My Expectation and My Reality Studying in Cyprus (Episode 3) – Ifeoma Onuike Diaspora Connect5 min read
My Expectation and My Reality While Studying in Cyprus.
The story continues…
The challenges I faced while studying in Cyprus were enormous, I had to create time to balance my responsibilities to Nigerian Students studying in Cyprus as well as achieve my academic goals.
Recall in the second episode I discussed my appointment as the Ex. Officio of National Association of Nigerian Student Turkish Zone and how I was able to access African students and assist them in whatever way I could.
You may not really get the full gist of this story except you read the episode one and episode two.
In 2016 I was elected the Vice-President of the National Association of Nigerian Students Cyprus. I was also elected the Treasurer of the Law Students Society, Girne American University Cyprus.
During this period, I was careful in managing my time because there were meetings to attend both within and outside the city where I lived. I had my academics to deal with too as well as my personal and spiritual life.
This period was when I had my worst grade. I had an 85 which is a B+ as oppose an A+ which has always been my target in other to get my desired CGPA. I was hit with that reality and I didn’t react too well, I had to withdraw from people around.
I knew something was wrong somewhere, I didn’t know what to do, so I seclude myself and did some self-examination. I had to re-strategize and prioritize what was important for me and how well I should handle the situation. Luckily, it was the mid-term exam, so I had the final exam to make up for my performance.
At the end of that semester, I
had an A+, so my CGPA was back on track. Around that time, I got the vision to
start an NGO and I discussed it with few friends who keyed into the idea which gave
“EMBLER” (Enhancement Modules for Best Legacies and Essential Reformation).
It became a platform for young people to connect and formulate, share and implement their ideas. It has two dimensions, professionalism and service. We were also passionate about gender inclusive society.
The next academic session was the last lap of the journey to obtaining my LLB, I had to tighten up. This was crucial because I was getting stressed out and tired as a result of studying without enough break to rest and rejuvenate from 2014 to 2017.
I took summer classes while Studying in Cyprus to meet up my expected year of graduation. While I was trying to ensure I finish well, I was elected the president of the Law Student Society, Girne American University. Also I was appointed a Special Adviser to the President National Association of Nigerian Students. Thank God my first and second semesters result came out great.
It was time for graduation; I had high hopes that I may be the best graduating student because I saw my CGPA on the school examination portal. My CGPA was 3.99/4.00, I was down with a point. Someone actually told me not to be too excited that there might be another person with a better CGPA of 4.00/4.00.
I had to encourage myself that regardless I tried my best, I was already a first class graduate and that was good news.
Few days to the graduation ceremony, I was chosen to give the valedictorian speech. I was thrilled, but had some reservations. Maybe I was asked to be the valedictorian because of my involvement and impact in the school community and not necessary because of my grades.
The ceremony was going to be for two days. My faculty was scheduled for day two and the same brochure would be used.
The brochure contains the names of all the students graduating arranged according to their CGPA. I had friends who were to have their own ceremony on the first day so I went to celebrate with them.
When I saw the brochure, I flipped through the day two event and saw that my name was the first, which means I was the student with the highest CGPA. I thought it was too real to be true. Some friends who had also seen it started congratulating me, but the reality hasn’t down on me yet.
That night I could not sleep properly, my mind ran wild trying to imagine every possible scenario.
It was 9th June, 2017, the date for my graduation and I had no graduation dress or hair done. My friend Chioma called me over that she had a gift for me. She gave me a weave-on and also offered to make it for me before the ceremony.
I rushed to her place; she made my hair and make-up. I was really grateful to her, though it was a simple hairstyle; it would have cost me much making it with my money. Such hairstyle would have been a luxury which I never budgeted for considering my predicament.
In the evening, I went to the amphitheater where the graduation ceremony would take place. During the program my name was called to come up the podium and hit my name on the wall of fame as the Best Graduating Student.
People were clapping and cheering on every side. At that moment I could not contain the joy in my heart. As I walked to the podium I was praying I don’t miss my step and fall off as I was wearing high heels.
After hitting my name, I was asked to wait and receive my certificate. People were shouting and in the mist of it I heard ‘Ifeoma we love you’. At that moment I knew it was worth the sleepless nights, the sacrifices, hard work, resilience and dedication. I found favour with God.
The environment was dark, but the amphitheater was well lighted. I knew it wasn’t only my effort that God found me worthy to receive such an honour.
I wished my parents or any member of my family were present to share that moment of joy with me. I didn’t know when I started crying.
The Vice- Chancellor handed my certificate to me and I walked back to my seat with the sense of accomplishment.
Episode 4, the final episode loading…
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