“I still miss school, I miss the institution I attended before this one, where school never had to be shut down on such a short notice and where I was as close to my daughter as I would love to be now…”

I resumed the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos when my first born (my daughter), was just a year old. I went to the school to pursue a course I’m passionate about – journalism. And I found the school as a great Institute of Journalism, par excellence.

Despite the Institute being called a “glorified secondary school” by some, due to its strict academic measures among other things, it is still a very good Institute which is why I miss it so much.

I miss a lot of things about the school, to begin with, the closeness I enjoyed with my daughter, due to the proximity of my house to the school. I was able to see her each morning, bathe and clothe her sometimes, and also return home to her. Unlike now, when I have only weekends to see her and her little brother.

I also miss our lecture schedule. We attended classes without having to hustle for sitting spaces, lecturers come to lecture us in our classrooms and we could listen to the lecturer with rapt attention, we could ask questions, and we were comfortable in class.

The same can not be said for this government institution, we hustle from one lecture theatre to the other, some quite far, enough that we would spend fifteen to twenty minutes to walk there, we fight for sitting spaces, we strain our ears to hear the lecturer’s voice and we would all be sweating due to the heat and congestion in the lecture Hall.

I miss our lecturers, the friendly yet respectful relationship we maintained with them. Students were able to walk up to lecturers to ask questions on or off the subject of study outside class. That is a far-fetched dream in my present Institution.

I miss the fact that we don’t have to go on strike, or have the school shut down with academics activities on hold for close to a month or beyond a month in some cases. Like we just experienced in our government institution.

Most importantly, I miss the fact that I could leave home each morning, and return every evening, to sleep on my bed with my baby beside me.

Those were luxuries compared to the student life I’m living now. However, there’s a huge price to pay for the pursuit of one’s dreams, as life is not just about doing what you’re passionate about, but indeed living your dreams as a reality. That brought me where I am today, though I sometimes wish I was still in my previous school, so I could enjoy the same moments I had with my daughter with my eight-month old son.

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