Day 5: Queen Ifeoma Ndigwe #MyMBBSJourney

My MB; BS journey began quite early, let’s go with 5years. My parents did this thing every Saturday:
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
They hit you with it somewhere between prayers and breakfast. I didn’t like it and I’ll tell you why. My smallest brother and sister have a total of 56 career choices. They both bounced from baker and actor through winemaker and zookeeper and they were always sure. My other sister always said Medicine. I was never sure of what I wanted but I knew what I didn’t want: Medicine. I never said medicine. You had to give an answer or according to my parents, “you don’t have goals” and a 5yr old without goals was such a terrible thing that you had to read that infernal book about setting  goals by Mr Chibuike Something; the Guru Ash of goalsetting.

I was 15 and almost out of secondary school. I just wrote Jamb which if I’m being honest; I expected a 270 at least. The surprise was of epic proportions. I had 223.  Don’t worry, that was the year Jamb added marks for everyone. I wasn’t left out. After they blessed me, I had an impressive new total of 224. I still didn’t know what I wanted to be but I knew where. It was UNILAG or nothing. Everyone told my mother I was a bit mad. With 224, and a school sat in Yoruba-land. Well, I got in. Turns out I test very well in Post-UTME. Who knew?
Later in 2009 (I/12/2009)
The first day of my second time in Lagos – this day is not important except that it was the day I listened to Cool-fm for the first time, specifically Freeze. My MBBS journey is incomplete without Freeze…I mean Cool-fm.


Year 1
For a long time, I considered this to be my best year in this school but I realise now that it wasn’t as much my best year in school as it was my best year in Lagos. I wasn’t as much into school as I was into what I thought was my freedom. So I spent the year going wherever my friends needed me to be and it was everywhere…well…during the weekends. It was a great year but it wasn’t because of the MBBS journey.  Most of those friends don’t even know where I am now. Nothing prepared me for the loss of them friends, and they were great ones. The friends I have now, I met in year one. First day in UNILAG, I met Yewande and Tomi. Every other person subsequently

200 level.
This is where I met the other half of my closest friends. It was a very complex, calculated method of selection. Using the bifrost method of friend selecti…No, I’m just playing. We sat in a column: seats No 1 through 6 by the windows far right. We couldn’t avoid each other if we tried. Sandra and Nehi were both quiet when I met them. Now? At least Sandra is still serene. I spent this year drawing and writing. I was fascinated by eyes. It started because I met some beautiful man with the most expressive eyes and I tried to replicate it…sorry…playing again. I tried to perfect facial features but the paper on which I drew eyes looked freaky and I liked it ‘cause I’m a freak so…I started drawing it on everything. I ignored school a lot. I didn’t think I’d practice medicine so why bother to be good at it? Why bother to be good at ANYTHING when I believed that as soon as school ended, I’d go backpacking around the world living like a hippie and essentially enjoying life?

300 Level
This was another blip in the journey. I went to school alright but again, it wasn’t because I loved it. Nooo…it was Murphy’s Law. I’d realized at this point in my life that if anything could go wrong, without a doubt, it would happen. I took no chances. This was also the year I realized that I was an electronic hoarder. I collected, still collect songs, poetry, spoken word, movies series, books, etc.  In all these, I still hadn’t found the doctor in me. I like to think I know something about everything but medicine needs you to know more than something, it demands you know at least 50%. Jealous mistress, Innit? I found this challenging and I didn’t try. The easiest way to win a difficult game is by not playing. I didn’t play.

400 Level/Clinical year
This is where I said to myself…okay, a friend said to me
‘Go with me for one second Love, let’s imagine you try to do this and actually are good at it?
I had a weak foundation but I was okay at clerking. 
In my opinion, this year was my first year of actual studying. I put my heart into it for the first time and I was okay…for a while. I was trying to catch up.

500 Level/Project year.
This was a hard year. I loved my project topic. It’s a topic so dear to me. Intimate partner violence. It hasn’t happened to me. One of my primary school friend, a boy, pushed me down once and I kicked one primary tooth out. It was bloody but that’s about as close as I have come to violence. My project was worthwhile and the best part was I finished. But let’s be very clear, I’ll be jobless before I become a community health doctor. It is a difficult thing to do.

Final year.
This was essentially, my best year in school. I spent it unsure because I wasn’t a serious student prior to 400 level. I always assume I failed before every result came out. Every single one. Subomi & Nehi, I didn’t do this on purpose, it just took a long time to trust myself. Theory was still not as strong as I would have loved so I worked harder. I was everywhere on time (Murphy’s Law). I did everything I was asked. I was above average. One thing I learnt in this year was: we were all struggling. We knew a lot but never what was asked of us. Ifedayo was the ultimate ginger. She had an idea about everything…in medicine and Idowu? Man! I had to read. Not as much as you’re thinking right now but more than I have ever read in my whole life.

Med School took everything from me. Except for a few darlings, the only friends I have now are also in med school.The only times I wrote anything was when Pero was doing something or when a friend needed something or someone died. I didn’t draw. I didn’t travel. I procrastinated. A lot. I disappointed people, I let them down. I’m still paying for things med school stole…damn kleptomaniac. But to be clear, I wouldn’t trade it. Well…at least, not cheaply…maybe for a free journey with the love of my life round the beauties of every country in the world ending on the day I die, for an eternity in heaven, definitely for the life of a child, maybe for a child of my own, maybe for a beautiful painting…then again…maybe not.

IG: @leadyar

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10 thoughts on “Day 5: Queen Ifeoma Ndigwe #MyMBBSJourney

  1. Awww… You’re a great writer with a brilliant sense of humor. Medicine, damn kleptomaniac!!! =D
    But you didn’t tell us how you finally settled for medicine. You never said medicine, right? 😃

    1. Never!! I later decided on computer engineering or systems engineering but on the day I filled my form, I found out I’ll need further mathematics(didn’t do it). I tried to convince her that waiting one year for further maths was a good idea. I cried myself to sleep then my mom filled Medicine.

      1. Oh no. I’m just seeing your reply. But that must have been cruel, your mother filling Medicine for you. Who does that?!!!! 🙂

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