Second semester has to be better, right?

Chinalurumogu Eze, the author, at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka.

Nsukka, NIGERIA – Going back to school after nine months of sit-at-home due to covid lockdown and a strike by the Association of Student’s Union of Universities was something I had hoped and prayed for.

Meeting my friends again after a long time was something I looked forward to with both the new friends I made online and the old friends I had.

It’s sad and a little funny that after vibing online with new friends, you meet face to face only for everything to die.

The terrifying part of the whole process was the speed put into the continuation of the first semester from last year and the need to wrap up first semester in barely two months.

Activities were compressed. We had tons of hand-written tests to deal with and examinations were just around the corner.

Most lecturers couldn’t cover their course outline with such limited class time and with over 300 classmates, there was no way social distancing was happening.

But in a bigger hall that isn’t my classroom, we were made to social-distance ourselves and put on a face mask.

The face mask issue was rebarbative – ugly and offensive. How can one survive in an unventilated room with a mask around the nose? No way!

The problem intensifies when you’re taking a hand-written test. You cannot even think properly because you have a hot temperature, a mask over your nose and the answers to your test questions to worry about.

For examinations, it was made compulsory for students to appear with a face mask, but the examiners were flexible.

Being broke was and is a natural phenomenon at the university. I look forward to having a better second semester with more space and time for lectures and fun.

Chinalurumogu Eze is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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