Amanda was so excited as she checked her name on the admission list, over and over again. She had worked hard for this very moment, but so did every other person she knew. She could still remember the long hours of reading, the ceaseless attendance to tutorial classes, the mid night candles… She was finally abreast with the saying that one tends to forget their moments of struggle once the anticipated result knocks on their door.

The rest of her family wasn’t left out in the joy. Amanda had always liked English and literary studies with a plan of either becoming a writer or a good editor in the future. She was that little girl who admired lecturers a lot, held them at high esteem and couldn’t wait to be one of them. She gladly tagged along her mum as she went round their exquisite town market, getting all the necessary new things she needed for school.

Amanda’s joy was complete when she heard that her best friend and reading mate was equally successful. She couldn’t wait to meet up in campus. She insidiously took her mind across “the campus girl attitude, comportment and dressing” as in the numerous books she had read. She made sure she got herself some new dresses and accessories, most especially, her first handbag and weave-on. She made sure to nail the look she had in mind before heading back for school. She needed everyone to take her seriously.

Her first lecture was not exactly as she had expected. She had arrived late having found it difficult locating the lecture hall. She felt different, like she had been thrown into a crowd of strangers. The only friend she had, Nazom was in another department. The class rep, whom she later got to know was elected shortly before the onset of the first lecture soon addressed them, welcoming them once again into the great citadel of learning. He shortly briefed them on how the rest of their day was going to be, lecture wise, with a promise to get back to them with a more detailed time table the following day. A sheet was passed round for everyone to pen down their phone numbers for the class group chat.

Amanda let out a big sigh as she headed back to her hostel after the day’s lectures. Her knees were feeble and knocked together as she slowly made her way. Saying she was tired will be an understatement, she was fed up, angry and perplexed. She had no idea what to do. The entire ginger she had come into school with had suddenly flown out the window. Her anger was boiling, though she had no idea who to channel them to.

The lecturers? They were only doing their jobs! Herself? She wasn’t sure because to the best of her knowledge, she did everything right. She wasn’t so sure but the Lecturers she had just met didn’t fit into “the perfect description and ideology” she had about lecturers. The more she thought about it, the more confused she became. “This shouldn’t be happening to me”. She screamed in her mind. She had always been a star student. She had worked her butts off to meet up with the dreaded cut off her department pulled out.

She entered her room looking dejected and used up. After lying on her bed for a while, expecting compassion, no matter how little from her roommate, she rose when she was sure that none was coming. One look at her roommate, Juliet and she was shocked. The babe was still busy pulling out and testing dresses. The entire floor was buried in a pile of dresses of different types.

Amanda’s mouth was now open. She couldn’t utter a word as she observed Juliet go from one skimpy dress to another. Amanda couldn’t believe someone could actually wear dresses like that. She thought they only existed in the fictions she read. She was completely thrown off balance when some friends of Juliet barged into the room, hailing and throwing compliments at a particular dress Juliet was putting on. It was at that moment that it dawned on Amanda that she was in for trouble. She had found herself in an environment she wasn’t used to and lashes have started to land on her body from every angle. She was still yet to recover from school stress and now this.

Days went by and things weren’t becoming any better. She was beginning to catch up with her academic work but Juliet wasn’t making things any easier for her in the hostel. Amanda was fast becoming a sheep without shepherd, a lonely wanderer with no place for abode. She was trying everything possible to limit her time in her room but there was only much she could do. Nazom stayed with her aunty who lived very close to school and there was no other friend she could hang unto in campus.

She was soon wallowing into the stronghold of depression, struggling to keep up with her academic work. Her initially well spelt out dreams now looked blurred and unattainable. She was struggling to keep herself from failing and at the same time, draw her already distracted mind away from the misleading lifestyle she was surrounded with.

Note from Dera

The rekindling ability never departs from its source…always know that😍