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Academic carryovers, guilt and cologne have something in common. They all have a certain smell. The first two have pungent smells while cologne has a sweet-smelling fragrance, it could be vanilla, oceanic, floral or even oriental.

The interesting part about them is that the extent which this smell last depends on the individual wearing it.

I am a proud 90's baby. I am one of the lucky millennials who happen to be enjoying the beauty of social media. I know a place where everyone is perfect, where everyone has no worries and that's on social media.

Lately, a young friend had reached out to me lamenting on how she was a failure because she had gotten a carryover. She is an undergraduate in one of our Nigerian higher institutions. She further stated that she felt less ashamed of telling me because of how I relate to her.

I listened intently and at the end of her narration, I was just staring at her, Perhaps she was waiting for a backlash.

"I had three carryovers in my first semester in school and I am not dead yet,"  I said to her with a smile. She could not believe it but that was the truth. It was not an attempt to make her feel good. It was nothing but the truth.

I had gotten admitted into school just a few weeks to the first semester exams in school. There was so much to read, so much to understand, too many laboratory practicals to catch up with ... all thanks to the Nigerian 'beautiful' academic system of admission.

After my first year, I checked my results. I had bagged three carryovers in three (4unit) courses.  I had to rethink if I really wanted to be in school or just go back home. One thing was certain, I had to go an extra mile. I took the path to travel the extra mile and gained reasons to still raise my head high when I show up at interviews after I had left school.

That experience didn't dim my light or break me. It made me stronger than I could have ever been. I realised that I had to show up for myself always.

Similarly, people go through experiences that leave them silently dying in shame and guilt because they may have dabbled into circumstances that they are not so proud of. Almost everyone has been there.

The fact is unpleasant situations will occcur. Screaming "Holy Ghost fire or Back to Sender" has got nothing on this.  The most important part is ... Did it break you? Did it make you feel guilty even after you have turned a new leaf? Did it define you as a person?

If your answer is YES then you need stop punishing yourself.

Carryovers and guilt are not like Aunty Taiwo, they don't SMELL NICE or look as beautiful as a golden neckpiece. Kindly dump those foul-smelling things in the bin and give yourself another opportunity.

Your life is a book and you can turn new pages whenever you want.

Stick to your new resolutions, You are in charge.  


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