I hope you had a fantastic week and that your weekend was great. Students at Cardiff University and other universities in the United Kingdom (UK) are preparing for exams or finalising their end of semester assignments. It is a lonely and quiet phase, even in our house 😔😔. All my housemates are either at the library or holed up in their rooms, with books spread all over the place. It’s sporadic when you find someone in the kitchen, which has evolved into our common meeting place.
If anyone told you pursuing a degree abroad is an easy task, please ask them to repent🤦🏼♀️ Being a student is a sacrifice, one that requires total commitment. I hear people go like… Patience you write 1500 words for your blog in two hours, what is 5000 words to you 🤭 Whether 500 or 8000 words, please let me say this, academic writing is not blogging, neither is it journalistic writing. Scholarly writing is different, very different.
Academic writing requires you to show some intellectual understanding in your chosen profession. Unlike blogging, it requires you to have evidence of your thought process, displaying coherence and open-mindedness in every word. You have to think through your language, grammar, punctuation, plagiarism and citation. Academic writing requires you to prioritise reason over emotion. And that is where the catch is. Reason! My blog is about my perspectives in life, my worldview as I see it through Patience Nyange’s lens. You know what I mean. So, don’t imagine, I am having it easy. I am studying hard and at my age, it’s not easy. Studying is generally not easy for many people, right?
My mother loves a Swahili saying that goes, “Ukiyavulia nguo, itakubidi uyaoge” loosely translated, if you undress ready to shower, then you have no choice but to get wet. Well, I am trying to enjoy my time as a student. Occasionally, I am tempted to sleep for 12 hours, but I wake up feeling guilty. I want to read my books (not academic related) over the weekends without having to set my eyes on my classwork, but I feel guilty. I want to go out and lazy the malls or just relax in one of my favourite coffee shops observing people, but then I remember this voice from Kenyans😷😷 “We expect nothing but a distinction from you,” Well, be notified, I don’t do well under pressure 😅😅😅! Drop those expectations. I promise, I will do what is humanly possible and getting a distinction is a possibility. Those who get distinctions look like you and I. I hope we are together on this.
With today’s blog post, I am here to thank you for your kind words after sharing my London experience last week 🙏🏾🙏🏾So far that blog post has elicited more reactions in comparison to the other posts. Your love has touched me. I am gratified all who reached out to ask if they could send me some cash to see me through the month. Really, I did not expect that kind of feedback. I am truly humbled. Thank you for your concern, but please, it is not as bad as you thought. I am a student and I get a stipend from Chevening, so I am ok. It is ok to be broke as a student, right 😅😅
It is also evident that my blog post offered an opportunity for many people to share their London experiences, most of you feeling like this statement was the best consolation ever, “Nobody will get a Nobel Peace Prize for mastering the London transport system” Hahaha! It looks like many of you have been suffering in silence thus placing some truth behind the statement that “Misery loves company,” So now you are in the same WhatsApp group with me and you feel at home- #LondonSufferers 😎
“Patience, kupotea njia ndio kujua njia. I told you, you have to get lost while using the tube to learn your way around London” Consoled Brian Osweta, a Cheverner from Kenya.
“Uuuuuiiiiii, you were using taxis in London? I now understand why you are broke. Next time, make sure you have a city mapper, then use a tube or the bus. It is called putting on an adventurous cap and embracing technology.” I hear you loud and clear Joan Mbugua.
“Patience, your blog post has brought me bad memories. I dated this white boyfriend for four months, online. Finally we agreed to meet at a given restaurant. I looked for that restaurant for almost two hours, all along I was telling him my bus was yet to get to London. I looked for the place until I could no longer walk in my high heels.
Two minutes before I found the restaurant, a message came. It read- “Such a disappointment. I am not interested in these games. Sad it had to end even before it could start.” He blocked me immediately. That is how my Prince Charming dumped me. One year later, I am still single nursing a break-up. Narrated Abebi from Nigeria. Weuh, when I thought I had read it all, this happened.
“I got lost in 2018 and I nearly missed my graduation. I was so late I kept passing the venue but I made it in the nick of time and learnt to follow directions and instincts keenly. In London, you must use both” commented Joan.
“Patience, I am reading your article about London. I am so sorry you felt that way. Please feel free to get in touch next time you are in London,” remarked Alkueny, a Chevener from Angola.
Of all the people who reached out to me, allow me to single out Chevening Cohort 2019. You see, we are about 1800 students from 170 countries spread across the UK. If you have or you are yet to apply for Chevening, there is a question they ask you about your networking skills. It goes like this.
“Chevening is looking for individuals with strong professional relationship building skills, who will engage with the Chevening community and influence and lead others in their chosen profession. Please explain how you build and maintain relationships in a professional capacity, using clear examples of how you currently do this, and outline how you hope to use these skills in the future.”
We all had stories to write. I am grateful for the fact that whatever story you wrote still haunts you. Most of us confirmed we would be part of the Chevening network and we would be there for each other because we are scholars for a year but Cheveners for life. Many of you who reached out to me, offering me a place to stay or offering your newly acquired tour guiding skills, felt the urge to help me because you are a Chevener like me. Thank you for keeping true to your essays, whatever stories you wrote in those essays, may they haunt you, forever. When you see me blogging each week very dedicatedly, it is simply because I promised to do so;
“I hope to revive my blog with my experiences as a Chevening Scholar, which means I have a virtual networking platform to engage with the Chevening community, before, during and after my Chevening experience.”
I am trying, so far so good and I am glad we are all living true to our words. When you put something on paper, it binds you. Cheers to more networks in 2020.
Imagine I will be going back to London at the end of this week. Hahhahaa! Let’s see how it goes 😍😍
See you again next Monday, Inshallah!
#IAmChevening # MyCheveningJourney