One fateful morning around 5am, I lay on my bed and guess what I was thinking about; my tummy. It felt like I had eaten ten wraps of fufu in the dream. I had been soaking myself in worry for the past few days, but this was the last straw. I told myself I wasn’t going to eat dinner again once it’s 7pm, but will I hear, nooo. Yesterday was extraordinary; I was on my feet all day and so couldn’t get a chance to prepare food to eat. Seeing as I don’t like getting fast foods, I had to prepare white rice and fish stew. This led to breaking my eating rules. You know how it is when you haven’t eaten all day and then you have the chance to eat, you eat like you’re not going to eat tomorrow.
I had 3 helpings of that food, didn’t even know how; I was so hungry and rice and stew is my favorite. Guess what happened, after eating, the fatigue from the whole day just cloaked me like those heavy lace material at Onitsha market that I couldn’t get up. I zoomed off to sleep. On waking up, I felt so guilty.
I groped for my phone on the table next to my bed and checked the time. It was 5:30am. I nudged my sister who was still sleeping. We had to stop procrastinating and start the jog we’ve been planning for weeks. I mean, enough is enough. In five minutes, we were all girded up outside the gate.
We had barely jogged for 20minutes when I noticed a figure like a child clad only on an underwear, walking towards us. As we passed each other, the lanky fellow turned and was following us; jogging too. Panic set in and I began to jog faster; the lanky fellow followed suit. My sister obviously didn’t know what was happening because she was in front of me, I reached her side and pointed at the fellow behind us. Then we started running. It dawned on us that this was an insane person and he was in pursuit. I remember I was thinking about how fast he was running and I wondered if it was because he was insane.
It was not yet day light and the road had holes and stones so I was trying to watch where I tread on. My mistake was when I turned back to see how close he was to us. I didn’t see the big stone just in front of me. It happened in the twinkle of an eye; I felt him touch my back as I stumbled and fell. I got back up in fear and we started throwing stones at him. Thank God it scared him and he ran away.
I touched my knee and felt something warm and sticky; I was bleeding. But that didn’t faze me, my mind was in turmoil; an insane man just touched me. We didn’t jog again, we decided we were going to morning mass at 6am. Getting to the nearby Catholic Church we usually attend, we sat on a pew at the back; I was looking dusty and with my bleeding knees, I was a sight to behold. I fully intended to cover myself with the blood of Jesus that day. And guess what, after that day, we never jogged again.
I know some of us are very conscious of our bodies, you have probably made plans on how to watch your weight but it’s not working. Our eating habits don’t help out either.
No matter how busy you are, breakfast is a must. If you feel, it’ll make you sluggish in your day’s activities, there are good breakfast ideas for you. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, don’t skip lunch either and eat a very light dinner. Why do you add weight or develop a big tummy if you eat heavily in the evenings? It’s because fat burning metabolism slows down overnight; there was no time for it to burn because you slept almost immediately. Make a conscious effort to do things to help yourself; be it exercise, good eating habits, drinking water or sleeping well. For those complaining of time, learn to manage your time too.
What are you doing to keep that weight in check? What’s your experience?
The Steps To Knowing Who You Are.
Have you ever sat down and this question keeps reverberating in your mind, “who are you”? You go out each day and you see people be the best of themselves, building a career in certain fields, putting faith to the test by stretching their capabilities, being confident in their own skin and you wonder who you are called to be. Of course, this happens to everyone. When we meet people for the first time, we assess them, scrutinize their clothes, actions, and words, and go on to interact with them based on assumptions we have made. It is pertinent to know who you are before all else.
Below are some steps needed:
STEPS TO KNOWING WHO YOU ARE
Look deep in yourself to learn your core values
Your values are basic standards you stand for that influence your decision making. You have principles, know them. What do you fight for? What are you most passionate about? Are you living a life you’re proud of? Keep a journal to help you record your thoughts and emotions to know when they are positive or negative.
Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Examine your likes and dislikes; also, what you’re good at and vice versa. Mostly, the things we are not good at are our challenges. Knowing these things is important because from there, you decide which of them you need to improve on.
Take a personality test
Know your personality; if you’re choleric or sanguine, phlegmatic or melancholy. Learn when you’re at your best or when you’re feeling depressed. Know what makes you feel better; is it the movies, reading books, writing, playing music, etc. Sometimes, you may need to see a clinical psychologist.
Ask and know others’ assessment of you
Such answers should be gotten from close friends and family of course. Also, be aware that their opinions of you could be drawn from a particular encounter with you which may not describe you in totality. Compare their assessment with what you’ve written earlier in your journal. Ponder on them and ask yourself if you were surprised or upset at their opinion of you. If you’re not satisfied, you work out ways on how to improve.
Know if you’re an introvert or an extrovert.
Although no one is 100% introvert or extrovert, rather we lean on one or the other under certain circumstances. An introvert describes someone who gets energy from focusing primarily on their own thoughts, feelings, and memories. They enjoy solitude and are reserved; spending time more on themselves. Meanwhile, an extrovert is someone who gets energy from being in the external world.
With these steps, you would have begun a journey on getting to know who you are, since, as humans, we are constantly changing and because society’s values often conflict with ours. What have been the meaningful events of your life? You may discover clues to your hidden identity, to your career and to your life satisfaction.
Stereotypic Storybooks: How They Affect Students’ Psychology
If there is one thing secondary school students love doing, that would be reading novels. Many students may not be fond of going over their subject notes at the end of school hours, but trust me, when it comes to laying their hands on novels, they will definitely get it done. During my secondary school days, I read a lot of storybooks. While some were good and readable, some were not so commending.
Storybooks serve as a beginner’s guide to the real world; they encompass social and cultural beliefs. it is believed that every work of an author is just a figment of his/her imagination, the idea of what real life looks like or what it will look like in years to come. However, unfortunately, most books written by Nigerian authors have successfully deluded students from seeing the world as it really is, the aim has been lost, leaving them with a suboptimal standard of psychology, which in turn affects their thinking faculty.
For instance, I grew up reading storybooks that always revolved around hard work in school, patience, and obedience, leaving out a chunk of the most important parts of reality: sex, life, colonialism, money, civilization, corruption, injustice, religion, culture, slavery, technology, etc.
It is disheartening to realize that bookshelves in school libraries are constantly filled with not so bright, pathetic storybooks; storybooks that never break up with the usual stereotype, presenting the same storylines and mentality over and over again. There are a lot of writers who don’t really care about the students’ academic opulence, all they give a damn about is how to sell their books and gently pat their pockets with money in them.
Some will even force these bad projects they call storybooks on students, after liaising with headmasters and proprietors to make the purchase a compulsory one. At the end of every term, my siblings always come home with some lists of storybooks for the next term, backed up with threats of failing students who do not comply. I came across one of their storybooks once, after reading the first five pages, I shook my head and grieved on behalf of Nigerian students.
Apart from the use of very awful vocabulary, I realized I was well familiar with the dull and boring storyline in the book, I’ve read it so many times in the past, and I already knew where the story would end. The book lacked life and talent. Sometimes I wonder, in this current world we live in, with all the civilization and upgrade in the system, students are still being subjected to such horrendous psychology?
I just picked my phone and played Candy Crush instead.
I feel sorry for the kids out there because reading such books once subjected my mentality to some paltry orientations and I’m afraid it will do the same to them too.
It is high time schools did away with stereotypes and drift with the world. It is high time they started introducing books filled with great effort, storybooks with so many talents in them. Students already hanker for reading good stuff, it is up to us to make available excellent books written by great authors who really understand the art, not some books written by some authors who still live in their past, filling our students’ minds with junks, thereby tampering with their learning ability.
There are books that expound the reality of life, raising questions and challenging readers’ minds, books that raise arguments and torment readers’ curiosity, teaching them more and wanting them to know more. These are the kinds of books students should be encouraged to read.
The fact is, subjects that are difficult to teach in classes can be narrated in storybooks. Most developed countries and some African countries use this method. They believe that students comprehend faster and better when they hear or read about a particular subject in a storybook.
Written works by authors like Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Femi Osofisan, Ben Okri, Sefi Atta and so on should be recommended to students, either for them to read for pleasure or as part of their curriculum. The world has evolved beyond reading about a poor village girl who got lucky and got betrothed to some rich prince, it’s time to turn the table around and read about modern stories.
Three Hidden Benefits of Meditation
The world we live is a world of anxiety filled with stress and where the human mind has been conditioned to hustle in order to make ends meet. Hence, many people rarely find time to rest so as to gain the required energy and strength for sustained living.
This ugly situation according to mental health experts is worrisome and could lead to diseases and ultimately death. This is what has motivated me to write on the concept of meditation and the hidden benefits that an individual could derive from it.
Meditation can be defined as an exercise in which someone keeps the mind fixed upon a particular thing. It is a period of rest where one does some devotional activities which could lead to contemplation. It can also be called solitude since one takes rest or breaks from life’s activities. It is simply void of distractions. Some individuals practise this activity by going to desertted places where they won’t be distracted. Such places include but not limited to places of worship, sea shores, river banks etc.
Meditation is as old as man. History has it in record that many great men, philosophers and musicians were able to achieve great things because of meditation.
What then are the hidden benefits of this activity?
- Serves as a break-point for anxiety
Anxiety is both an emotion and a process and if it not controlled can lead to cases of high blood pressure. Meditative activities could help to cure anxiety. For instance, once I am tensed I prefer staying alone to do some things. This helps me reduce the bottled up emotions and tensions.
- Promotes self-awareness
By constantly engaging in meditation, one becomes self aware of things within the environment. This helps to generate empathy and showing of kindness to people around.
- Promotes Emotional Health and Increased Attention Span. From age 50 upward, the body structure of an average human being begins to change. This is the number one cause of old age diseases. The popular one been the loss of memory (dementia). Engaging in meditative activities like journalling assists individuals in promoting emotional health and maintaining agility and emotional balance.
Perhaps you have practised meditation and you feel there are other benefits I have not written, do share your opinion in the comments. Gracias.
My Law School Experience
This period of my life was one of the times when you’re sure that God is indeed faithful. With the words spilling over and itching to come out of my mind, I’ll try to make this as compact as possible, God helping me.
Please follow me as this story unfolds.
I was among the last few to get posting to campus. The academic year had begun by November, my colleagues had even gone on Christmas break and back, lectures had resumed; and yet I hadn’t been posted. People started questioning the fact that I had graduated and that I was supposed to be in law school. I was so frustrated that I almost forfeited going that year. And my dad (God rest his soul) had told me that he was financially buoyant, and couldn’t afford to pay the fees.
But I never stopped hoping. I reached out to someone working in Law School headquarters, and I was told that my file was no where to be found. You can imagine the thoughts that plied the streets of my mind at that time. I had to pay the guy to help search for it. After weeks of waiting, I don’t even remember how it was sorted, but God came through. And I was posted to the campus at Adamawa state.
After some difficulties, my dad sold one of his landed properties and gave me 70% of the money for my fees. I felt bad about that and even though I wanted to go to Law school that year, I felt sorry for him and almost forfeited the admission; but he prayed for me and asked me to go. I travelled at midday because I wanted to meet up with the campus registration deadline as the journey would take two days. I got to Abuja late in the night and with the help of a friend, I slept in a stranger’s house. God was with me at every step and paved ways for me. Early next morning, I found myself on the road to Adamawa state.
The journey was long and tiring. And I arrived at the Nigerian Law school, Yola, Adamawa state.
My stay on campus was very interesting; I made new friends, who had both positive and negative effects on me. Studying was sweet torture because I had to do it double time since I resumed really late. At home, my dad was sick and the man who we sold the land to was demanding a refund for reasons best known to him. My heart went out to my dad because when all these was going on back home, he didn’t want me to know.
Times when I called to check on him, he always seemed fine and refused to say otherwise. I only got to know how bad it was, on one of such calls, on his birthday, the 19th of march, when my sister picked his call. He was in coma. I was distraught and intensified my prayers. I couldn’t study as constantly as I used to. And that was the reason (I found out from my sisters) he refused to let me know what was happening. He died few days later.
I was in church on a Sunday morning when my mom called to give me the news. You can imagine how sad I felt. Even as I type this, tears still come to my eyes anytime I remember this moment. I felt like everything was on standstill, a very trying period. All parts of me was shattered into smithereens. But I had to pick up each small piece and put it together for my family and myself. Friends supported too and the rest of the academic year went by.
Today, by His mercies, I’m a lawyer. As impossible as it was then, it came to pass. So to all those who are going through situations, law school and others, God will always come through; as surely as the rains, with each drop falls to the ground. Arise and Believe! This is my story, my song.
First Born Syndrome: How To Overcome It
I was sitting on a pear tree, with my legs dangling from the branch; I would scream time and again at a sibling as they chased each other in a circle. Then unconsciously, I would take a glance at the street which led to our compound for signs of daddy’s white Peugeot 504.
Then, I would go back to watching my siblings play. I always wondered how they did it. I didn’t know how to play, neither did I get the chance to. I was told at every opportunity to look after the children. I was always scared of making mistakes, I wanted to please dad and mom, always waiting for a word of encouragement to tell me how I’ve been doing a good job. It never came. “Proooooom, prooooom”, came the sound of daddy’s car from a distance, jolting me out of my reverie. My siblings were already at the door, struggling all at once, to enter the house before daddy’s car came into the compound. You’d have thought they were being chased by a masquerade.
I quickly jumped down from the tree and ran inside to close the door. When daddy came into the house, guess what…we looked like innocents; he met all 6 of us, in our room, engrossed with reading, like we’ve been busy all day. We only raised our heads to welcome him and went back to reading. After my dad went to his room, the siblings started chuckling. My next reaction was to whisper to them to be quiet. Sometimes, they listen, sometimes they don’t.
Being a first child can be stressful, yes, it has its benefits; but you can be in a lot of pressure. Especially when it’s being drummed in your ears at every slight chance that you have a lot of responsibilities, be it to watch the siblings or as regards the household chores. We can be controlled when taking charge of these responsibilities, which can lead to excess stress for a child who already feels pressure to be perfect. How can you help these “mini-adults”?
How To Overcome Firstborn Syndrome.
Try not to overload the child in proportion to his/her age or capabilities. Provide opportunities for the child to play and relax. They learned how to be mini-adults so fast they’ve forgotten how to play. They need vocal permission to be kids. I never saw myself as a kid; I always felt grown up and thought that that was all there was to be an adult. Leadership skills should be encouraged by asking them to teach their siblings with love, how to perform tasks. The first child has the tendency to be bossy; sometimes giving commands the way they’ve seen their parents do. This habit has to be curbed at its early stage. Encourage and praise him/her at intervals, because they can do anything to please their parents and meet up to expectation; and when this is not forthcoming, they feel miserable because they believe they’ve failed. Be careful of the words you say to them. Spend quality time with them, talk to them in a casual manner; not drilling them with questions on homework or responsibilities.
Conclusively, firstborn children should be appreciated; let them know that you recognize their worth, shower then with love and make sure you lead by example, the values of saying, “sorry”, “please” and “thank you”.