A Writer’s Safe Space at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

A Writer’s Safe Space at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Home is and will continue to be important in the lives of people. The definition of home has always varied. Primarily, it is where you live with people you call family, who share the same lineage and blood as you. The meaning of the term family is quite simple; it is people you love and who loves you in return. As humans, we are never entirely confined in a place; we move, travel and seek. It is through this journey that we make for ourselves home with people whom we aren’t necessarily related to by blood, but by something ordinary and just as deep. Being a creative, finding a community is just as important especially if you are new to a place. To find like minds open to conversation and learning can be a bliss. And this is what the students at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka have seen for themselves.

The Writers Community, TWC as it is popularly called started in 2008 and it is an enriching community for writers who wish to learn, be in conversations they would otherwise not have with their fellow students, and mostly, exist as what they are, creatives. The community holds its meeting every Friday, where the Custodian (President), who runs for a session, spearheads the conference. It usually opens with pleasantries, discussions on a particular topic from a previous meeting, and the core of it all, submission of works by any member to be reviewed by everyone.

These honest reviews gear towards making a better writer out of everyone as discussions ensue, questions asked, and the learning wheel is left spinning. In moderating this, the Custodian shares copies of the workaround which will be read by the writer, and later criticized constructively by members who have opinions about the piece. In the acknowledgment that art and creativity are vast, there are no limitations to the kinds of work that can be submitted ranging from poetry, prose, essays, fiction, non-fiction, plays, art or whatever it is your mind comes up. Afterward, the best submissions are compiled and shared with everyone via the TWC boards located in the Faculty of Arts.

Apart from these weekly meetings, the community also organizes workshops where established writers come to teach and equip members. The guest for the last seminar was JK Anowe, a poet. For fun, the community holds its end of the year Discuss Night where members circle a bonfire, eat, drink, play games and of course, read more works. It also partners with other platforms within the school to create readings and performance night which are open to all students. The community is as essential as it is for every writer who wishes to grow and can serve as a solid foundation as it has for its ancestors like Otosirieze Obi-Young, Arizne Ifekandu, Benson David, Ebenezer Agu and many more.


Shade Mary-Ann Olaoye is a final year student of Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.  She is passionate about writing and engages with multiple campus organizations and local societies to reinforce and promote her love of growing into a creative.

Shade makes her debut as a blog intern for That Green Tea.

Follow me on IG: @shade_mary_ann_olaoye

 

5 Things To Know Before Applying To College

5 Things To Know Before Applying To College

5 Things to know

 

*taps mic*

” Mic check, mic check. This is a special announcement to all the people who made the conscious decision to take the college route.”

 

If anyone had told me 10 years ago, I’d be writing a piece about getting into college I would have thrown a bottle…. of invaluable knowledge from this fountain of wisdom! Now for the most part, when I look back, I see how a lot of sidetracks could have been avoided however that’s a story for another day.

College is hard. Hard is relative. You have so many elements and expectations hitting on you because completing college means you’ve made it ( according to the educated class of humans). College is more than academics, it’s a stepping stone to discovering, building and transferring your growth towards a wider audience. College is not a privilege, it’s an opportunity that beckons to many, but few can respond to.

Here are 5 things to know before applying to college, locally and internationally.

 

Grades Matter

Depending on the who, what, when, where, how and most importantly, the WHY you would make the decision to get into college is quickly reflected on how well of precedence you’re setting. I went to a secondary school in Nigeria, and I still believe the process is the same when I tell you this ( especially if you’re going abroad) YOUR👏🏾GRADES👏🏾MATTER. Schools always want to recruit the cream of the crop. The chances of better financial packages are higher. But as we evolve as a civilization, holistic growth and achievements also count that are not always reflected on paper.

College is NOT High School

It isn’t. Let me explain. High school is a controlled environment that is structured to get you into the habit of following through with routines. It coaches you in time management which is going to make or break your ability to actually survive college. Yes, not all school systems are equal regarding available resources to ensure this is successful. However, if you had the opportunity to pass through a system that does enable you to be your best, know that when you get to college, no one is going to monitor your actions but instead will be available in the event you need some form of support. Take full advantage of it.

Campus Visits

Ever seen those campus marketing photos that shows happy college students sitting on a field of green without a care in the world? Issa scam. The internet is designed to give any institution the platform to put their best foot forward. Never believe hearsay about a particular college. This is a considerable investment. Not every school is meant to be on your radar. It is essential to schedule an in-person visit to get a feel for the type of environment you’re going to sacrifice a couple of years to ( that includes empty bank accounts, insomnia and lots of caffeine). Understand that there is no pressure in making an immediate decision. Take your time and see what the best feeling is.

Keep Family in the Loop

It might seem like the perfect opportunity to gain ‘freedom’ from your overprotective parents or guardians ( in some cases, depending on your background that might be what you need but I will talk about that in another blog post). But your family is your ride or die. Everyone who genuinely cares needs to be kept in the loop of your progress so that they can know how to lend their support as you go through this journey. It is not just about you. Your success can impact some other individual who wants to follow the same path, and a healthy relationship can make or break the strength to weather the storms ahead.

Be Prepared or Be Repaired

College is not for everybody (argue with your ancestors). It is a conscious and ongoing effort of self-determination and self-motivation. College is the sandbox that swallows you whole and then decides spits you out without warning. Is it a scary place? Of course, it is, that’s what I have been yapping about on the last 4 points. But the beauty of it is not to prove who’s the smartest or who has the most participation with campus organizations. College is the frontier to make mistakes and to unlearn what you thought life was about. You will meet a diverse community ( this is hoping you go to a college that actually has some diversity, some of them be lying). You will be presented with opportunities to make adult decisions and live with the consequences. Be prepared to grow. Be ready to learn about the world. Or be repaired by failing to understand all the wisdom I have generously given.

 


Fatyma Amadou is a college student, blogger and owns this blog.

Disclaimer: Not part of any college recruiting committee. All commentary is based on personal experience and reflection

5 Mobile Apps You Need For College

5 Mobile Apps You Need For College

Mobile apps for college

The bane of every and I mean EVERY self-respecting college student is remaining attentive. I cannot confidently say I am not a victim of this, given that we are continually being stimulated thus not giving our brains enough time to process and manage one event from another. Technology has given us two distinct options: Use me or Abuse me.

It took a lot of effort and patience to test and try out apps that would keep me aware of how I manage my time without having the FOMO. As we all get older, our priorities are bound to filter through. Here are 5 mobile apps that are staples for everyone trying to be efficient.

 

Forest

 

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Platform: iOS + Android

Price: USD 1.99

You have that test coming up or your eyes hurt, but you lack the willpower to put your device down? Build a forest. We all have that innate desire to be rewarded when setting out to do something, so why not invest in an app that not only encourages you to take a timeout but also participates in real life tree planting around the world?

 

GroupMe

 

groupme

 

Platform: iOS + Android

Price: Free

Forget about trying to communicate with your team members on a group project with facebook messenger or Instagram. It’s not going to work, believe me. There are people outchea with trap phones ( in 2018, there are people outchea with trap phones. Argue with your ancestors).

GroupMe enables all parties to communicate without being distracted and even has an in-built Dropbox feature to help with quick file sharing. One thing I like about this is that you can register with either an email address or phone number (for SMS features).

 

Google Calendar

 

Google-Calendar

 

Platform: iOS + Android

Price: Free

I don’t care how organized  (or not) you were back in high school but believe me when I tell you, COLLEGE IS NOT HIGH SCHOOL. Everything works like clockwork and skipping on something like a class or forgetting to attend a meeting or replying an important email is the beginning of failure.  It’s essential to schedule your entire semester and making sure it is accessible when you need it. One brilliant feature of Google is that most if not all of their products can be synced on multiple platforms. This is a staple. Set up reminders for deadlines especially if you have a full academic year.

 

LinkedIn

 

linkedin

Source: http://www.lynda.com

Platform: iOS + Android

Price: Free

At the end of every Spring semester is an opportunity for an internship. At the end of every college graduation is a prospective job. Most people are absolutely clueless about what they want to do when they’ve really come to terms to adulting. LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to scan through millions of companies and institutions which they are looking for to recruit. Start as early as possible by signing up that way you can at least have a plan on where you want your future to lead you.

 

E-Mail Clients

 

 

 

Platform: iOS + Android

Price: Free

 

Under no circumstance should you NOT ignore emails while school is in session. Depending on what email address you have on record, you’ll almost if not always get emails to your .edu address. Be sure to have it linked to any of your email clients such as Mail on iOS, Outlook provided by Microsoft and Gmail. It also saves you the stress of wondering what your username is ( especially if it’s something from your embarrassing pre-adolescent years) and whether or not it can be used professionally.


Fatyma Amadou is a college student, blogger and owns this blog.

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by the above companies mentioned. This worked for me so basically it’s me ( as usual) helping you 🙂