What To Do When Strike Happens 🖋️📗
In my journey to having my Doctorate degree in 2016, I also experienced several ASUU strikes, and yet, I kept my eyes on the goals, never flinched in my determination, persevered against all odds, and also made very good use of the opportunities, even during the strikes. Hence, I decided to write this particular Series, to encourage someone.
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The truth is that no student wants, desires nor anticipates any strike in the course of their academic journey. Everyone wants to graduate on time, get that stage of educational pursuit done with, move on to another stage(s) , maybe also pursue another academic degree or other goals. Strikes disrupt those dreams but strikes don’t mean the end of the world for any serious student.
For me, the strikes were periods when I engaged in more forensic research to write better academic articles/ assignments, in my first, second, third degrees ( apart from the one I did abroad). I refused to wallow in self pity and curse everyday the strikes lasted. I saw these periods as times when I should accomplish more, without the very neck- breaking, emotion distabilizing, health threatening effects, that “roller- coaster action packed academic sessions” usually have.
Sincerely, I know that nobody appreciates strikes. However, in the course of my academic pursuit to a PhD in Law, I chose to remain positive, overcame whatever challenges that came my way, mounted podiums to receive the academic awards, and celebrated repeatedly , even if these usually took me longer, against my will.
Furthermore, during strikes, I also kept up with reading my books and all relevant research materials, engaging with colleagues of like minds, in diverse academic positive discussions and interactions. These kept my brain fresh and connected me with my academic pursuit. I still clung to my duty of completing the particular degree at sight (i.e Bachelor, Masters or Doctorate Degree). I knew that deep down, nothing could deter me, not even the strikes. I knew that I had overcome negative situations before, and these ones, I will certainly overcome. God has always been in charge of my life, and I knew that in every strike, that same God will not abandon me and will certainly give me diverse victories throughout my academic journeys. Certainly there were several days when I felt exasperated, frustrated and angry. Those days were overcome with more hardwork, sincerity of purpose and the gratitude to be alive.
Getting professional certifications and learning new skills for me, was one of the things I accomplished greatly during the strikes. At times, even my brain tried to delude me, by taunting me that these courses were not my main goals or degrees I was pursuing. Of course, this was a way of making me waste days and hours, doing nothing. I quickly overcame these thoughts but refocused my brain, intensified my efforts, while at the same time, hoped that the strikes will be over. Engaging in a few volunteering jobs was also paramount to me and they also gave me the needed experience and training, in the legal profession and beyond. I became a Paralegal as a 17 year old girl (during the strike in my second year as a undergraduate Law Student) and this has reflected in my Curriculum Vitae till date. Of course after graduation, during the strikes, I paid more attention on getting better professionally and in other aspects of my life, earning more money too.
I did several other positive things which are not written here. I refused to break down in self pity nor engage in negative activities during strikes. A popular saying goes that when life gives you lemons, make lemonades out of them. According to Matshona Dhliwayo, “When all seems to be against you, remember, a ship sometimes has to sail against the current, not with it.”
To someone out there reading this, I hope this has a positive impact on you and your loved ones. I know what it feels like to have these strikes, as a student. I didn’t allow the strikes break, mar nor deter me. Today, though it took a longer period to attain my academic goals, I still attained them. You will attain your academic goals. Stay focused and determined. Above all, trust God.
Dr. Idorenyin Eyo
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