“I was termed a failure and all my life I believed the lie.”

#MyEsteemCampaign day 23.

I was termed a failure and all my life I believed the lie. From primary to secondary school, I never made my family proud of me when it came to academics, I failed JAMB, didn’t do well in WAEC, failed NECO, failed GCE.
My mates got into the University before me but that was not as traumatic as having my parents compare me with them. Every exam I wrote ended in failure, it’s either I was 2 marks away which always disqualified me.

Those 2 years and 7 months were the most traumatic experience of my life, an experience that held me bound in depression, it made me feel less of myself, I battled with low self-esteem and insecurity, I felt I was no good, not intelligent and a failure because everyone around me made me feel so.

At a point I gave up on myself, I told my mum, “don’t worry, stop wasting your money on me, I’m not going to school again”. As I type this, tears are welling up in my eyes. I was a disappointment to my parents. Being the first child, I felt like a failure because I failed to make them proud, I had disappointed my siblings who were looking up to me. I told my mum that I’d just focus on other part of my dreams, maybe school wasn’t for me after all I’ve always been an academic failure but my mum looked at me and said, “No, you will go to school, just give it this last try” (I owe that woman a lot, God give me the grace to pay her back).

She got the form for TASUED a day to the exam and I wrote the post UME the next day. By December I wasn’t admitted yet. Well, every normal school must have closed entry but to my surprise mine came in December. To cut the long story short, my days of trauma was over but truthfully I hated the school, it was nothing like UNILAG or Covenant University that I dreamt of attending but like they say “Half a loaf is better than no loaf”.

I don’t know the word to describe my TASUED experience, but when I stepped into that land, I told myself I was going to change the narrative of my life, I didn’t know what made me say that but I guess it was the sight of the school. How could I go through this and still end up as a failure? That will be double jeopardy.
University was tough, not as easy as Nollywood made campus life to look, it was a really tough world but I kept pushing through. I lived in fear, knowing I had always been a failure all my life one of my greatest fear was not to end well, I dreaded it so I made up my mind to channel all my energy to getting the results I wanted.

On campus I found the most important person that shaped my life, God and that was the beginning of a transformed life.
My TASUED experience was a really tough one but I’m grateful it helped my process of becoming. I discovered purpose on campus, found my true self, I realized that I wasn’t actually a failure like I had thought all these years.
I realized that all the experiences I went through at home were preparing me ahead for a better and inspiring life. My life is an Inspiration to many young people because God kept me in the refiner’s fire, I thought he was hurting me but I never knew he was preparing me for greatness.

I’m excited about being a certified graduate but I’m more excited because I lived a fulfilled life on campus. When other young girls like me were derailing, God preserved me and used me for great works.
I tell people I went to school to study ministry not English language because that’s practically what I did in school, Lol. At a point I had to tell myself, girl remember why you’re here, you can’t afford to fail.
So with the entire stress, combining Academics with Kingdom service I still prospered, never for once had a carry over and is still graduated with a second class upper.
That girl who thought she was a failure yesterday is now someone the younger generation looks up to today. My heart is overwhelmed with joy and I’m so grateful to God.

Michelle Opeyemi Ogunniyi