On a bright Wednesday morning, the Chemistry teacher herded us like recalcitrant goats into the Chemistry lab, handed over the second term Chemistry exam sheets and asked each of us to call out our scores, so he could tabulate them. Everyone called the normal numbers; most got Bs and As. When it was my turn, my tongue felt like lead. I walked up to the teacher timidly to complain in the lowest cat meow voice I could muster (so I won’t have to shout out the impossible number).
I got 45%. Never felt more ashamed in my life.
Growing up, I wasn’t a particularly bright kid; but because I was inquisitive, everyone felt I was smart. I could wing my way around; but since I was also supremely lazy, it was mostly misses than hits.
After the unfortunate event in my SS2 (year 5 of high school), I went groveling to my two good friends for help. These guys were freaking smart, not kidding. Femi Gbonjubola was the king of Chemistry and Physics. Femi Olajide lorded over Further Math. They taught me Chemistry like I was a toddler. A few months later, I did my General Certificate of Education (GCE) and got a few As and that was it. Life was made!
So, what was the point of that story and why should you care?
You can’t be better than your friends
Your friends are an indication of what you value, and you can never be better than them. Psychologists and sociologists have done tons of researches on peer pressure and mob action. Everyone knows the company you keep can push you to greatness or infamy.
Friends affect your career and success more than prayers!
Growing up, I was lucky to be friends with people who took pride in challenging themselves to get better grades. That progressive rivalry made everyone to sit up, and it helped.
But then I remembered old schoolmates who didn’t care about grades and just wanted to wear the latest designer labels and shoes. Unfortunately for those old school mates, trying to be the social bee and getting bad grades seem to have strong correlation.
If your friends are the happening types and they network professionally a lot, hanging out with them increases your chance of bumping into a beneficial contact. Some of those serendipitous encounters have transformed lives significantly. Of course, if you have no friends and you hide at home after work every day you may not go far!
On the flip side, if your friends are the laulau type, spending beyond means to impress everyone; raking up debt to buy business class tickets to watch Champions League when bills are crying to be paid, the end is usually not very good.
Ditch your friends, they are no good!
Do you have a friend who seems to have a negative attitude about life? He never sees the good in anything and always talking about how life is unfair, the weather is shitty, Donald Trump is the president of America (wetin concern agbéró with overload?), etc. Dump him, he’s no good!
Is your boyfriend insecure about your progress and always dissuading you from reaching your goals? Is he always preaching the how a woman should behave and must be seen not heard? (Fake preacher). Jilt him! There are too many good guys out there than for you to sacrifice your life to a sorry ass you met just 4 months ago.
If your friend doesn’t know how to save, is always envious of rich folks, loves to put up appearances, borrows money for parties…get LAWMA to take him out of your vicinity. He’s worse than dirt.
If any of your friends or side chicks wear fake designer labels or carries fake designer bags, dump them fast. The inferiority complex will rub on you the wrong way.
If your friends don’t treat their drivers, house helps, office assistants, etc. with respect, run from them. It’s easy to know the values that people carry within them by the way they treat those less fortunate. You don’t know your friends until you have gone through a misfortune or two.
Choose your friends like you choose your underwear
I know some people are annoying, but if they have good values that you admire, choose them as friends or mentors. The positive attitude they impact on you would transform your life.
Pay attention to those who respect others and are considerate. Be close to very ambitious and driven people but want to use only legal means to achieve them.
If your friends love to read and be up to date about their environments, even if you fight, don’t lose them! They are worth more than their weights in gold.
Hang out with those who have self-confidence and let them boost yours as well. Many smart people have lost good opportunities, because they were too self-conscious to seize them.
My friends are my heroes
I wouldn’t be where I’m today, if those two scallywags, Femi and Femi, didn’t teach me Chemistry. It gave me the confidence to tackle the other subjects, and here I’m today, I finally got to be an electrical engineer (don’t ask me to fix your light though, we could both get electrocuted)
Femi Gbonjubola, unfortunately, left us Christmas day of 2002. Femi Olajide, on the other hand, has devoted the rest of his life cleaning dirty teeth and improving public health all over the world.
May you never lack good friends!
Photo Credit: Gaudilab | Dreamstime.com