The coronavirus pandemic caught the whole world off-guard and largely unprepared. The world switched into self-preservation mode and put stringent rules in place to curb the spread of the virus. Then, came the total lockdown of activities. Schools were not spared.
Usually, Nigerian students are at their busiest in their final years as they have to write projects and write examinations. Alas, even that was brought to a standstill as lives had to be saved first.
I asked a couple of final year students from different Nigerian universities to share what their experiences with the pandemic have been.
Christian Ndukwe, Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki – Caught in a love triangle
I always thought love triangles involving lecturers and students were absent in nursing schools until I got caught in one. I liked a female colleague, but her guardian, a reverend father, disapproved of our relationship. At first, I thought he was being overly protective. But that wasn’t the case. He had been having sex with her for over a year now. She told me she would have loved to be with me but feels her education might be affected if she did. When the ‘rona came around, the resistance to our relationship became more serious. The school’s dean of students affairs summoned me and threatened to expel me. He asked me to put down the names of the girls I’ve had sexual relations with. When I refused, he promised to deal with me.
I had a problem with my course registration, but he refused to fix it until I succumbed to their wishes. I couldn’t understand what the fuss what’s all about, so I didn’t change my position on the matter. Eventually, he got my Statistics lecturer on his side, who said he would make sure I failed his course because I missed more than 50% of his lectures.
I discussed the newest development with the girl, and we agreed to break off the relationship. I really wished we were still together, but when the result was announced and I cleared all my papers, I knew it was worth the sacrifice.
Arinze Christian, University of Nigeria – Trapped in school
After the COVID breakout, I had some project stuff to settle. I thought staying in school would give me space and time to accomplish a great deal on my project, but I was wrong. I couldn’t work effectively because everyone had left the school,– the entire school was like a graveyard, 7 PM became the new 12 midnight. It was so boring and frustrating. If the internet didn’t exist, I have no idea how I would have survived. When the inter-state ban was lifted and I didn’t hesitate to leave. I am now at home thinking and missing school. What a life!
Precious Nwajuaku, Nnamdi Azikiwe University – Survived on garri and water without sugar
During this pandemic, staying at home wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. I was always having issues with my mum over many things, especially money.
When school was in session, my mom tried her best to send me money, so I was not always broke. But when the pandemic hit, collecting money from her proved to be difficult. If she decided to give me, I wouldn’t hear the end of it for the rest of the day. Not that I blame her much!
The governor of my state declared a total lockdown of the state. We didn’t get the information on time, so we didn’t stock the house with food. The risk of getting arrested made us think twice about going outside. I remember sneaking outside when the hunger was getting too much to go to a woman who sold bread on my street, only to find out that her store was closed. God! We lived on garri and water without sugar for the next three days!
Temidayo Jacob, University of Ilorin – Had to get an affidavit
Graduating this year is on God. I guess I have moved on with my life. Whatever it is, it is. It’s bad enough to live during a pandemic, but banks have gotten more frustrating than usual.
I went to a GTbank branch close to my lodge in school to open an account. I was out in the sun for 4 hours. To crown it all, their customer service was terrible.
While I was waiting, the security man freely allowed affluent people in without stress. I was irritated that one set of people were prioritised over the others, and were allowed in as soon they arrived while we wey no sabi pesin and had no car stayed under the sun. Laslas, na person wey get property actually get money for the bank.
On opening the account, I was asked to go to court to get an affidavit to update my BVN details. A whole me? Go to court? I just gave up on the whole thing and went home straight to sleep.