My pharmacy sojourn

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The memories are weak yet I could recall that I was not decisive on the profession or rather the course to study in the college until the time had come to fill my  JAMB form. I looked as my schoolmates cheerfully talk about their career aspirations, it appeared to be odd in light of the fact that the main desire I had was to be fruitful without any course as a primary concern. My kin and guardians gave ideas: MBBS, Nursing, and Engineering, to skip the story, the ball was left in my court. The choice of my 15-year-old self to study PHARMACY at the University of Ibadan (UI) – is what I term as the sailor of my pharmacy sojourn, it was certainly my first significant choice and I am happy I made it. I wrote the fundamental assessments and I passed splendidly. I got admission in an easy manner, everything fell precisely set up, UI admits based on merit(the justification for why UI stays the first and best, LOL) – and my success isn’t but through Allah.

 

“I can’t give you an authority to pay as you have not reached the specified age for admission”, the admission official told me during my admission clearance. I was frustrated; I was unable to keep down my tears, to be sure, life is a combination of cheerful and miserable moments. However, after certain weeks, I got a call authenticating my qualification; I have been allocated a matriculation number and I proceeded to get my authority to pay.

 

My cherished mother, Iya Omo, as we affectionately called her was euphoric. This beautiful mother packed such countless foodstuffs and arrangements for me that I started to contemplate whether it was food I should focus on in the university. School resumed February 13, 2016- I am as yet stunned at how well I crammed this date-I cried over the course of the night, as the baby girl that I was. 

 

My first year as a pharmacy undergraduate was an exceptionally wonderful one, I was stressed on the least and I additionally had my best academic result. I was fortunate to get a handle on what worked for me early. I went to classes (quite often late yet CBN has space for everybody, dhooor), ate great food well, went to programs, read for a couple of hours with Titi (this darling is the best female graduating mechanical engineering undergraduate, I know stars as well, LOL) and sleep. This equivalent year I met my dearest companion, Habeebah-she would make scrumptious meals for us to eat. Try not to ask me for what valid reason I put on weight after my first year. In case I neglect, this equivalent year was the year I made such countless friends, despite the fact that I was not deliberate about it. A pleasant soulmate experience began when Rahma approached me, grinning so splendidly while expressing the teslim. We became close companions since that moment and I have gained purposeful human connections from this astonishing woman. So, my first year was astounding with insignificant interruptions.

 

The times of corporate wear began -my sophomore year. Senior colleagues and lecturers recounted to us great and terrible stories as inspiration. This time, I needed to accomplish a lot by memorizing and studying, it was genuinely tough for me. Pharmacy school accompanied such countless requirements; time management, studying intelligently and intensively, having occasional group conversations, physically and intellectually upstanding. I desist pressure however I have been of the opinion that whatever genuinely deserve doing ought to be done to my most extreme capacity, my satisfaction lies here. I began my hifdh journey with Haleema, I also began attending madrasah this year, having inspired during the MSSN orientation week that year.

I remember preparing for an exam and I was craving beans, I ate half-cooked beans since I actually had a ton to cover. Haleema snickered at me that she vowed to help me to remember this day on my induction, indeed Allah’s mercy is all-encompassing.

Everything appeared as though I was adjusting flawlessly until an emotional assault struck, my mum pegged out-my hard young lady in the mud-I cried wildly from Ibadan to Otta for her burial, it was disheartening in addition to that, I abhorred the miserable countenances that gazed, I was unable to help it. Without a doubt, I miss her and I wish she remained significantly longer but fate played. To you out there with a mother, attempt to be loyal to her, for death is close yet far. To say I was back with strength is one of the most unexplainable “hard girl” peculiarities Allah has bestowed me with.

I continued in this excellent sojourn; most likely, I did as of then comprehend the system well. I stayed off campus after my second year and I must say,  it opened me up to cohabiting with various personalities. In my third year, I found Akadri or rather, he found me, LOL. We studied together and did amazing things together till date and I’m glad we crossed path. 

During my fourth year, I settled on a solid decision, don’t mind me, decisions are extraordinary tasks for me, so I capitalize on them a lot. I chose to be distinct from the regular pharmacists; I decided not to be the ordinary drug specialist. This decision accompanied a few commitments however having done a risk-benefit ratio computation, I was guaranteed that I settled on the right decision. I did minimal extracurricular. Many a time, the sojourn seemed unbearable; the times of marathon tests and exams, distressing laboratory sessions, report works, presentations. Moreover, it appeared to be charming a few days, the times of understanding the basis of experiments in the pharmaceutical chemistry laboratory, the times of beating high scores in tests, the times of chuckling and gist with friends.

 

One of the wonders of the pharmacy profession lies in its multi-faceted aspects. I have never really fostered a  passion for any of the common areas; community, regulatory, industry, academics, and medical clinic, anyways, I picked hospital pharmacist as a fair one. Not long later, my brother and I had a career conversation where he encouraged me to find a profession that aligns with math, statistics, and pharmacy. Almost certainly, mathematics has always come to me effortlessly (guess whose highest score in the college was in MAT 101? Haha) – and my success isn’t but through Allah. The new task was to find this specialty, how would I push it? My inquiry was unexpectedly answered when I met Pharm Aderinola during my rotation to Informatics, Pharmacy Department, UCH during my industrial training after my fourth year. He gave a splendid insight and quickly I realized this was what I was searching for.

 

The beginning of the end: I reminisce about  Rahma and I laughing at the caption when some of my classmates posted on their WhatsApp statuses in the first week of resuming my fifth and last year. I continued with an imposter syndrome, I was terrified and without a doubt, it was my hardest year. The higher you go in pharmacy school, the harder it becomes. I needed to streamline my extracurricular exercises since I expected to end this sojourn with a distinction, what is worth doing is worth doing well after all. I was the editor-in-Chief of the faculty press and I was not prepared to have some time off from the madrasah so I needed to take a break off from my adventure in the informatics space. I spoke to a few senior colleagues and it was of great assistance.

Undoubtedly, PMSSN UI is one great family I had on campus, I was pleased with every bit of it. In it I found amazing brethren, whom helped in various facets all through my sojourn.  Having served as the sister’s coordinator in my final year taught me a lot, leadership, tolerance, hood, to mention a few. Don’t let me go through the national convention we had in December, 2020 because it will be difficult to end this story. My national wakeel, AbdulHameed should put up some memories about that soonest ( this is a subtle reminder sir).

My story will be incomplete if I fail to mention PANS press, it was an avenue for immense growth for me. Meetings were something I looked forward to. I miss the days of editing articles up till the odd hours of the night. My predecessors up to five years were always available. Pharm Laa, Folarin, Anne Dede, I appreciate you all.

I recall Khadija accentuating the need to pray and be deliberate about the final year project and supervisor. I ended up with Dr. Mrs. Olayinka Kotila of Pharmaceutical Chemistry as my project supervisor. She was for sure an answered supplication, notwithstanding the obstacles encountered in the beginning and during the work; it was without a doubt one of the few exceptional things that interest me in my sojourn. I admired myself completely dawned in my overflowing jilbab topped with a white lab coat, purple nitrile gloves, facial mask, my additional pair of lenses working on my anti-cancer drug-5-fluorouracil in a distinctly clean workspace. I learned accuracy, precision, and tidiness. Research is most certainly a yes for me. Presentation of my thesis on completion was a fulfillment for me, I got adulation from my immediate supervisor, external supervisor, Dr. Olubiyi (a professor of Bioinformatics-a match, right?) and Prof. S.O. Idowu (Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy), it was an extraordinary success for me.

How could I neglect to make reference to my most essential and intriguing course-Principles of Drug Design (PCH 503), the only elective course in Pharmacy school? My question for the examiners during my thesis defense was why this splendid course was made elective; the DEAN even labeled it as the most important course in pharmacy school. This was the course I was genuinely delighted in without pressure, I prepared for the exam with euphoria in my heart altogether. Assuming I got the opportunity of looking into the curriculum, I’d make PCH 503 a mandatory course, that is how significant and value-packed it is.

 

I will not neglect to mention the test and practical sessions we had in the first semester during Ramadan fast. This was the time I was stretched to my limit. My roommate and I will return late in the evening broken down and attempting to decide on what to break the fast with (Covid-19 kept us from the regular iftar dinners we get from the university mosque). We’d eat exceptionally late at night, only to be awakened post-fajr; we missed several sahur that it became normal to fast without it.

 

Presently, most would agree; I came, I saw and I conquered. Alhamdulillah Yah Allah, on this day, one I have most anticipated, I have been inducted into the pharmacy profession with a unique excellence grade, DISTINCTION!! I served in the press and I went to madrasahand my success isn’t but through Allah. Permit me to re-introduce myself. I am Pharmacist Ruqayyah Yetunde Omotosho; MPSN. All praise and adoration are due to Allah for the fruitful sojourn. I’d be an ingrate if I neglect to appreciate the value in the great people that have contributed to this achievement. I appreciate my family, friends, companions, senior partners, colleagues (Fortis 93), lecturers, non-teaching staff, and several other well-wishers. Cheers to a lot more win.

 

GLOSSARY

Hifdh- memorization of the Qur’an 

Teslim -a greeting of peace amongst the Muslims.

Ramadan  -a month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims observe compulsory fasts.

Iftar -a meal taken in the late hours of the day, it denotes the commencement of a day fast.

Sahur – a meal taken in the early hours of the day, it denotes the end of a day fast.

Fajr -sunrise/dawn

Alhamdulillah  -Arabic for “Praise be to Allah”

Madrasah -Islamic school


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  1. Baarakallahu feehi Pharmacist Ruqayyah Omotosho;MPSN
    I’m glad I met you. Yes you came, you saw and you conquered,Alhamdulillah. May Allah grant you success in all endeavours. I pray Allah forgive mum, illuminate her grave and grant her Al-Jannah.
    Congratulations sis

  2. May mum’s soul continue to Rest In Peace. Congratulations pharmacist Ruquayyah, keep making us proud 👍🏾❤️

  3. Barakallahu feehi!
    Tears rolled down my eyes when I was reading through
    It was indeed a journey
    May Allah grant your mum Al janatul fridaus

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