When I got accepted to study at uni, University of Ghana to be precise, I wasn’t particularly excited or over the moon with joy. I had my life planned out to the T with backups to the backup plan. I was going to study law, find a nice decent boy (because they told us Legon was filled with them); marry right after school and most likely start a family.
Five years later and as I get ready to attend my graduation ceremony, I can’t help but to think back on these past years. How my perfect plans have changed; how the backups to the backup plans seem so irrelevant now; and most importantly, how much I’ve grown. These five years have been some of the best and worst years of my life; but I pushed through and finally get to walk away with not a certificate in law but a degree in Political science and Chinese.
I’m feeling very nostalgic so let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of my five years in Uni. Shall we?
1st year of Uni
My very first year in the University of Ghana was one filled with many new experiences. For the first time in my life, I was finally independent. No parental control whatsoever! I could go and come as and when I wanted. I got to make my own decisions and for someone like me who had always had some form of control by adults, it was A REALLY BIG DEAL.
I also for the very first time fell in love with a boy. Looking back now, I can comfortably say it wasn’t love at the time;
I was a little bit of a tomboy and would always stick to my big shirts and baggy jeans. Dresses were for when I went to church with my mum but I ventured out of my comfort zone and decided to wear a dress once to class.
One embarrassing moment was when I was dared by a “friend” to shout from my balcony (which was on the third floor of our hostel building) that I had a crush on this other dude. I don’t know what was wrong with me at the time but one thing I can say is that I was a very awkward 17-year-old with a lot of crushes.
When it came to my academics, I’d say I did fairly okay. I barely understood anything that was taught in Chinese classes though; can you blame me?
This year, my friend Rhoda and I decided we needed a change of environment so we moved to another hostel; popularly known as Pent (Pentagon). We also got a new roommate Clara and we soon became fast friends.
I think this was the year I started coming out of my shell and becoming more confident in myself. We would spend hours talking and laughing or cooking. This was the year I admitted to myself that I was a terrible cook and these girls including Awo, were more than willing to help me out. I’d like to think of myself as a good cook now and Its because of those three girls.
Second year was also the year I experienced my very first heartbreak. I was so broken that I spent an entire week crying my heart out. Neither could I eat nor sleep; I only had cups of tea throughout the week. I had my girls around me, comforting me with light conversations, silly talk and just being there. Let’s just say that was not the year for my love life.
Related: My Love Life: Win Some, Lose Some
This was also the year I decided that I needed a wardrobe change. I didn’t want hide-under-baggy-clothes anymore (I still wear them though!). I threw out all my clothes and replaced them with dresses and more lady-like outfits.
Oh and I almost forgot! Clara (my roommate at the time) managed to convince Rhoda and I to join her do squats every day for about a month. The people who know me and those yet to meet me can decide for yourselves if those squats really worked! And Clara if you are reading this… your face okay!!!
3rd year of Uni
I made more friends this year and dated a boy I never should have. This made me decide to focus more on my books.
I formed stronger bonds with people like Awo, Eddie, Rhoda etc.
My sister Eli also visited from Senegal. We had plans to visit Kwahu but mum decided that the roads were too wet for us. Instead of Kwahu, we chose to go to Togo. Eli, however forgot her passport, making us said “hi” to the Togo Aflao border and going back home.
My mum finally agreed to get a double piercing with me. She somehow convinced me that she could pierce my ears and I LET HER! Between the screaming and the running around, it took us about thirty minutes to get both ears pierced. Hers only took a few minutes.
This was also the year I was awarded a full scholarship plus monthly allowances to go study a year in China. That must have been after I finally decided to take my Chinese classes a bit more seriously.
4th year In China
This was the year I studied at the Taiyuan University of Technology, located in Shanxi. With the parties, travelling, the people, food, and the Ghanaian family I made there, it was hands down my best year in university. I definitely love to go back.
You can read all about my Chinese experience here
The blast of hot air that welcomed me at the arrival entrance of Kotoka was what reminded me I was finally home.
My final year was the most memorable year of all the years I spent in University. Even though almost all the friends I started level 100 with had graduated, we still kept in touch and that’s what really matters. I made some new friends in the likes of Alesia, Emily, Amarachi and Sedem, who will hopefully stick around for a very long time.
I also found a stable job and for the first time in my life, attempted to combine work and school. It wasn’t easy at all, but I pulled through; because I finally achieved the financial independence, I had been craving for all my life.
I had my first real relationship and even though things didn’t work out, we had some really good times and I learnt a lot from it.
After I wrote my final paper which was on Ghana’s Foreign Policy, I spontaneously decided to go get my right tragus pierced. People always ask me why I got it, sometimes expecting an emotional back story. Well there isn’t one! Thing is, since third grade, I kept saying I will get that particular piercing until I finally did! Will I get more? I honestly don’t know!
Five years in Uni and I’ve come to realise that plans don’t always work the way you want them to. People don’t always act the way you expect. If I had gotten into law school, my life would have been different. I would have met different people, had different experiences. Maybe even better life (I highly doubt it though).
I’ve learnt a lot these past five years in uni: for starters, I learnt to accept, respect and love myself no matter what. Like Paa Kwesi says, I am also “too blessed to complain”!
Friends also make a huge difference in my life! I make new friends and lost some along the way (but it’s okay). I’ve learnt to always have a friend I can call on no matter the situation. A friend who is never afraid to tell me the truth even if it’s not what I want to hear. One who can encourage me with words of wisdom. A friend who will not only share my happy moments but the sad ones as well. I’ve also learnt to try to be that friend.
Finally, but definitely not the least, I learnt to include God in EVERYTHING.
Five years, two countries, two universities, two certificates; God really is good and no one can tell me otherwise
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Uni Post By Michelle Saka
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