A Medical Student tells of his First Months in College

by: Okonkwor Christian Oyor


     Welcome to Part one


The words above seem to be most fitting for this article. I told myself those same words when our first year results were released, that seems far away now, like a distant dream. It was with huge relief that we all welcomed the news that we were starting our registration, immediately we all rushed to school with documents, didn’t even question when we were told to pay this, pay that(little wonder why BDS students paid AMSUL dues).Of course there were the slackers, guys who couldn’t be rushed into anything, they took their sweet time, lounging at home while many of us were in the ancient structures of CMUL, pushing, pseudo-queuing and ultimately hustling to complete the registration .Looking back now I wonder why I did not chill like the slackers because they did their registration with ease, without their nostrils being assaulted by the stale smell of closely packed human bodies. Again I guess it was the fresher spirit still in me. All said and done, registration came to a halt, with most slackers pushed from their mummies bosoms’ by the threat that late registration attracted a fine of #10,000.


Now registration ended, we all waited, with bated breath and mostly empty brains (mine had been filled up with tactics from football manager). Rumors of course were rampant, lectures next week, and o behold the joy with which I received such news(don’t roll your eyes at me I am a geek kinda),only to be heart broken when it turned out to be just news. Finally the day came,the first lecture to wake up sleepy brains(some people had cobwebs thicker than that in sleeping beauty’s castle)and of course it went. Most of us went through a culture shock, scary news from seniors set some hearts racing, rumor even has it that a girl(not an amsulite of course)ran to the HOD of her department asking to change her course because of the news she had heard. Negative marking, terrible power supply, debasing hostels and of course fresh dressing were the issues we were confronted with(some would raise  their eyes at fresh dressing but then not every one was born with the knack for fashion,for some it is an arduous task to keep up with the trends, but I try).One thing I found really helpful in our early days here(early cos we’ve only spent 4months out of five years here) was the culture of senior students, the brainies, excos and caring individuals who took time out to advice us and talk to us about life here. For me personally three talks stood out, the one by a guy who had two resits but is in 500 level, the one by the Amsul pro, and of course the tutorial by P.moore as he is called. They made me realize that med school isn’t about how good you are but how far you are determined to go and if one is willing to make the sacrifices required. These talks set most of us off to a good start, but then complacency set in, the stress of coming from home, hold up every evening, the notes began to pile up like the sea of red lights on Ikorodu road every night.

Our first test came in form of biochemistry first incourse, in idi araba one need not only know the stuff, but also had to be able to see through whatever pranks the lecturer was trying to play. Questions twisted things you were sure you knew(I am sure some questions might make you doubt the result of one+one),anatomy c.a came and my God it was a disaster, I kept reading some questions over and over again in the hope that some mystical light would shine on my cerebral cortex and bless me with enlightenment, but alas no apple fell on my head, no law formed in my brain, and I left the exam hall defeated, humbled, and in my opinion at the current gate being constructed, the words welcome to CMUL,50 years of clearing doubts should be etched on the concrete(I would still think these thoughts after the anatomy C.A,BCH incourse and physiology incourse results were released)


We got to know the COMPSSA people, AMSUL, ULADS people, every morning one fellowship or the other would come looking for new members, we became tired of people always coming on stage to announce this or that.

Lest I forget, our first anatomy lab wasn’t what I expected, rumors and hearsay can be disappointing, I had heard stories of people fainting and all and I was eagerly looking forward to it,but alas I was disappointed. When the lecturer said ‘start cutting’ at my table I was looking at him like is this man insane? Cut what?!!But eventually it is one of the lab sessions I have come to love.

One amazing and rather disappointing thing was the lateness of the welcome programs (one welcome program held this week!!!), I expected it to be like Akoka where we were constantly harassed by fliers or handbills for one welcome program or the other, immediately we resumed. I mean then I stalked welcome programs for the food (again I am a guy, so what do you expect) but there were few if any. The unfortunate and really really sad events of April 12 led to the cancellation of AMSUL and ULADS welcome programs. At this moment a minute silence should be observed for Biola’s gentle sweet soul. The mood was subdued in the class but then classes still went on labs and everything was back to normal, as normal as it could be. The race continued with things getting more tasking, and soon we all were wondering why we were so eager to resume, the anatomy c.a and incourse results made people to start questioning if they were meant for this place.


Our first year in Idi araba isn’t over yet, we are yet to reach the half way mark, but looking back at these four months, I would say I have learnt a lot, from moments of extreme permeating sleep that seemed to pervade the atmosphere and ooze out of some classes (I mean passersby would have fallen asleep just by passing), to comical moments when jokes sent us roaring with laughter(a lecturer cracked a ‘my oga at the top joke’, it was classic),to sober moments of profound reflection, I would conclude with these words, VENI VIDI VICI,(I CAME, I HAVE SEEN,AND BY GOD’S GRACE I HOPE TO CONQUER).



Author: Chibuzor F. Ogamba

Chibuzor F. Ogamba is a Nigerian Medical Student, Writer, Poet, Blogger, Public Speaker and Catholic Apologist

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