No doubt, we are a product of our experiences and our mistakes are a part of those things that form our experiences. We either let them make or mar us. Adetunji Taiwo is one of those who learnt from her mistakes and became a better person through that process. Let’s cruise together…
One of my problems while growing up was trying to please everyone. I used to be so concerned about what others think of me, that I could hardly say no to people’s requests except when such requests were extremely immoral. I’m glad I know better now. But I didn’t reach this point without some lashing and brain reset. I learnt the hard way, but thank God I did.
I was raised in a Christian home. So, I could say I had very high moral standards which I held so dearly even before I became born again. You can hardly find me doing anything wrong even as a child. Therefore, it would be shocking to anyone who knew me well that I would be involved in any form of examination malpractice. By the way, my academic journey had always been an express drive experience. From primary to secondary school, I cannot remember ever failing a subject. So, it’s not what you think. Nothing will make me cheat in an exam either by copying or asking someone for answers to a question even if it means submitting an empty script. However, since I could hardly ever say no to people’s requests, I always find it difficult not to answer others when they ask me questions in the exam hall.
I know some people will feel talking in the exam hall is not a big deal and that it shouldn’t even be considered as a form of examination malpractice. Well, so I thought too until realisation dawned on me. I thought I was helping others without knowing I was doing it the wrong way. I continued this way until I got into the university.
Like most people, I went to school with a lot of expectations. I had written down goals that I wanted to achieve at the end of my course in the university. I had heard of people who never had to carry a course over, and I had my eyes on that too. Little did I know that my weakness will get in the way.
During the second semester exams in my first year in school, I wrote that particular exam that God used to straighten me out. It was one of my favorite courses that semester and one that I could write without reading anything and yet have an A. It was a departmental course, but we had more students from another department who borrowed the course. The exam started and I sat down to write. While trying to focus, someone tapped me from behind to ask a question and I whispered the answer to him. Before I knew what was going on, I was almost lecturing in the exam hall. Some ‘smart’ students even grabbed my answer booklet to copy from it instead of listening to my lecture. At that point, I got scared, but I still didn’t refuse so that people won’t think I’m proud or selfish with what I knew. Funny reason, right? I couldn’t even submit and I had to stay longer in the hall even though I had finished much earlier because my script wasn’t with me.
At last, the exam ended and fortunately, I wasn’t caught. After the exam, people were thanking me for ‘helping’ them. Although I felt guilty about the whole episode, I was glad because I had helped some people, or so I thought.
We were still on holiday when the results were released. Our first semester results were delayed too, and they were released a week or two before those of the second semester. I couldn’t check online by myself, so I called one of my lecturers who was more like my mentor in the department. He was also our exam officer, so he had all the results and he gladly dictated mine to me. When he got to that course I wrote on that fateful day, he said, “Taiwo, you won’t believe what I’m about to tell you, because I can’t too. You had an F in ENG 1201.” Just as he said, I couldn’t believe it. I had made all A’s and a few B’s, so why an F? And in that course for that matter. The most incredible part of the result was my score. According to the result, I had scored 39. And in the C.A., I had 28 out of 30. So, it means I got only 11 marks in the exam. Isn’t that amusing?
Actually, it wasn’t funny then because I was devastated. I was just in my first year and I already had an F. I was so sure that it wasn’t my result that I decided to write to request for my script to be remarked. I waited for school to resume so that I could go ahead with my plans, but the Holy Spirit dissuaded me. I was made to realize the reason for my failure, which was what transpired during that exam. This was further confirmed when I got to know that it was just me and one of my friends, who was also ‘helping’ during the exam, that failed the course. All the people who copied from my script and those I was lecturing during the exam passed the course, but I failed woefully. I changed my mind about requesting for my script and I took my punishment in good faith.
After that experience, I needed no one to tell me what I had to do. I became known for my stand on obeying exam rules so much that my course mates don’t even bother to call me because they know I wouldn’t even answer them. In fact, I always sat in front of the invigilator to prevent any form of temptation. I can’t risk having an F in the name of helping others. Apart from exams, I became more firm with my decisions. I realised I didn’t have to please others against God’s will and people’s thoughts concerning me are not as important as what He thinks of me.
I learnt that the Father chastens and disciplines those He loves and it isn’t meant to humiliate us but to make us stronger and better. I had to take the course the next session and it wasn’t easy. But I had to look beyond the embarrassment and ridicule because I knew I had a goal. And I was able to make an A when I retook the course.
I am glad I was corrected at that time because God knew if I didn’t learn early enough, it would be disastrous in the future. Imagine what would have been my lot if I was caught engaging in exam malpractice in my final year. The Father knew His plans for me, seeing that my actions could jeopardize them, He decided to give me a good spanking to reset my brain and my entire life. And it really worked.
Although I couldn’t share my testimony of no carry over like I had planned, I learnt that you are not a failure because you have failed, except you refuse to learn from the mistake or you refuse to try again. In spite of my carry over, I graduated as the best student in my department and my faculty. All thanks to God.
Taiwo Adetunji is a teacher, writer, editor, and entrepreneur. She is passionate about purposeful and intentional living. She loves singing, traveling, reading and writing, and she enjoys adventure.
TemmyFlorah is a lover of God, a journalist and an enthusiastic person who believes that nobody is useless except as a reason of choice.
Temmy had her own share of fear which held her down from discovering her real identity.
Having gained her freedom, she helps and encourages others to break free from whatever holds them bound.