Have you ever had this out of body experience where you are watching something good happening to this person and you feel so glad for her and you are cheering her on and then suddenly you are her, and this something good is happening to you. You are so grateful to God, and to everyone and everything. You are aware that there is sooo much work to be done and so much more is at stake and this whole thing is bigger than just you. It gets overwhelming, and the responsibility gets heavy, but someone has to wear the cap, plus you did make that choice. All this is a preamble to my actual life journey as a Chevener away from the screens of my laptop and onto British soil.
This time last year, I was having a vague fantasy that I could possibly be chasing my MSc dreams in the UK. The fantasy helped, if not anything, to ginger me into completing my Chevening Scholarship essays because my personal life’s hustle and bustle was threatening to push it to the background.
Same time this year, I find myself jetting off on a fully funded journey to my future. It felt surreal.
What felt surreal was not the fact that I was heading to the UK to study, that could have happened in a number of ways, it was the fact that those efforts last year have actually paid off. That I am among the 0.55% that made it. It was the realisation that my study goals are on the way to be actively achieved from a trial. It was the sketched and snippets of ideas knitting into reality.
On the 27th of September, I left home early Morning and drove to the airport to fly from Abuja to London. I arrived in London the same day and proceeded to Aberdeen after laying over at Heathrow for 7 hours. I don’t think it’s necessary to go through the physical exertion part of it. My sleep pattern is still in ruins and there was no time differences!
The cold that hit me upon arrival was of a different breed, probably genetically modified, or organic, something different from the one I am used to. I will write more extensively about Aberdeen but it is a beautiful city that has everything. It is traditional as it is cosmopolitan, it is cold as it is warm, it is free-spirited as it is conservative and it seemed to be home for everyone, especially Nigerians. There are many Nigerians in Aberdeen. This is a pro tip in case you think you are moving far away from home. I told my friend it seems to be abroad with a side of Lasgidi (Lagos).Donate
The feelings part, well, I wish it was the positive kind of feelings you were suspecting too.
I had to get on antimalarial drugs and ibuprofen a few days after getting here. Because I couldn’t understand how I felt.
It is normal with any international travel especially for long hours to get disoriented and sick for a few days because of change in everything really. You feel like a foetus in its mother’s housing, floating, helpless, confused, wondering why you are there and knowing exactly why you are there, but you are just floating, right before you eventually find your footing.
I hit it off a day after arriving at Aberdeen really. I was exploring places and walking the lengths and trying the foods and going to the beach and the park and the cinema before you can say Jack! I mean what else is there? Except for studies of course.
A major highlight for me was when the Cheveners of University of Aberdeen met. It was like meeting your long lost family, one you’ve been in contact with for years. These cool, smart people have become brethren and in some of them, I have found home. Much love to my mainest, Nzhon Mubayrash.
Safe to say that my Chevening journey has officially started and I am loving it. It is challenging no doubt, a challenge I and 1600+ others chose to meet heads-on. I can’t wait to share all the tidbits with you.
Writing from Aberdeen, with Love.