5 Years 

To lose someone is one of the worst feelings anyone should ever go
through. With this thought in my head, it occurred that earlier today
at the annex, kanyinsola, had an attack and this time I saw myself, I
felt it for the umpteenth time. Asthma attacks bring you closer to
the flash, the lucky ones see the flash and still make it, some
don’t and no one told their stories of afterlife.
When I think about it, I find it rather absurd that no matter how much
we try to live or be there for someone, there is always a parting
moment, where we get to say our goodbyes. The law annex is quite big,
and finer especially with the new development, the new seats that
shake and discomfort your back, the new fans that remain on 2,
because people get cold, the new Air Conditioners that are strangely
on Timer, and the humidity in the Annex is vivid and can be held in a
breath the moment you step into the lecture there. It was under this
condition that Kanyinsola had her attack, it builds up in your chest
and disrupts nasal air, which leads to slow pumping of air in and out
of the trachea, then to the lungs, jamming the respiratory organs, and
builds up to allow you cough simultaneously.
She survived it, we all do, and pray every moment to be spent without
that awful life-threatening event. Once I survive, I mostly think to
myself, this life is like “Atupa”, that can be snapped out anytime, or
burn low due to lack of resources to keep it burning. We all strive to
remain in the limelight, it is too dark on the other side.
After this, it became clear that our days on this campus are numbered,
in three weeks, I would be a graduate and the billion dollar question
that has been coming to mind is that what changes? Before gaining
admission, there was the idea of, “omo if I enter uni lasan, dem go
take”, in school, came the realisation that it is not pot of beans o!,
it started from multipurpose hall, after aimless hours of waiting, we[
often went home without getting registered, until after four days or
more for some. Then came the data capture, the faculty registration
and classes at Faculty of Social Sciences, DLI and Faculty of Arts,
the classes were sometimes fruitless, as some of us attended the class
to keep sit, to write notes and hardly hear the lecturer, or get
stuffed up in the class, after the psychology test, with results
telling you your stance. There were also the lounge moments, where you
meet the diploma students and other seniors in the faculty that make
you realise you are not like them and might never be. After the exams,
friends were traded, moments were changed as the midnight oil was
burned by all to make it out without carry over, and there was the
zeal ad urge to maintain the results and come out with a first class.
Then came second semester with courses like MAN 101, KOFO 101, and
BIOBAKU 101. (loool) these were courses taken at night, after a long
day in class and a cold shower, you change your clothes and put on
that fragrance and head out to meet with friends, colleagues, etc.
Need I not forget the first real hostel ballot, in year 2, (because
the allocations in year 1 were mandated) that had the school telling
us hostels were only sure for first class students. Some moved to
private hostels, some got the hostel, some started their first ever
squatting mission, and for others it was floating especially the guys.
By then, friends had reduced in number, foes were not known yet. Like
penguins attending induction, we walk to the faculty in our white and
blacks, trust me it was beautiful to finally wear it, and get reckoned
with it especially in the lounge, as most never went there in year1
because of the uniform discrimination and it was always obvious to get
singled out.
After the first official law classes, in courses like administrative
law, legal system, and legal method, constitutional law and contract.
Difficulties in remembering the sections and cases, the principles
were sometimes relatable, but for some it was cramming, while for
others it meant understanding and knowing to discuss in rooms and
other gatherings, as it was a basic tool for being a lawyer, and
telling people you know your right, you are a law student and know your
Need I not forget from year 2, you learn about friendship, exam
friends, seat partners, material buddies, library partners, roommates,
family friends, cousins, lunch friends and the likes. You are lucky if
all this is found in the same person, as there is also the change of
hostels that make friends get distanced. Then you start receiving
excuses like “am sorry I couldn’t come to your room” “I tried to keep
seat for you o” “ I tried to call u that I was going to read, but
network was poor” “am sorry I didn’t have credit” “oops! I got a new
phone and didn’t have your number here” etc. year 2, was fun too as
most times it was pictures on white and black, so you receive comments
like “the Law” “baby Lawyer” etc. and reading for exams were done at
overnight with so much zeal of, I can still make a first class if I
work hard this session.
The mid-session was kinda the most difficult, with option like
electives, aka G.P. Boosters, you start keeping in mind from day 1
that you can still make a strong 2.1. You photocopy so many materials,
and never to miss Prof. Fogam’s classes, because C.T was believed to
be quite difficult, and also pray never to miss Dr. Sanni’s class as
test can happen anytime. You also do not forget white and black to
Prof. Agomo’s class, especially for those of us who did Gender. Year
3, was never easy. Most of us read for the compulsory courses and left
the electives for days to exams. It worked for some, it didn’t for
Year 3, would not go by without remembering the flair for Politics that
stirred up in some of us, and the recognition of organisational
ability, ability to be self-driven and people oriented, and others that
were included in their manifestos. The chamber elections, bar
elections, Tax election and the host of others. Without any water
tight schedule from school activities, some of us got busy and
entrenched in one fellowship or the other. It was in this same year 3,
that some noticed their capacity to serve others, but because they
didn’t like politics, they joined committees to make it happen in the
faculty and help out with one chamber event or the other.
Then came year 4, where the manifestos, had been served, politics
fully grown and the urge to pass Land Law, the giggles and laughter
from Dr. Oni’s class, however, he often end the class with “no
questions!, brilliant people”. This would appear like you understood
it, until you carry the 8,500 textbook, then you realise you really
didn’t understand, and you look around the library and see everyone
getting serious with the book, then you go, “I could ask someone” but
really, do they have two heads?, I would understand it when I read at
over nite” after this, you jot away and remember you need to check a
case, borrow a textbook or check the shelf for another. Thoughts
start coming to your head, like, seeing someone by the dictionary
stand, “let me too goan check something”, on your way out, you noticed
these familiar faces, “I think these ones are dating”, then turn to the
entrance, “choi! See her makeup, just to the library?” and that moment
you catch someone staring at you, “Why is this one looking like this?
“Just when you get back to your seat, you sight someone you know, “Let
me find trouble small” after that, you realise, time has gone o, “am
tired, let me take a walk” and other distractions.
There was also the “omo its year 4, already o, this 2.2 is not bad,
let me just maintain it or make it stronger” amidst this is the
thought of, after how many years in this school, let me do something
for myself, “I might go to the beach with my friends this weekend” “I
can’t die, I would prolly just get out of here, after all I didn’t
want law” and yeah before I forget, Faculty events, the annual
lectures, seminars, competitions, dinners, were mostly not missed by
students because of the food and souvenirs, “abi wetin concern me with
the boring lectures” “is there item 7” “please call me when they are
about to share food” all of these were part of being law students.
Then came the final year, it has been a tremendous five years (still
counting tho) in this school, I can’t wait to get out, “Law school
here I come” at this stage there is little or nothing you can do about
the G.P. all you pray for is not to fail Partnership or any other
course as the most important on the list becomes, “make dey sha lemme
go, I tire” but like I always thought, the higher I go, the less
difficult it gets, the better it becomes, as new strategies are
discovered, new methods of reading, not buying the textbook, and
snapping it rather than photocopy, new reading partners, for some,
more understanding of the law generally and a vast use of it. Final
year makes you realise, you are a survivor, for coping with school,
hostel, people (yes people! Really annoying I know right) classes
(some don’t even come again, except it is test) uniform (zeroed out,
as your days are numbered, so wear those clothes now, for they are not
allowed in Law School, for those going tho).
Imagine after all these moments, you remember that your roommate in
year 1, who is not in final year with you, you remember that friend of
yours who didn’t make it through, those who withdrew, those dead,
those in other schools, those who dropped out, and the only excuse you
are coming up with it is “why am I not on a first class, or a 2.1. Not
to even mention, those not going to law school with you, after making
it through slightly.
Looking at annex again, I noticed my environment, and the people in it
my eyes fixed on the popular girl in class who probably isn’t on a 2.1
or the first class boy in class, who isn’t fine or religious, or
sociable. Then I noticed a set of girls chattering at the other end,
they have been together since year1, winning the best clique (wow!
That’s some friendship), just when I was about concluding I noticed
another set leaving the class so people don’t notice, I was going to
wonder “why sneak out”, when some guys passed and said to me “MADAM!
HOW FAR”. This jolted me back to year1, these were guys, we never
talked, who probably hated me (I guess) and there are some, who
started out as friends in year 1 but to whom all we owe each there is
a smile and the feeble “Hi” when we pass each other.
The tiny question in the picture is, what has changed? Change! Yes,
like “Atupa” can burn high, low, shine at night, irrelevant in the
daytime, can burn out, or be snapped out by anyone for not being
needed. To think of it that the Atupa dances its brightness as time
passes by like a winged chariot, yet my head is still Pregnant with
thoughts of how the light can burn low, then go off.


Dedicated to all final year students…all the best in your exams 

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