A few days ago, the results of my final exams came out and it was official that I had become a doctor. Over the moon does not even begin to describe the feeling, this was the moment I had been waiting for a time that seemed like forever.
When something of note like this happens, I usually think about how I could have done it better, the steps I could have taken to ensure that I succeeded better (it’s silly, I know). It’s always that voice in my head, you know that pesky little perfectionist at the back of your mind that always says something along the lines of, “if you studied hard enough, maybe you wouldn’t be this nervous for your results”.
I usually shrug it off or relegate it to back of my mind where such silly thoughts belong but this time around I wasn’t able to, perhaps because of the fact that there is nothing else to do. So without any hindrance of school work or hospital engagements, I allowed my mind to take me on this journey.
As I journeyed along with the voice through the corridors of my mind, some thoughts stuck with me, a few of them were good, but only one stood out. It was about how little things or little decisions from little conversations with fleeting people in our lives can make the biggest changes.
When I first got into the University of Port Harcourt, I was admitted into the department of Anatomy, and I was happy, happy to finally get into the university; happy to finally experience the campus life. An experience I savored for about two weeks; that was until I met Rachel.
I met her during the very stressful registration process; we were both waiting for the same at the admissions office. It was almost impossible not to talk to her, she had this playful nature about her, and she was just walking around the room and teasing everybody in that whole waiting area, so naturally we exchanged a few words.
It wasn’t until we met at the bank that we really talked at length. We were at the bank to pay our school fees, and it was another unnecessary extended wait in convoluted queues that had turned into a circular gathering, nobody seemed to be sure where they stood any longer. And to crown it all, the bank network for the school fees had stopped working.
It was in this draining moment that Rachel started making fun of me in the crowd, she was poking fun at me saying that nobody could make a living in Nigeria after studying anatomy, she argued that there was nothing unique about Anatomists (people that studied anatomy, duh!), that anything they knew, many other people knew as well. It all made for a good laugh, but the funniest moment of the day was when it was Rachel’s turn to pay her fees and I found out that she was also in the department of Anatomy i.e she was in my class.
After a while I started thinking of what she said, and some other things happened and I decided to re-sit for the university admission exam and apply for medicine. Seven years later now and I’m a doctor, I wonder if Rachel knows what she did that day. Sometimes I wonder where she is and I hope she is making other people laugh still.