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Hope in Darkness

Exams in Kenya are probably one of the most feared stages in life. There is a whole belief system around what a good result can avail. True to it, academic excellence is a doorway to a myriad of opportunities but never the only door. It always takes a bit of growing up and facing life to conclude this way.

Medical school is a whole new world. Exams here take a full different meaning. Missing on a pass list feels like eternal damnation. It gets worse when everyone in the WhatsApp group seems to be saying congratulations, and you almost feel like they literally broke up with you and have moved on too swiftly. It’s never a nice feeling, and you never know what the letter from school will come bearing. Is it a supplementary, a retake or discontinuation?  The anxiety that clouds the waiting of the next day is palpable. There is a mannerism in which the school ensures they release the results in the afternoon as if to give you a chance for a few nightmares.

The Log In Your Eye

Truth is; it is tough. Tougher than words know how. Joy is; there is hope. Our greatness is not anchored on what the exam results seem to suggest. It’s good to pass, but that’s not all. When we fail lets dust ourselves and move on. Crying is allowed, it’s normal psycho-physiology. In the crying though we must be awake to the fact that this is just a hiccup in a more extensive buffet. We have conquered a lot, by the fact you are in college especially in a Kenyan system when only a tithe of those that join class one make it past form four already speaks a lot. There is a tomorrow to live with a world vast enough for all of us to reign in.

Nothing makes us feel inferior without our consent. When results seem not to compliment your intelligence do it yourself. It takes certain fights to have the skills for future wars. Retakes sound the worst, and discontinuations are heart wrecking. They are so because they seem to interrupt a scheduled path. You probably have graduation scheduled, a marriage date fixed and all of a sudden you need a reorganization. Discontinuations draw us to the drawing board, a chance to dream anew. It takes time to come to terms with this, but how devastating these predicaments become has a lot to do with us. How soon do we open ourselves for encouragement?

The Lady With The Lamp

Looking at life wholesomely, an extra year given to a noble path is always a decision we will never regret. Many in their senior years of practice hardly remember the additional 2 or 3 years they had in medical school. A year when we are 20 years is a fifth of our entire life, it’s frightening. At 80 though, a year is just that a year.We must get ourselves off the obsession that we must all wind up school together. We walk different paths, face different challenges and score different grades. The tracks are merely different, not better than the other. This is a truth we must embrace. Dissociating ourselves from wicked self-esteem injuring competition that we picked erroneously as kids growing up. We all deserve to be happy regardless of pass lists.

As a community, we have a collective responsibility to guard our injured soldiers, some stand on guard on the other side of the pass list on our behalf. We could also be there. Learn to break the silence when you can’t see me on the pass list. I am already bruised to shout for help, break the silence, kill the stigma and call. Just be there for me, you will probably have no idea what to say but simply check on me. Tell me its going to be okay. Join me as we believe that there is hope.

7 Nuggets for Your 20s

If they are in your group discussion, randomly get them on a surprise lunch and affirm them as they face the supps or join a new class. Hold hands and pray together, hug and embrace. Let our friendship mean more than the fact we were merely in the same level. We are human before we are doctors remember. It means a lot to know we care for each other. Love made liquid.

Life is quite a long journey and the overtaking lane is ever clear. The puncture could be on my car today; tomorrow your engine could knock; that’s why we are ever available for hitchhiking.

Article was Written by Dr. Muiruri Njenga, Pharmacist.



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