Life Update: Birthday Anxiety, Rejection Lettersssssss & Japa dreams.

Hey! It’s another life update.

I can’t remember where we stopped as of last time but today, I’m four months into fourth year of medical school. I’m about to finish my first block lectures in pharmacology and pathology, about to write my first test in both, and…. about to turn 20

*deep, heavy existential sigh*

Our Dean agreed to have the remainder of our class lectures over Zoom so, I don’t get as much outside time as I would like to these days. I hate that.

It’s forced me into solitude. I talk to myself… way more frequently than I should. I’m in my head a lot. Thinking about things. Making up alternate realities. Very lockdown-esque, you know?

Today, I had to force myself outside. I went into campus to read and have lunch.

At the refectory, I met this petite, fair skinned girl. She was seated across from me, busy on her grey MacBook, surfing the internet while answering calls with her earphones. Through my eavesdropping, I found out she’s a law student and also a script writer. She loves to watch Anime (girl has about 56 different Animes on her laptop).

She writes reviews of the Animes she watches for a really big website. I’ve forgotten the name but I promise, it’s one of the big ones. I thought it was so cool that her reviews are being published on a big platform. It’s much more than the modest thing I manage to do here on this blog.

I would’ve said hi but it’s never been my style to go beyond observing. So, I didn’t bother starting a conversation.


To other things: my writing career (which is barely existent) is in actual SHAMBLES.

So, I sent in an entry to this magazine recently. This is embarrassing but I will talk about it anyway.

It wasn’t even one of the big ones (the magazine). They do not pay. The bar is pretty low with very high acceptance rates. Almost anyone can get in. And I guess that was what made me think they would accept such a terrible entry. It was a poem actually, so… I was doomed from the start.

I got rejected. Coldly.

That particular rejection would be my fourth consecutive rejection in a very short time period. While that might not seem like a lot to certain people, I put HOURS a day (hours I could’ve been using to study my medical notes), to write and edit those entries.

So, it’s quite painful when weeks later you find that you haven’t acheived anything. You are weeks behind your peers in class. You are depressed. Exhausted. Your brain can’t even string up one coherent sentence because you don’t have the mental energy or capacity. You just make sounds to communicate. All you have to show for that effort and time are rejection letters. Rejection letters!!!!

The rejection, that particular one, as with most, forced me to reflect. Obviously, not on why I got rejected. That didn’t need figuring out: I was desperate and impatient. I found myself reflecting on something else—my upcoming twentieth birthday.

One thing I’ve been telling myself moving into this new decade of life is: I don’t want to waste. my. damn. time.

I can’t afford to waste my time. So, if it really is my dream to become a stellar author at some point in this decade, then I need to get my shit together and focus on that. Cut out all the distractions. Maybe even, cut down on the blogging. Manage to achieve just one thing. And I have to be honest with myself: I am not a poet. I have tried. I have tried . I’m just… not a poet.

I tell stories. I write amazing dialogue that will kill on the screen. I make blog posts about my life and literature. I write terrible reviews nobody wants to read half the time. That is who I am.

Like Igbo, I love poetry, but that is just not the language I express myself best in.

Anyway, school has been fairly stable since my last update. Its been a rat-race, trying to catch up with where the lecturers are. I’ve been devoting the hours to my books in preparation for my first test, even if that translates to just sitting by a desk with my textbooks open. Just recently, I spoke to my Dad about possibly writing the USMLE Step 1. He is on board with whatever decision I make so… it’s until 2022 (when I would’ve been done with pharma and path) that I’ll know for sure.

It’s really difficult to be enthusiastic about medicine or medical school in Nigeria because the sheer stress of it all. But there are some moments every now and then that get me excited. Like, Fridays when we have Microbiology practicals. On Friday, I prepared a culture of Staphylococcus Aureus spp. on Nutrient Agar. On the Friday before that, I performed a Ziehl–Neelsen stain all on my own with a sputum specimen.

I’ve also recently started picking up extracurricular interest in Regenerative medicine… but I doubt you came here to read about all that.

In all, life is uncertain now. I don’t know where I’m headed. And I have nightmares where all of these things I’m juggling just slip through my fingers and crash to the ground and I’m left there standing like an idiot.

I wish I could be like MacBook girl. Lord knows, she looked like she’s got all her shit sorted.

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Amarachi Ike writes from Enugu, where she is currently studying Medicine at the University of Nigeria. She is an essayist, fiction writer, blogger and aspiring author.

One thought on “Life Update: Birthday Anxiety, Rejection Lettersssssss & Japa dreams.”

  1. Dear Amie, Thank you for always being you. As much as you’d want to to be someone else, there’s also someone else out there that secretly admires your personality (oh, well it’s no longer a secret cause the person is me🤦‍♀️) I’m a medical student too(200level though) and I keep hoping that someday I’ll randomly bump into you and have this very interesting conversation with you. Cause most times I read your mails, it makes me realise that I’m just not alone in the kind of person I seem to be and the way I act too. Till then, Thank you✨ Eunice.


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