Libya’s education system is as tumultuous as its contemporary turmoil. The numerous alterations that take place in schools and universities are negatively impacting its most impudently unappreciated and underestimated troops; its enthusiastic students.
Following my excessive contemplation on what to study in college, I decided that the Pharmacy faculty was my optimal option, and so I registered (online). Days later, rumors dispersed about entry exams being set up for many departments in the University of Tripoli. That only made sense hence the leakage of the questions with their solutions of the finals during senior year of high school.
I anxiously sat down on the wooden bleachers wondering if I’ll be privileged enough to pass the imminent entry exam and start my college career in what appeared to be a beautiful campus. “I know all of you are thinking about the exam,” empathized a staff member. “But you should know that there won’t be an entry exam for pharmacy students! There will be a personal interview with each of you so that we’ll get to know you individually,” he proclaimed. A breath of relief was shared in the auditorium. They informed us that whoever got interviewed can consider him/her self accepted into the Pre-Pharmacy program.
My lectures initiated on a gorgeous November day. I distinguished my name on a paper that was taped to a wall under the title “Group D”. I, along with two other girls who were apparently in my group, submissively followed a teacher who guided us to the room where our lectures would carry out for the rest of the semester. An astonishing first lecture, Arabic, yielded anticipation for the upcoming classes; the lecturer spoke in an appealing tone and explained thoroughly and explicitly. Moreover, I appreciated the manner in which he incorporated Islamic teachings and verses from the Quran in every lesson as to expand our knowledge of our religion and therefore augment our faith.
Typically, I adjusted to the routinely schedule. I would find myself dozing off during Botany lectures. Skipping the English classes became the norm since I couldn’t tolerate sitting through two hours of English grammar basics, and the teacher kept insisting, “If you want to get out, you can! I don’t give marks for attendance.” A cup of Nescafe on Tuesday mornings was essential so that I could concentrate during the preceding Zoology lecture and the instantaneous Physics lecture after. Statistics was only bearable because the teacher was a math genius and explained the subjects splendidly. Finally, Chemistry rendered a conciliatory ending to the week. On Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, I usually reviewed the topics of the week and/or procrastinated.
I, fortunately, befriended a group of conscientious ladies. We became accustomed to heading down to the shop to buy the “Sheets” for whatever lecture we had that day to stay on track and not lag behind. What was a hindrance to my fellow classmates to me was an auspicious advantage; most of the subjects were in English! Furthermore, the comfortable benches were a stress reliever due to the lovely view they rendered. However, as the temperatures decreased, my favorite studying spot became the “Montada.” Which is a reserved studying area for the students of the faculty; it’s ironically loud, nonetheless I still had some of my best studying sessions there.
In addition, I adapted to the idiosyncrasies of my faculty. Palpably, the gals outnumbered the young men within the Pharmacy department, which meant that less tobacco was smoked in there than the other faculties. Visits to the neighboring department, Medicine, were mandatory by reason of a lacking cafeteria. Succinctly, walking through its corridors bestowed a zealous feeling of persistence.
A false illusion of the reeling exhaustion that would ensue until the day of my last final was given by pictures of the apparent ideal testing hall I saw online early on in the semester! To vanquish my anxiousness, I perpetually recited prayers to God; the boon to my achievements.
Moreover, with each passing day, as I waited through a red light in the agitating traffic, my troubles were belittled when I saw a Syrian child with an aloof look in his eyes selling napkin boxes to drivers. Rage and pity forth came, especially because of the insentient policemen nearby the flagrant child labor who couldn’t even feign sympathy for that oppressed, tenuous boy. I still feel guilty that I’ve done absolutely nothing but provide him with hopeful glances as to aid him out of his tragedy. The advent of the green lights almost always caused a pandemonium.
“Rely on Allah and start your tests” evoked a slight euphoria out of me every time.
Describing those four months as challenging would only be an understatement. In addition, as if to enhance to the injustice that my contemporaries and I were bombarded by, the English teacher insanely made us memorize over 150 medical words and their definitions word for word in an insufficient amount time. I astutely memorized as much as I could knowingly that that would cause more benefit than harm. After all, that was my way of expressing gratefulness towards a free education. However, I had what I would like to call a mini heart attack when I saw that I received an 87% for English class, when I damn well knew that I DEFINETLY did way better than that! Furthermore, I left it all to God to take care of for me like He always does.
Particularly because my class was the first to finish the Pre-Pharmacy program in only a semester instead of the typical year term, it was a semester like no other for all who participated. I hope to achieve something grand out of this privileging experience I’ve been blessed with. Concisely, all praise is to Allah!