My university days were some of my best days! I think of them so fondly! Despite struggling through High School, I managed to get accepted to the BEST university in the entire world (in my humble opinion!).
My grades were good enough to enroll in the Life Sciences program at McMaster University, with a small scholarship to boot. The Life Sciences program was a mandatory umbrella program for all first year students interested in most science-based degrees like Biology, Biochemistry, Psychology, Physics. In my second year, I ended up choosing to pursue a double major in Biology and Psychology.
At Mac, thousands of students enrolled in Psych 1A03. We were then divided into smaller tutorial groups of 15 – 20 students. On the first, day of tutorials we were asked to introduce ourselves with names and one-liners about ourselves.
I don’t remember what I said about myself, BUT I do remember what the girl sitting directly behind me did. She introduced herself with her name, and her one-liner was “I live in Nigeria”. I couldn’t help but turn around and say “I’m from Nigeria too!”
We left class together and started talking, asking the usual get-to-know-me questions like where do you live? where did you go to high school?and eventually we got to talking about our primary schools. It turns out that we both went to the same primary school, and not only that, were in the same class through out! She reminded me that I would usually get 1st position at the end of the school term while she would come 2nd. I don’t remember this personally but it was just crazy, and ridiculously funny to me that we would both end up across the Atlantic, in this university and in the same Psych 1A03 tutorial class. What are the odds??!
Interestingly, although I wasn’t technically considered an International Student, the majority of my friends were. To me the only difference I could identify was I was in Canada as a Permanent Resident, and they were in Canada on student visas. Because truly at that time, I didn’t really consider myself “Canadian”. I still referred to Nigeria as home, and being at Mac almost felt like an extension of boarding school in a way.
I loved Mac. I feel like I really discovered who I was as a person during my time there. I participated in fashion shows, I partied, I learned some break-dance moves, auditioned for urban dance groups and failed laughably! I was an O-week leader. I crushed on guys, I went on real dates. I was surrounded by people who accepted me exactly for who I was.
4 years flew by because of all the fun I had with these friends – many of whom are still my friends 17 years later and I am so thankful for them.
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton