“You will stumble and fall, you will experience both disaster and triumph, sometimes in the same day. But it’s really important to remember that like a hangover, neither triumphs nor disasters last forever.”
—Helen Mirren

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
—J.K. Rowling

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
—Arthur Ashe

“It is often easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams. I know that sounds completely nuts. But, since no one else is crazy enough to do it, you have little competition. There are so few people this crazy that I feel like I know them all by first name. They all travel as if they are pack dogs and stick to each other like glue. The best people want to work the big challenges.”
—Larry Page

“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.”
—Arnold Schwarzenegger

“In response to those who say to stop dreaming and face reality, I say keep dreaming and make reality.”
—Kristian Kan

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.”
—Ben Hogan

“When someone who loves you hugs you, hug them back with two arms—don’t do the one-arm hug, because when you hug someone with two arms, it allows you to lean on somebody, and we all need someone to lean on.”
— Sandra Bullock

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
—Thomas Edison

“As you graduate, as you deal with your excitement and your doubts today, I urge you to try and create the world you want to live in. Minister to the world in a way that can change it. Minister radically in a real, active, practical, get your hands dirty way.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”
—Shonda Rhimes

“You don’t go to university so you can punch a clock. You go to university so you can be in a position to make a difference.”
—Janet Napolitano

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
—Robin Williams

“I am here to tell you that whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s okay.”
—Conan O’Brien

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”
—Mother Teresa

“The road to success is always under construction.”
—Lily Tomlin

“You are about to start the greatest improvisation of all. With no script. No idea what’s going to happen, often with people and places you have never seen before. And you are not in control. So say ‘yes.’ And if you’re lucky, you’ll find people who will say ‘yes’ back.”
—Stephen Colbert

“Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.”
—Neil Gaiman

Happy graduation, from me to you.

 😘

Although it’s kind of post-dated, check out another of my blog posts on graduation:

6 Tips on How to Make the Last Days of Secondary School Unforgettable.

Follow my blog on social media and share!

(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MY OLD BLOG)

6 Ways to Make the Last Days of Secondary School Unforgettable.

It’s Graduation Time Soon!

Yeah, it’s graduation time soon, especially in Nigeria. We students are all moving to a new class, but some are moving into a new phase of life – some into secondary school or some into university (even those that just started pre-school or primary school!). 

But this article is for those who are moving into university. I’m not at this stage yet, but I will be by next year, so I just want to give a few pointers on how to make the last days of secondary school memorable.

  • Constantly bring up past or junior school memories you all can laugh about.

 Throughout my secondary school, my classmates and I have been through a lot and a mean A LOT. But I know this is not unique just to my classmates and I, we all have tales to tell of our sprees with our classmates. Even though you might be busy with exams and pre-university life thoughts, in these last days, bring up some junior school or past memories you and your classmates can recall and laugh about. This will make the memories evergreen and help you guys remember that in some way, you are parts of each other.

  • Take a class picture and give it a caption that reflects your class.

 If you guys have enough money, have that collaborative spirit and have the means, you can take a class picture with you all wearing a particular colour or style of clothing (I advise you all to pose in ways that reflect your different personalities), keep copies of it in your phones, frame a copy and give it to your form teacher or to the school to remember you guys by. (You can even give it a caption that reflects the kind of class you guys were – be honest o!).

  • ·         Don’t forget the digits!

Don’t forget to take each other’s numbers – especially for those who just got phones in SS3. Even if you don’t have a phone yet, pen down your classmates’ phone numbers, Facebook names, Instagram IDs, TikTok IDs, Twitter IDs, Snapchat IDs… whatever IDs. Just make sure you have a way to keep in touch with the people who have been there in your good and bad moments and know even if not all, but a generous part of you.

  • Make a video clip of all of your class’ memories you can get hold of… and showcase.

Many secondary schools don’t let students bring phones to school (that’s normal everywhere), but I know that students still sneak in phones to school almost every day. And on some of those days, some people might have taken pictures or videos. All the people with pictures and videos can bring them together and turn them into a video clip of your class’ best, funniest, most embarrassing, most heated moments. 

You guys can even feature each classmate with their unique character trait – like class clown, class diva/s, aunty gwe gwe gwe/s, class brainiacs or class professor, baby of the class, teachers’ pet/s, class dancer/s, and any other traits your classmates have. I recommend you use a background song that’ll get your classmates in a sober mood first (I suggest Memories by Maroon 5) and then let the song glide into songs you all have enjoyed over the years and let the video clip end with a song that has you all thinking, “I’m going to miss these crazy people I call classmates.” (You can watch the music video Young, Dumb and Broke by Khalid (Watch Young Dumb and Broke music video) for some ideas on how to go about it).

  • ·         Don’t hold back anything. 

If there are things you’ve always wanted to tell your classmates or a particular classmate, now is definitely the time because by July, you all will go your own way and you might never have the chance under the same circumstances again – ever. So don’t say you: “Coulda, woulda, shoulda?” and just say or do what’s on your mind.

  • ·         Make personality-themed T-shirts.

You could also make T-shirts to complement the video clip, the framed picture or as a gesture in itself. I always emphasize on customizing things like these according to your personalities, but now I propose that you can fold papers and pick out names of your classmates. Whoever one classmate picks will be the person his or her (the person who picked) shirt will be about.

 For example: If George picked Ife, then George’s shirt will reflect Ife’s personality and vice versa. 

But I f that will be too expensive, you can make one T-shirt with a picture of all of you and give it to your form teacher as a gift (maybe as a complement to the framed picture). Remember, work according to your budget.

Here is small list of book, movie and song recommendations for you as a person moving into a new episode of life. They are about stepping into new phases of life, finding out who you are and your life purpose (even if you know your career path, you must find out who you are personally), finding strength in weak moments and taking one step at a time.

You can click on the songs’ download links to download them; you can watch the movies on YouTube with their links, but you will have to buy the book from your local bookshop – it is sold presently in Nigeria for 2,500 Naira.

Book recommendations:

  • I Wish I Knew This Before I Went to the University by Tekena Ikoko.   

Song recommendations:     

Movie recommendations:

With all that said, happy graduation in advance! And I hope the last days of secondary school are truly as memorable as they should be.

😘,

(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MY OLD BLOG).