" Failing does not define you, but your actions afterwards. You either stay down or you come up above it". Opeyemi A.

Can we know you?

My name is Opeyemi Alalade. I am a clinical physiologist as well as a writer. I believe I have a bright personality and I am a lovable person.

It is a pleasure meeting you then. How do you feel today?

I feel blessed and lucky to be alive. I feel good.

So, how was it for you, failing an exam?

I grew up in a family where you have to be good academically. It was a pure shock for me when I received my 30Ol first-semesterresult. I was looking at an "F" in a course that I prepared well for. All that was running through my mind that day was whether it was a prank or a mistake. It can't be happening, there was no way I would have failed. My hands were shaking and my heart was beating very fast. The tears were almost dropping from my face but I held themin. I was never going to break down in front of my classmates. I got home and everything dawned on me that I had failed. I got to my hostel and cried my heart out. It felt like my world was crashingdown.

The term for failing a course in my school is "carry-over". I had a carry-over. Carrying over a course in school was my greatest fear and what I have feared, came upon me. How would I resit for theexam with my juniors and I would be known as the girl who has acarry-over?

I had heard the news about people carrying over a course. The news in circulation was that when you fail a course, it would be very hard for you to pass it when you write it again. What was running through my mind was that perhaps I might not graduate. I might have to carry the course over to 500l and also, I would not be able to graduate with my classmates. I was anxious, tensed, and frustrated. I was feeling everything all at once.

During the period of waiting to sit for the course again, my happiness was not true. I felt that a person with carry-over should not be happy as compared to someone without. My smile was not heartfelt, the burden of the exams was on my shoulders throughout. I didn't inform them at home because I did not want them to know that they gave birth to a failure as a daughter. I know that if I had told them, they would have supported me but I just couldn't.

Having fun felt like the wrong thing to do, I always feel guilty having fun with my friends.

How did you get through that period?

This went on for a while till I decided in my mind that feeling shame and guilt for failing would never help me. it is either I take all the necessary measures to prepare very well for another exam or I don't do much. It took me a lot of courage and pep talk to walk up to a junior and ask about the materials for the course. Whatever the person sees me as is none of my business. It is my life, not theirs. Iam the one that needs help.

So I was in constant communication with the junior that we will be taking the course together, I read and came in for the exam and with the help of God, I passed with a beautiful 'B". To be honest, I was expecting a 'D' or "E" because that was the highest grade I heard that people who resit for courses get.

Seeing that I passed created something new in me. I learnt that I keep trying till I get it. It might not work out the first time, you just have to put in your best and try again.

I did pass!!

I did graduate!!

I am not a failure!!!

The support I received from my friends also helped me. It lessened my shame when I felt that they didn't judge me and also becausethey didn't stop being my friends because I failed.

What would be your advice to anyone going through something like this?

One thing I always say is that you might not have control over the result you get, but you do have control over your next action. The deed is done, what are you doing next? I won't lie failing might hurt you, you might feel ashamed or disgraced, please don't let it swallow you. Give your best and it will work out. Peace!!!

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