A Robert H. Schuller's quote says “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.”

This is a true life experience of a friend; I therefore will like to be as discreet as possible in hiding the identity of the individual without compromising the lessons in it.


It did not take much time during our first semester in the university before people had aligned to form friendship. Though my friendship cuts across the existing classes, yet some were clearly closer to me than the others. The main character in this post was one of those that were closed to me.

Right from our first semester examinations in the school, some of us had started having carryovers, the situation that affected me and the friend that I am writing this about.

By the time we got to the first semester of part four, the accumulated carryovers of my friend for last three second semesters had been more than 15 units and this seriously affected his CGP.

Towards the end of our first semester in part four, a directive came from the University, which stated that any part-four student, with more than fifteen units second semester carryovers should not proceed on the Industrial Training in next semester but should stay back in the school to register and write exams for the courses.

Having seen the directive on the departmental notice board, the friend visited me for advice and I told him that the best he could do was to abide by the directive of the school but he insisted that he would be proceeding on IT for the following two reasons stated:

i. That going on IT would allow him time to do some menial jobs that would help him to raise funds for the part five academic sessions.

ii. That going on IT would make him qualified for the #15,000 IT fund, which would be an additional income for him on resumption.

He eventually proceeded on IT but when the school resumed for the first semester of part-five session, he was considered by the school to have spent the IT period in school and to have failed again those second semester courses; this brought his CGP below the required minimum of 1.00, and he was subsequently withdrawn from the University. Five years efforts plus the financial investments were brought to null!


I was in my off campus hostel room in the afternoon of same day when my friend entered. He was followed by heavy odours of intoxicants that he had evidently taken. I could see in him, a man who had lost both the confidence in himself and also interest in life. I asked him to sit but he replied "NO". He said that he had only visited to appreciate me for all the help I had offered him through the years we had been together in the department; he furthered that it would amount to ingratitude on his part, should he die without thanking me for my kindness to him, so he came to bide me farewell.

Though I was seriously disturbed seeing him in such unusual mood and more disturbing listening to his suicide suggestive statements, yet I kept calm and allowed him to finish pouring his mind.

I asked what the problem was after he had finished speaking. He then told me that his hope of becoming somebody in life had gone with his withdrawal from the university and that he was going to commit suicide after leaving me.

I was of the thought that God pushed him to me before he could do the suicide, so that I could dissuade him from the evil thoughts. I then implored him to sit, so that I can share some words with him and he sat.


I asked the specific things he had hoped to achieve with his supposed university certificate, which looked no longer possible for him with the present situation. His reply was that he had hoped to secure a job that would make him financially successful, so that he, as the firstborn of his parents would be able to care for his mom and the siblings since the father is late, and that the hope had gone with his withdrawal. I then asked if he had thought of the effects that his death would have on his mom and siblings. The question to which he was silent. I asked, if his death would provide for the needs of his mom and siblings that he had wished to meet and he replied “NO”. I queried further, if the emotional pains that his mom and siblings would go through as a result of his demise would be his wish and he equally replied “NO”.

I asked, if he was still interested in suicide and to my joy, he replied "NO".

I at the end asked him, if he could tell me the universities that Bill Gates and some other globally and nationally recognized billionaires in dollars graduated from and he responded that those he knew about among them never graduated from any university, I then told him that if those people could become wealthy without university certificates, then his financial success is never attached to any certificate but to the grace of God and his readiness to exert self.

I then suggested that the next thing was for us to reason together and find solution to the just identified problem.


I asked what he thought that we could shift attention to as the solution and he replied that he would be on the lookout for a government recruit exercise to apply for job. I asked if he knew anybody that could help him in securing such, (since that might not be easy without connection), the thought immediately occurred to me not to speak in a manner that will remove the ray of hope that he just got, so that I do not end up destroying the success I had made in dissuading him.  I told him to keep me updated and to count on my support wherever I could.

Since then, we kept constant contact until the day he called to tell me that he needed money for the purpose to apply for a certain job online, which I sent without delay. Months after, he called to tell me that his application was successful and was asked to report for training and I equally supported him as requested by him.

We were still in contact until I could not reach him via call again despite the fact that I tried his number several times, so I was scared he might have out of frustration ended up doing the suicide.


I kept trying his number still until it went through one Saturday morning. I was so excited but since I did not have much airtime on my phone, I ended the call and was hurriedly going out to buy airtime when he called. I rejected the call because I was always the one calling him since the beginning of this whole issue. He would only beep my number and expected me to call, so I thought that the situation was still same.

He called back immediately, so I decided to pick his call with the intention to tell him to allow me time to buy airtime. As I was telling him to give me time to buy airtime to call him back, his reply was “No bros, let’s keep talking.”

I then inquired to about the reason his phone was off for a long time to which he responded in a voice filled with feelings of joy saying “Bros, help me thank God. My number was off because I sold my phone when I needed money to feed while I kept my SIM card. We ended our training yesterday and we were paid our training allowance, so I bought a new phone.”

The character, whose challenge is being discussed here, had gone back to university to obtain the certificate that he so desired, after being employed to a job that allows him to care for the people close to his heart.

This is simply how a seemly “hopeless” situation turned out a blessing in disguise, as he is currently doing fine than some of us who graduated then.

Two years ago, it was said in our graduating class WhatsApp group that one of our set members, who had been out of job, was in need of financial assistance. I informed him about it via phone call. He contributed the highest to the fund and equally sent me a certain sum for me to contribute in my name.

Had it been that he had gone six feet below the mother earth, would he had lived to turn the situation around?

No matter what, there is still hope for the living.