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It has been said that life can never be carried out and truly lived to its fullest unless there has been some sort of suffering and pain. Mistakes are to be learned from, and a hard past can only result in a stronger present. Though many might find themselves alone in their misery the truth is they are not, everyone has struggles. We all have our ups and downs, but it is how we react to them that truly matters. Life is life and no matter what, giving up on lifelong dreams and aspirations because of a few bumps in the road should never be an option.

The best way to reach your dreams and hopes is to work to achieve them, to change them to reality and never give up in any situation. “Never Give Up” means keep trying and never stop working for your goals. It also means regarding failure as nothing but the first step towards success.

It is not just celebrities that can overcome a troubled past and live up to their potential. It is also people just like us.

The next two sections of this book are about how I overcame challenges in my academic and career life. I hope the lessons that I learnt would help you achieve victory in whatever situation that comes your way.


How I Got To Russia

family photo at airport in 2015

I finished high school in June 2014 (best student of the year in my high school GBHS Bamenda).

Enrolled into the university of Buea where I studied Telecommunications for a year and in October 2015 traveled to Russia as a scholarship student cosponsored by Cameroon and Russian governments. Before I could start studying software engineering (bachelor’s degree program), like every other foreign student, I had to go through a preparatory course for one year. It was quite a challenging experience but my performance was excellent and exceptional.

Start of Bachelor’s Degree

enrolment day 31-08-2016

In September 2016 my main study program started. The very first lesson took place in a big capacity hall and I was the only foreign student, every other student was either Russian or a from former Soviet Union country, meaning everyone could speak Russian language perfectly, so they had no language or sociocultural barrier.

When the semester came to an end in January 2017, I ended up with an A grade, a few B grades and a C. This was a new low for me. Ya I can hear you saying “like seriously?…” Some people get all C grades and they are very excited. Ya but you have to understand that from primary school I have always been a straight A learner, so having such marks was like failing. Believe me it is very hard to handle failure when all you have always known is success. I looked for something to do that could distract my mind and I found some nice movies. This was the beginning of a terrible season that lasted longer than you could imagine. But there is good news at the end so let’s continue.

From February 2017 I became used to watching serial movies. If I had difficult lessons during the day in school, just know that in the evening it’s movies all the way. Mind you that I don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke and definitely don’t go to clubs so playing football and watching movies were all I could do for fun. And this is how my tv watching hobby became an addiction. Watching movies is not a bad thing to do of course. It only becomes bad when one spends almost all day on the screen. Like in my case there was a point where I even stopped attending classes, chatting with friends, and instead spent basically all day in bed streaming one episode after another.

I Almost Got Dismissed

second year end of first semester results – Jan 2019

The laziness continued in the second academic year and the moment I knew things had gone out of control was when my name was on the list of students who might be dismissed for poor academic performance. I went to foreign students counselor Mr. Dmitri for advice on what to do. He advised me to apply for an academic leave, which I did and in September 2018 I re-enrolled in the second year. This meant that I would have to graduate a year later because of having to repeat the second year.

I became a serious student again but just for a short while though, that is from September to November 2018. In December when it was snowing everywhere, I went back to my old habit of not wanting to go out. I began feeling lonely because of not chatting with anyone, not even my family. My dad, uncle and close friends tried calling but I just didn’t feel like answering their calls. And so I was in total depression for two month that is December 2018 – January 2019.

“the opposite of connection is addiction”

I ended up having a lot of reset courses. This meant that I had to double my efforts in school because I was kind of studying the workload of two semesters in one. I thought of giving up at one point you know but my friends advised me not to. So I made a plan of how I am going to close all the courses I am owing. With discipline and determination, I managed to write all these exams and finished the semester with a clean slate. If you are in similar situation, then giving up is not an option

“you can still make it, if you mean it”

— Kum Kenneth

By September 2019, another academic year began. This is now year three. I studied normally right up to mid November. Became lazy again and By winter ( December ), I was again under depression. This period lasted till the end of January 2020. Let me mention that throughout this depression season, close friends kept advising and encouraging me to wake up and think about my life and what effect this lazy attitude might have on my future. I tried to listen to them and promised to change but things kept getting bad. There was a point where I even thought of returning to Cameroon without even completing the bachelor degree program. But thank God for friends and family members who advised me to push through to the end. They reminded me that I had come a long way to give up. They also reminded me that giving up is not an option for me nor is it for anybody.

So by February 2020 I decided to change for good and I made up my mind to become the best student again. And as the saying goes, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, the same was true for me. I found a YouTube video that changed everything for me. The video was titled “The Secrets of Productivity” by Joshua Selman. One of these secrets is “healthy exposure” – meaning access to valuable information. That is to say, you can only become productive in a certain area only when you obtain high quality information that is necessary to produce results in that area. And this changed everything for me academically. So if there was something I really wanted to learn, a programming language for example, I made sure to buy good courses that could help me learn the language better and faster. If there was a subject in school that proved to be difficult, I made sure to do all I could to get access to quality material for that subject even if meant hiring a private tutor.

This principle of Healthy Exposure helped me throughout the semester and I succeeded to finish my third year with better grades than previous academic years and this was just the beginning of my restoration season

Best Student of the Semester

fourth year end of first semester results – Jan 2021

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