The Unlearning: How it all began.

I have always prided myself in my learning speed, and the seemingly ready absorbency of my mind, through out my life. If anything, my scores in school tests were all the reason I needed to believe it. I have an elephant’s memory, well, at least most of the time. A notion that has been put to the test; ever since I applied for the Andela cohort 16 earlier this year.

I remember getting the congratulatory e-mail that contained a folder detailing notes I was to read, in order to complete a set of tests for every module in the folder. I smiled confidently, I knew I could do this. “I can do this!” I told myself. It was in the evening when I read that e-mail, and I decided it would be best, if I tackled the tasks the next morning; fresh and well rested…

The next morning came, and with it surprises and challenges, that have continued to challenge my mindset and outlook, on learning and understanding. I realized that I had a whole lot of ground to cover in 3 weeks. Here was a variety of fields I was vaguely familiar with, some not even not familiar with at all, and I was to study and do all of the tests in 3 weeks?

Some part of me felt it was too much of a task to take on, but then, I have an adventurous spirit. I felt that I had this one chance, to actually do three of the things I love; learn, earn and challenge myself in doing something I love.

I thought about some years back when I really wanted to pursue this dream but lacked the resources, and the flirtatious romance, that has been my relationship with technology since my younger years. I knew then, that I would never forgive myself, if I did not take up this opportunity over some minor trivialities. I have put in so much more in things that didn’t mean this much to me, I owed it to myself to give it my best.

So I bought some bundles, found comfortable sitting positions, maximized on my hours; staying up late into the night, creating an optimum environment so I could fully engage in the learning process and at least understand what was happening behind the tests. I readjusted my mental state, opening myself to thinking outside the box, using every resource that was available to me. To better manage my time, I used the tests as guidelines, to the practical tests and wrote notes, to try and grasp some of the theoretical concepts.

Somehow, it worked.

When I got that e-mail invitation for an interview, it felt like I had won a lottery. I told all my friends. I was over the moon!

In that moment, it was enough for me. And in that same moment, I realized that despite all the nagging reservations, the times I almost cried in frustration because nothing was working the way it was supposed to. The times I almost gave up, because I was not understanding any of the examples I had googled online, or I did not even understand what the question was asking of me. The sleepless days and nights. It was all worth it. In that moment, it was the best thing I had ever done for myself in my life, and it felt so good.

When it comes to learning, I have barely scratched the surface. Yet, someone who does not know my background, would think I have some deeper knowledge of these things from the past. All I know is that, I want to know more and keep knowing. This experience has reminded me why I have always loved learning. It reminded me of things I have kept myself from, that really bring the spark into my eye and joy into my life.

If I carry away any thing from this experience, it will be that I learned many things that were new to me, that I am capable of anything; should I set my mind to it, and more importantly, that I can unlearn and learn anything.

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