By Oluwatise Osinaike
I had finished secondary school at age 15 and was looking up to what was next for me. But then I wanted to have an understanding of the true meaning of life. In the process of trying to know more about life, I committed a lot of errors and mistakes. That experience made me learn and relearn many things.
Flashback to my secondary school days. I attended a missionary school in Lagos (Anglican Comprehensive Secondary School, Ipaja.). I was the Praise Team leader and was also the Laboratory Prefect. Despite holding these positions and titles I still didn’t have a sense of purpose.
In the first place, I didn’t know the course to study at the university. I basically had an interest in most of the subjects I studied in secondary school. So I couldn’t really pin my interest on a particular subject. I could not make a choice of what to study at the university.
The choice of medicine
But then I had to make a choice. The natural choice that appealed to me was medicine. And it’s not because I was really fascinated by medicine. It was because I had an accident while in secondary school that saw me in and out of the hospital for about 18 months. So I chose Medicine and also opted for Olabisi Onabanjo University because I was fascinated by the university. That was what I filled in my University Matriculation Examination form.
While I was in the hospital, I didn’t like the fact that there wasn’t any cordial relationship between the doctors and their patients. I wanted to have that relationship with my patient, so I guess that was what actually intrigued me to put in for medicine. I had thought of having my own unique way of treating patients.
I was offered Pharmacology
Unfortunately because of the competitiveness of medicine, I was offered Pharmacology.
Now don’t get me wrong, my admission to study pharmacology was not the issue. As a matter of fact, I was very happy when I saw that I was given admission. The course given to me was never an issue and it will never be having come to a certain understanding.
But then, at this stage of my life, I sensed I needed to take charge of my life. I didn’t like the way I was just being tossed around by the decisions of others, I wanted to have an identity of my own and of course I didn’t want anybody to make decisions for me.
Journey to self-discovery
This led me to embark on a journey called self-discovery.
During the COVID-19 season, I stumbled on a radio programme called Late Night with Crazy Love Doctor @Max Fm. It was a program that comes up every night at the hours of 10 pm to 3 am. Many people from different parts of the country call in and talk about their challenges and some of the problems they are facing.
The anchor of this programme would literally provide answers and solutions to all their problems. I kid you not, these were wise answers and solutions. In answering some of their questions he kept on emphasizing on self-discovery.
After people have narrated their challenge, he would ask, have you discovered yourself? Ninety percent of them would say no. And he would link that to the source of their problems. Many of those issues were relationship issues by the way.
So I asked myself if self-discovery has a role to play in solving the challenges of an individual I’ve got to embark on this journey.
I began to read books
Trust me it was a difficult one. Don’t be surprised when I say I’m still on that journey. I began to read books. Oh my, I read a lot of books; say about 24 books in that covid-19 year. That doesn’t feel like it, right? But for someone like me who never was fascinated by reading books outside my course of study, it really meant a lot.
In the midst of all these, my perspectives began to change. I saw that success wasn’t even tied to whatever career you studied at the university., at least to a large extent. I saw being spiritual from a completely different perspective than the way I used to see it.
Oh, how my orientation changed about relationships. If you ask me I’d say all of these exposures made me more confused. But it was a good confusion. There were a lot of things already known and there were questions on how to go about it. Many things were conflicting with my background and it was difficult to just break loose.
During this journey, I discovered I was, or let me say I am a phlegmatic person, which was the reason I could not easily decide on what I wanted and the insecurities around me.
But then, I didn’t give up. I began to read books on leadership, listened to sermons, and attended seminars both online and on-site. All of these woke the leader in me. I am not saying I’m there yet or I’ve completely dealt with all of my weaknesses but then, I could now measure growth and progress.
I was not who I used to be. I became bold, audacious, and daring, and of course, these attributes became obvious. People started assigning responsibilities to me. People started trusting me with stuff that I wouldn’t have dreamt of in the last couple of years, and people started trusting my own decisions.
Still on the journey
This is basically my life right now; I’m still learning a lot and trying to discover more about myself as the day unfolds because that’s what life is all about.
I knew that knowledge won’t look for you. You are the one to look for knowledge. If I had not determined to change my life nobody else would. Probably I won’t even be writing this piece right now.
This is just an encouragement to youths out there, and all who think of their life as a total mess. Do not give up. Get out of your comfort zone and discover yourself. I won’t deceive you by saying it’s going to be easy. But trust me it will be worth the effort and the trouble. See you at the top!
Oluwatise Osinaike is a final year student of Pharmacology at the Olabisi Onabanjo University