Remember the day you received that call from the Admission office and you were told you got admitted to ALA? You started fantasizing about all the things you were going to do when you get here. The friends you were going to make, amazing opportunities, getting into the university of your dreams and getting A’s all the way. But that dream dies a little as you walk down the corridors of ALA. Realities are faced.
Tears are shed, hearts are broken and destinies are often reshaped. Don’t get me wrong, this is still the best place to be. The first couple of days you make friends with people from different parts of Africa. Every post you make on your social networks is about how ‘amazing’ the diversity in this school is. It truly is amazing. Probably one of the best experiences you will ever have in your life. But a time comes when the illusion to an end you face reality.
You realize it impossible to get A’s. Teachers will tell you “I don’t see you in your writing” (Whatever that means). You get a score of 700 on your SAT writing but you end up with a C on your transcript for a writing class. The same people get external opportunities over and over while you stay stuck in your room. You are expected to obey rules because “there is a higher purpose” which is never explained.
Friends. You make lots of them. Some who become in your circle by the virtue of being from your home country or you ended up on the same bus from the airport with you. Some last until the end of Orientation Week, some until the end of first term and some stick. They stick through all the failures and obstacles you go through. Through all the Disciplinary Committee hearings you will go through, through the college rejections and through sickness and unnecessary pressure brought on by being a “future African leader.”
Admissions Officer, is too late for me to withdraw and go back to my normal life? Can I go back to being a normal teenager? Being crazy about Beyonce like every normal girl, turn a blind eye on the corruption that might be occurring in my country, spend time tweeting and going through Instagram? Can I not have a “normal” conversations anymore? Not one about Africa? No? Well…fine.