A Tale of the First, By Iruoma Osonwa



The excitement that tingled my fingers as I wrote down the last answer for my first professional exam in medical school , was immense! A lot of my classmates and friends couldn’t wait to get to the corridor of the class before they started screaming; “We are done!” “Finally!” “Turn up o!”in relief and exhilaration.


It seems like yesterday we were preparing for the exams. A lot of our seniors had ‘gisted’ us about how intense professional exams are. There were tutorials here and there. How can I even forget those whose words were encouraging and stirred victory in my heart?


And so we began. Three days for theory and two days for practical. 9am to 4pm. An hour’s break that felt like ten minutes. Objective questions that seemed to challenge the thoroughness of one’s ‘thorough’ revision. Theory questions that made me grateful for residual knowledge. Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology. We survived it all.


After all the ‘selfies’ and some teary hugs, I headed to my hostel for my first decent sleep in days. My body was begging for attention, since my brain had all of it the past few days. Ever since that experience, I looked at my seniors with respect.


Thus my holiday began. I had heard it was to be the longest ever in medical school but I thought it was all bluffing. “How long can the holiday be?” I thought to myself. Oh well, after spending four weeks at home, sleeping and eating, I answered that question for myself. The length wasn’t just in the days but in the absence of stress. A whopping nine weeks were spent. The funny thing was, the more the holiday seemed to stretch, the more comfortable I was with it. I had left school with dreams for the holiday, but who is man to think and plan the days according to our wish? Maybe that’s my defense for not accomplishing all the goals I set out to during my epic holiday. But the things I did achieve, I treasure them now.


I always wanted to play my violin hitch-free but the only hitch-free response I had was a “you can’t go yet” from my parents. Thinking about it now, I guess I should have fought harder but now I’m writing about my incomplete story. Life right? Riding a car on the express was another thing on my bucket list. Is it too much for a girl to dream? Well it didn’t happen as I planned and this article is definitely not to make you pity me, lol!


Rather, I got to indulge in all the novels I had stored during school. I could come online anytime I wanted without feeling a pang of guilt from setting my textbooks aside. Experimenting with dishes and recipes became a delight as well. My family almost turned me to the lesson teacher for my younger siblings. Programming even became appealing and I delved into it.


After a long day during the hols, I would retire to my room and be welcomed by the creaking sound of the fan. Yes, procrastination didn’t allow me to keep reminding my parents to get the electrician to fix it, so don’t blame me. I wasn’t even bothered, as I relished the fact that I was home anyways.


Looking up to the ceiling, I would thank God for another day and try not to dwell on the fact that it was filled with probably only sleep and food and novels. Rather I chose to dwell on the lessons gained from whatever I was opportune to do at that time. It took a lot of courage and contentment not to complain about the dreams I didn’t see happening as I wanted. Nonetheless, it was an experience I learned from, enjoyed and long for again.


My dad must have thought I had forgotten about my studentship. He kept asking me when school would start, or if I was sure school had not resumed without my knowledge. Really dad?


Back to my story. School has a way of showing who’s boss. A lot of my older friends had told me to rest and enjoy my part (1) holiday fully as the next class was going to be tasking. I took that advice to heart, really! That was how I came online that morning, still chilling in my room after everyone had gone out. The news I read hit me like a rock! School was resuming the next day. It was over. Comparing my expression at that moment to that of the last exam day makes me giggle now. I braced myself up and told my parents. They were more excited than I was. You see life? That was how I packed my belongings and journeyed back to LUTH. Work had to begin whether I liked it or not.

Goodbye to “excessive” sleep, adequate diet, TV, and everything a good holiday affords. Hello to another year in medical school.


What have I learnt? Make the most of the time you have no matter how little or big it seems. Also, nothing and no one is too small to learn from- I did some learning from my siblings this holiday and it made it worthwhile. Knowing a great deal of life would be spent in my schooling, I can only be grateful for the memories I shared with them during my long holiday.


Till the ink meets the paper again, I shall trust my brain to help conserve the experiences I long to share. My tales aren’t over yet…


Iruoma Osonwa is a year 3 medical student of the University of Lagos. She has soon realized that beyond the certificate is the need for service. An outgoing introvert, Iruoma loves writing on anything that catches her fancy and the idea of capturing moments with words intrigues her. She can be reached via, iruomaosonwa@gmail.com

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