How to ask questions.

You’re 20 years old and you have separated yourself from the “childish" pack. You have convinced yourself that thinking about your future at that time was absolutely the ultimate. After all, teenagers were already setting world records, you certainly wouldn’t be the first or last 20 year old female to think about her future already. Academically, you set the bar at Master’s and PhD, convincing yourself that you needed the advanced knowledge to be who you want to be. Titles inclusive.

You start making dates with scholarship sites because you know that finance is an unspoken enemy in your household and woe betide anything that stands in your way of this shaped future — Master’s at 22, PhD at 24. You read that the amount of scholarship you want chiseled off your tuition is easier for first class students, so you set the bar again, this time too high for your average past.

You finish your undergraduate program and find out that your GPA is just a few meters away from a first class, so you’re pretty sad and in seconds, start feeling like Moses did with Canaan. You convince yourself again that your plan could still work and you start applying even when you knew that the people inside Canaan will be considered first before the ones outside it.

As expected, the schools certainly think your grades are attractive enough for admission, but not funding. Some were even generous enough to give you 15.4% off. You can’t blame them, can you? What’s left off your tuition alone is only N 4,283,343 out of N 5,062,538.15; surely you should be grateful!

The questions haven’t started yet.

Of course, friends and family encourage you to keep on keeping on, citing histories of their own and reminding you of how young you are and how “there’s still time”. You do. Keep on keeping on. Till time passes you by with a smirk and you realize that even though no one really cared about Master’s anymore, you were still trying it out and the one obstacle was finance.

The questions still haven’t started yet.

So your family stands up. Offers to join hands and pay this time. All you needed was the initial fire and your magic grades. Scholarships didn’t matter much anymore no matter how small. They were going to pay. So you apply. First, it takes the school 4 months to “review” your application. Then it takes another month and you’re wondering if you submitted complicated documents. Then you remember you applied the day the portal opened (as you had waited 8 months for it), so your application should be among the first 1% to be reviewed.

Then in one hour, after sending an email about your application status, the program coordinator that never replied to any one of your past emails suddenly types a four -line rejection email from her iPhone. You aren’t even that important to be sent an email from a desktop. Such hurt. The words first hit your heart before they hit your eyes. You wonder why you had to wait this long for a 2 seconds read in form of an email.

You start asking questions.

Was your portfolio bad?

Should you have shown it to more people before putting it in your application?

Did the program director think you were rude with your email?

Had they actually made a decision and your name hadn’t made the cut?

You thought they were going to help you get better in writing. Did they want already established writers?

Were you too forward with your questions?

Did you really apply to this one school, thinking they’d take you?

Was it your undergrad course? That had to be it.

Did your statement of purpose not communicate your purpose enough?

Did everyone in the department hate you?

You must be the worst person to want to get a Master’s degree because obviously something keeps standing in your way

What exactly had you done wrong to this Master’s?

Did your references write a bad reference?

Or maybe you shouldn’t apply to foreign schools again?

You continue with the questions, even the ones you can’t spit out. Then you realize you really shouldn’t spend time staying in that job everyone’s been advising you not to leave. What’s the point?

5 years after and you still haven’t even started any class for Master’s and here you are, growing old in hope. That’s even something you wanted to do.

What was the point staying where you were simply wasting your time enough to keep being sad for God knows how long?