12:16 pm, 30/6/2013
Faculty of Physical Science Lecture Theatre
“Shade you can’t tell me this is ordinary” I screamed out loud not noticing that I have drawn the attention of other students. My best friend Tiwa held my hands and pulled me to a quiet corner- at least one with fewer audience. I was devastated, I could feel my heart pumping faster than normal. This is not right! Where did I go wrong?
I am so angry I could punch this building down.” Even if I did I would be justified, or maybe not…
We had just written our faculty course MTH 243 exams and I was sure I would get a terrible grade, the lecturer had decided to bring the question from the very chapter I didn’t read.
“Who does that?” I said.
Tiwa was listening to my story but she seemed rather unconvinced. I paused for a while… So you mean you read the Chapter and your exam was fine? She was mute, I was losing my mind… Why was all this happening? I knew I shouldn’t have gone to the village last year, ever since I visited that fetish town my grades have gone from bad to worse. I strongly suspect that Ewedu Soup mama served me, it was too sweet to be charm-free. I didn’t notice I was speaking out loud until Tiwa burst into uncontrolled laughter.
“Shade you are a comedian o” She said still laughing so hard. “Did you even read at all?” She said as her face made a rather quick switch from joking to very serious. You think because you are smart you don’t have to read?
“Babe you really need help,” She said as she moved towards her room.
I opened the door of my room and saw a note on the bed – It had to be from Tiwa, she was the only girl that had a spare key to my room. I opened the note and it read
“Babe how far? This is the umpteenth time I am checking on you.
Professor sent a message through Chinwe that the exam will concentrate on Chapters 14 and 15.
Call me, your phones have been unreachable. I know you will look for the perfect excuse when you see this, I hope you don’t see this after the exam”
I was going to start suspecting Tiwa for perfectly predicting my misfortune when I realised I have spent the last two years of my life doing the wrong things and cooking up the best excuses to cover the unpleasant consequences. I wore my slippers and ran to Tiwa’s room. She seemed to be in control of her life, I needed to find out her secret. She was in a relationship too but she never spent weekends at his place like I do. “My life is messed up” I said, I strolled into the room and saw so many sticky notes on her wall, I saw her to-do list, I was going to take my eyes away until I saw my name. She wrote “Talk to Shade about Excusitis”
I picked up my phone and looked up the rather strange word. On the first search page it looked like the writer was writing my biography. I was sick, terribly sick. I had “Excusitis”, the mediocre disease.
The definition was simple and straight:
Excusitis – It is tendency/Disease/Regular behaviour of making excuse for every poor performance.
If I continued at this rate I will end up a failure, I didn’t want to fail, I am ready to turn a new leaf. I didn’t notice Tiwa walk into the room, I couldn’t be bothered. “Tiwa, you have my attention, talk to me.” She told me so many eye opening things that day and I could summarise them as follows:
She called them “Five facts about Excsitis”
- You are either producing results or giving excuses, there is no middle ground
- Eliminating failure begins when one consciously gets rid of the habit of making excuses
- Every man’s success is a result of the excuses he didn’t give
- It is easier to make excuses than to produce results, and we know where the easy road always leads
- Accept 100%responsibility for your actions is a step in the right direction to eliminate the excusitis mentality.
I hugged Tiwa so hard that day and she made me promise never to give any excuse… I promised her and I meant it.
2:40pm , 30/07/2016
Ekpo Ref Convocation Arena
“Best Graduating Student Faculty of Physical Sciences, Olabiyi Tiwalade” The anchor called out.
Tiwa has just been called as the best graduating student in our faculty, not surprisingly… the surprise which I was yet to get over for the past two weeks was when Chinwe called to tell me that I had graduated as the best in my department with a CGPA of 4.51. Tiwa had graduated as best in her Department also with a CGPA of 4.73 just 0.2 less than the Overall Best Graduating Student.
I was in tears when I walked up the podium to collect my Award – the award excusitis almost robbed me of. I was grateful for Tiwa’s impact in my life and as soon as I got to my seat, I handed her the Award and I cried like a baby.
Ngozi one of the students in second year ran up to me and brought a pen to my face like a fake microphone. “What is your secret? How did you do it?” I smiled and said to her and said
“I just stopped making Excuses”