I've Seen Tough!!

in Hive Learners2 months ago

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Tough times don’t last but tough people do. This is something we tell ourselves, but then, if one is not strong enough they’ll be swallowed up by the tough times and not be able to do anything at all. At one time or the other of our lives, we’ve found ourselves in difficult situations and the only way we can get out of it is to either give up or forge ahead.

But then, it’s in moments like these that we find out just how strong we are. Or how weak. Whether we choose to keep fighting or we choose to run, our decisions will be instrumental in shaping the rest of our lives because every other thing about us from then on will be built on that very decision. This was something I learned more than a decade ago.


You see, in December of 2012, I lost my eldest brother. This was a tough time for the family and coping with the death was not easy at all. But still, there were things that had to be done, like burials and whatnot. However, since this was in December and I was still in secondary school at the time, we were preparing for First term exams. I didn’t need a soothsayer to tell me that I was going to miss it.

However, I feel that there was a way to circumvent this. I felt that if I informed the principal of my brother’s passing and my having to go to the burial, he could let me write the exams when I returned. That was my thought, but I was wrong. I first of all went to my class teacher and she shared the same opinion with me. I tried to make it as official as possible, even my mom was the one to write the letter. I simply needed permission to be allowed to travel for my brother’s burial, that’s all.


However, things didn’t go as planned. The principal refused to take the letter from me, even though I was there with my teacher. He asked what I was there for, and we told him. The teacher even spoke on my behalf, so the delivery was top-notch. However, this man wasn’t moved. To this day, I still remember what he said to me, “Well, you’re failing then.”

That discouraged me so bad, I didn’t even have the heart to beg. The moment he said that I simply turned and returned to my class. I already made up my mind that I was not writing the exam, and if I failed that term, then good and fine. So, my family and I traveled down to our hometown for the burial and when we returned in January, I resumed school in the second term.


When the results for the first term came out, I didn’t even bother going to pick it up because I knew it was all going to be red. But somehow, what happened in the first term affected my mentality for the rest of the session and I no longer cared. All through the rest of the session, I had already given up hope of passing. I knew that missing the first term exams was going to draw me back and thus prevent me from passing. So, I just stopped trying.

When second term exams rolled by, I did it halfheartedly as well and I also didn’t bother to collect the result. Back then, my class teacher would call for me, ordering me to come take it but I wasn’t interested. I just didn’t care anymore. The third term came and went in the same fashion. And when the new session started, I found out I had repeated the class.


I wasn’t shocked by this, due to how I had acted all through the session. However, I was shocked when I realized that I only failed the class because of maths. I was unable to get even the least credit. However, for all the other compulsory subjects, I had credits in them. That was when I realized that I could probably have passed if I had decided to be more serious and I didn’t allow what the principal did to me to put me down.

You see, I only missed the exams. But I still had test scores, I still had marks for assignments and for my notes. I still had at least 30 marks in all the subjects, so it was not as if I had nothing. So, if I had been more serious and gotten high marks in the second and third terms, everything would have been added together and divided by three and I would have made it through. I realized this too late, and it made everything worse.


I never told anyone this though, everyone assumed I repeated because I missed my exams for my brother’s funeral, and I never tried to correct them. I knew I could have made it work regardless, but I gave up simply because of what one man said to me. Anyway, I repeated the class, and it was quite the experience.

A lot of my friends who also repeated like me changed schools, but many others stayed on to fight like me as well. I was still friends with my former classmates that got promoted, I even used to go to their class from time to time. But I made new friends with my new classmates, and we made lasting memories. I thank God every day for them because I had a lot of fun. Many of the stories I’ve shared here from my school days happened after I repeated the class.


And did this teach me anything? Yeah, it taught me the smart way to do things. Prior to that, I used to believe that exams were the alpha and omega of school life, and failing at it meant total failure. But thanks to everything that happened to me, I realized that if I’m diligent enough through the term with my tests, notes, and projects, I won’t have to aim high during exams. A simple 20 marks out of the allotted 60 would suffice for me. And that was how I scaled through. And to date, I still use that tactic. And it’s working for me.

In higher institutions, it’s no different. Pay attention to your tests, assignments, practicals, and attendance and your exam will be a walk in the park. In things like this, the little details matter. The exams are seen as the big bad, but here the little details that you miss can end up being the very thing destroying you. This is why some people, even though they’re highly intelligent end up getting carry-overs. It’s because they believed the exams were the last bus stop.


Also, the experience taught me the value of not giving up. I saw first-hand what giving up cost me, an extra year in school. But then, it also turned me into a resilient fighter. And today, I’m happy that I repeated that class. I have no idea where I would be now if I hadn’t repeated that year. I have no idea the choices I would have made and the path life would have chosen for me. Hell, would I even be here making this post?

But thankfully, more than a decade later, I’m happy with the man I’ve become and I know for a fact that my repeating that year played a vital role in that.

And it was also good for me because it made remembering my late brother less painful for me. Everything that came after that fateful December has simply been things working out for my own good. And I will always be grateful for that.


Thank you for reading. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, I would love to know what you’re thinking. Till we meet in the next post.

This post is inspired by the second topic of this week which is One Tough Time. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

N.B: All images used in this post are mine. The thumbnail was designed using Canva.

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 2 months ago  

Life is like a two side of a coin and am sure some people went through the same and end their lives over it but you still overcome it even though I made u repeat one class.
May your brother's soul rest in peace.

Thank you. It was a tough time, but I made it through.

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Thank you for this.

 2 months ago  

That statement from the principal was so harsh, so discouraging and demoralising. For someone who just lost his blood brother? He would have been nicer than that, but no...some people at the top does not care... however the whole experience turned out to add to whom you are today.

But Bruno, how fast you gave up after the statement from the principal..lol, all through second and third term, you were just attending school to fulfill all righteousness...this is a lesson to all of us.. little things indeed matters. Glad you learned a lot from the tough moment for the better.

You are a fighter indeed

Actually, the moment he said it I knew there was no changing his mind. This was during the period when students could be expelled for anything at all just to reduce the school population.
He suspended students for wearing pencil trousers and expelled a guy that was sitting on a window. He's a man of his word, so I didn't bother to try and change it.

Besides, I wasn't even in the mood.
I simply left.

 2 months ago  

We are just like that, life is not easy, there are good and bad times in life, so things like this will happen to all of us. And you wanted to go to your brother but you could not go because you did not get leave. In this way in life, when our loved ones pass away, life becomes difficult for us because the time spent with them is missed and life becomes sad.

Yeah... these are the things we have to live through.

 2 months ago  


 2 months ago  

Your principal made me remember one of my lecturers who told me that “I’d get lost” and I’d still swear for him over and over again
People like this are very mad. Prove to him that you’re not a failure and sorry about the loss of your brother
I hope he’s in a better place now

As in, why are people like this?
Well, I've won over and over again, and what he did back then turned out to be in my favor.
Thank you, my brother is definitely in a better place now.

 2 months ago  

I kept on thinking about what the principal said and I still can't understand his reason for such a statement. Normally even if you did not travel for your brother's burial knowing how much that could affect a student, he should have been the one to suggest you take some time off to rehabilitate.

This shows how little your principal cared about your mental health, if he had any bit of humanity in him, seeing how a teacher and your parent has gotten involved in the matter he should have at least considered your request.

Sincerely I wouldn't blame you for relenting because you were not in the perfect state of mind, probably if there was someone to remind you of the possibility of being promoted despite missing a term exam, you might have tried harder.

Anyway it is for the best, I'm glad it all worked out despite the challenges you faced. I'm sure your principal will be shocked when he finds out that you are now a writer and a book publisher.

He didn't care, that's clear as day.
Also, I didn't really talk about it then. It was a sore topic for me, maybe if I had someone would have told me that I could still make it through.
Well, it has happened and I'm here now.
You're right. I am a writer and a book publisher!
In your face, Mr. Principal!😁

 2 months ago  

I think man can comfort himself. Most people discourage us and make us fail. I think everything gets better with time. We should take each thing as a challenge and meet it. It makes one feel better and tasks are solved easily

Yeah... in the end, every man's comfort is up to him!

 2 months ago  

The principal was mean in his statement. If I were in your shoes, I would have pressured my parents to change my school. Honestly, you try by allowing yourself to repeat class under the leadership of the principal.

Above all, you gained valuable experiences about life. This is not something that can be bought.

Hehe... that actually didn't cross my mind.
You see, it was a government school, and changing to another government school was impossible. I didn't want to go to a private school either because of school fees wahala. My parents already had that of my siblings to cater to and I didn't want to add to the burden.
So, I pushed through.
Apart from my family being there and supportive, my friends were also supportive. Especially my friends that got promoted, they didn't dump me when they got to a new class and we were still friends until they graduated.
So, it was a bit easier for me to endure.

 2 months ago  

Okay. I understand now. I wonder how the principal would feel if he ever met you after graduating from the school.

Especially my friends that got promoted, they didn't dump me when they got to a new class and we were still friends until they graduated.

That was good of them. It was definitely a big support that helped you to navigate through.

 2 months ago  

Indeed it's was a tough situation for you. But you give up and giving up is not a good thing in any kind of situation. Moreover you became careless and you paid the price for it. Indeed it gave you lesson but you need to pay high price for it.

Yeah... the lesson came but at a cost. Anyway, I'm bigger and better now. And that's for the best.