What She Said: I Was Asked To Withdraw From Pharmacy In My Final Year

November 17, 2021

Navigating life as a woman in the world today is interesting. From Nigeria to Timbuktu, it’ll amaze you how similar all our experiences are. Every Wednesday, women the world over will share their experiences on everything from sex to politics right here. 

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 24-year-old woman who talks about studying pharmacy to please her parents, getting withdrawn from school after failing a semester, and finally studying what she wanted.

Let’s talk about your childhood

Growing up, I was a very shy child. I wanted to be noticed and to also stand out, so I decided I would be either a journalist or a military woman. However, as I grew older, that changed. 

When I was 12, I fell in love with agricultural science when I was taught in school. Seeing green leaves and plants made me feel excited, so I told my mother I wanted to study that. 

What did she say? 

She actually didn’t say anything. What she did was to tell my dad. There’s nothing you tell my mum that she won’t relay back to him. 

One day, while my dad and I were out, he brought it up. He didn’t tell me directly to study medicine instead, but it was there. 

When I was 13, my brother wrote JAMB. My dad wanted him to fill medicine as his course of study, but he refused. I remember seeing the hurt in my dad’s eyes. In that moment, I made up my mind that I’d study medicine and please him. My plan was to farm as a hobby once I made money. 

So, you studied medicine? 

I actually didn’t, but I didn’t study agricultural sciences either. I applied for a medicine related course – pharmacy instead. I felt I couldn’t do medicine because I wasn’t exceptionally smart. Plus, since it was a medicine-related professional course, I’d still work in the hospital. 

How did your dad take it? 

Initially, he was annoyed when he found out that I didn’t choose to study medicine, but I explained to him that although I had a high chance of getting a good jamb score, it might not be good enough to get me medicine because of how competitive the course is. It’s funny because I was actually right. All the people that got around the same score I got were given either veterinary medicine, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology or microbiology. 

How did studying pharmacy go? 

It started off sort of well. I had one carryover in my first semester and I doubt I ever recovered from it. I got the carryover because they had changed the test format. I thought the test was objective, and so I read for that, only for them to make the test subjective. I cried so much when I saw the result because that was the first ever major failure I had gotten in my life. 

I was determined to bounce back in my second year, but it was hard because I couldn’t take some courses until I passed my carryover. From my very first year studying pharmacy, I knew I was going to have an extra year. 

Omo, that’s tough.

It gets worse. In my third year, I carried over almost all the courses I took. There was no definite reason why. It was rather, a combination of a lot of things. I was sad, tired, and exhausted. I had a lot of clashing classes because of the courses I was still taking from my lower class. Studying got even harder to do. There were back to back tests and I was extremely anxious because I was scared of failing again. It was a really difficult year for me. 

I’m so sorry. Did your dad know?

He didn’t. I was too ashamed to call home. I wanted to fight all on my own, so I decided to repeat the entire session so I could retake all the courses I failed. To my surprise, I failed again. This time, it was because I fell sick during exams. My test results were good, but the exams were awful. It destroyed my CGPA, and I was placed on probation by the school. 

Honestly, I should have applied for a deferral. It’s just that the thought didn’t cross my mind until one of my lecturers saw me repeating a class. When I told him I fell sick, he mentioned the deferral, but it was already too late. I was on probation. 

It was after being put on probation I decided to tell my dad what was going on. We spoke extensively, and I still convinced him I could do it. So, I pushed on to year five, with courses from year three and four still on my neck and a probation. 

I managed to pass, but my overall CGPA was not enough to get me out of probation. I was constantly praying for death. I’d rather die than see myself disappoint my father.

Having pcos didn’t make it easier for me. The increased anxiety and depression PCOS brings made everything even harder.

I’m so sorry. PCOS too? 

The first time I had my period was when I was 11, and it was absolutely painful. Since then, it comes about once or twice a year. Nobody enjoys seeing their period, so I wasn’t bothered because I felt I was God’s favourite. 

In 2017, I went to see my gynaecologist to complain about my lack of a period. After some tests and ultrasounds, I was diagnosed with PCOS. However, I only decided to get treatment for it in 2018 because the people around me were worried by the fact that I hardly ever saw my period. When I went to the hospital, the doctor told me that I didn’t need to worry about it and should come back when I want to have a baby. 

Do you intend on going back? 

Not really. The fact that I don’t see my period regularly doesn’t bother me. I even prefer it this way. What does bother me is the other side effects like anxiety, depression, weight gain, acne and a host of others. Even the infertility aspect doesn’t bother me as much. I’m a muslim woman, and if my husband marries more than one wife, I could help take care of my stepchildren. Also, I’m very open to the idea of adoption. 

When was the last time you saw your period?

In March, after my gynaecologist placed me on some medication. I bled for 20 days consecutively and decided I didn’t want to do that anymore, so I stopped taking the medication. I can’t be dealing with school and never ending bleeding. 

Yes, about school. What now? 

Well, because my CGPA wasn’t enough to get me out of probation, I was withdrawn from the faculty of pharmacy in my final year. Then, I reapplied for a change of course to the agriculture department.

How is that going? 

They haven’t approved my application yet, so my parents are still trying to convince me to study pharmacy again, but I don’t think I can. If my application is denied, I’d rewrite JAMB next year and apply for agriculture. 

Do you think all of this could have been avoided if you just studied Agriculture from the beginning? 

Honestly? Yes, I do. Agriculture is a four year course. It doesn’t have a schedule as tight as pharmacy, and I genuinely enjoy it. They also wouldn’t have asked me to withdraw from the faculty because I have a CGPA that’s less than a 2.4. 

Does that make you resent your parents? 

No, it doesn’t. Why will I resent them because I failed? I wouldn’t have if I had passed and gotten good grades. 

What’s next for you now? 

Trying to get my life together again. I don’t sleep as often at night anymore because I keep thinking of how I can no longer be dependent on my parents. I also worry about failing agricultural sciences. What then will I do with my life? It’s only book I know; I’m not a business person. I just need everything to work out for me. 

I hope everything works out well for you.

Thank you.

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Hedge Witch
May 5, 2021

As told to Mariam I have known Wendy for about three years and during this time, I have watched her go from being irreligious to religious and back to being irreligious. As an irreligious person myself, I was curious about her journey so sometime in March I asked her. Here’s what she told me:   I […]


Now on Zikoko

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

Recommended Quizzes

October 10, 2019

2019 is certainly Burna Boy’s year, but, if we are being honest, so was 2018. Since his transcendent mixtape, Outside, the afro-fusion star has refused to get his foot of our necks — dropping a string of fantastic singles and then capping it all off with his career-best album, African Giant.  So, in a bid […]

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

April 14, 2020

Every friend group consists of very different and specific characters — from the parent to the fun one — and it can be a little tough figuring out where you fall. So, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know exactly what kind of friend you are. Take to find out:

February 26, 2020

Are you all set for marriage, or are you still figuring it out? Well, if you’re curious to know the answer, then this is the quiz for you. All you have to do is create your own ideal Nollywood wedding film, and we’ll tell you if you’re ready to say “I do”. Go ahead:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

More from Her

May 11, 2022

Today’s subject on #Zikokowhatshesaid is @fehinlean, a 30-year-old Nigerian woman. She talks about her childhood love for motorcycles, why she waited until she was 28 to ride one and handling the stares when people realise she isn’t a man, on her biking trips across the country.

May 7, 2022

“I have gone from believing in the possibility that God exists to questioning the reality of that chance.”

In this essay, Mariam talks about her journey with religion over the years and what influences her lack of faith.

Read here:


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.