Tunrie’s Exam Testimony (Part 1)

I always wanted to be a lawyer since as far as I can remember. When I was younger I used to ask so many questions and I still do. So everyone around me would say, you’re going to become a lawyer, and I grew to believe that. I went on to graduate from the University of Surrey, with a first class degree in July 2015, and I must say it was quite a journey getting there. I remember starting my law degree two weeks late because I had just moved from Toronto. I just came in from Toronto so I missed fresher’s week and the introduction week as well, so it’s safe to say I was

I remember hearing all these foreign concepts in class like Westlaw, LexisNexis and being so confused. I didn’t realise what I had to do to write a first class answer until my final year! It took me three years! So first year ended and I had a 2:1, which wasn’t half bad seeing as it didn’t count. Then second year started, now this was real business. Our work was going to count now. So I never missed essay clinic. I went for all of my classes. I’d attend all those extra talks organised by the school of law like ‘how to write a first class answer’ etc. So I’d say by second year, I had an idea of what I needed to do to get a first.

Right before my second year exams, I attended an event organised by the Christian Society in my University. A lady was speaking and she said as children of God, success was our birthright. That we were born to excel in whatever field we found ourselves. Even at University, because of the God within you, a first class degree was your birthright because it was the very best. And as children of God, we were born to do great things not for ourselves but so that all the Glory will be given back to God. I remember hearing this and for the first time deciding that I wanted to make a first class in law and maybe this was actually possible.

Over that summer, I had just gotten my second year grades. Real bummer. 65% what? Who gets a first class with a 65% in their second year? I remember being so sad. I genuinely felt like I had shattered my hopes. I remember praying that day and just saying God, I don’t know what’s going on now but I know You’ve got me. I know I can still do this as long as you’re with me. Though my prayer was sincere, I would be lying if I said I truly believed getting a first was still possible at that point. I thought I had messed up my chances but I was determined to give it my best.

As children of God we were born to do great things. Not for ourselves but so that all glory is given back to God.

The first semester of my final year, I worked harder than I had in my three years of University combined. I hardly slept, most of the time I’d sleep for just five hours. There were times I felt like giving up but I just kept on going. I gave that semester everything I had. Then my first semester results came back, I was praying for all firsts in all my four courses. Instead, I had only two firsts, not just that, my average that year was 68% and I needed a 72% average. I had only gone 3% higher even if I had worked ten times harder. I remember being so confused! What was I doing wrong? Then I did the math. I had only one semester left of University, now I needed a 76% average in my final (second) semester if I still wanted to graduate with a First Class. Now let me break this down for you; a First Class in Law wasn’t something you just stumbled across, it was like a unicorn, very rare/impossible. When I was aiming for a 72% average, I’ll confess I was overreaching, but now, a 76%?! Who was I kidding? Reality suddenly started to sink in, I was never going to have a first class degree. I was really sad about it.

After a while, I finally accepted my fate and then my second and final semester started. My plan was to work hard and maintain a 2:1. Then from nowhere, two months towards the end of my degree, I felt this huge bout of discouragement. I had no idea where that came from but I know that I felt like giving up on my degree. I had come so close but yet I felt so much fear. I felt the kind of fear that even stopped me from reading. I had zero motivation to do anything school related. I didn’t study for weeks. At a point, I started having thoughts like, “what if I fail” or “what if I don’t even graduate.” I went from trying to maintain a 2:1 to thinking I was going to fail my degree entirely. Now I know that, that was the lie of the devil. I decided to speak to my mum and my close friends about it and they showered me with words of encouragement, especially my mum. My mum told me that I had two more months and I was almost there and I should just keep on going.  After speaking to my mum and my close friends, they gave me so much strength, and that phase came to an end. Did all my fears disappear completely? No they didn’t. But in life, I have learnt that courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to face your fears. It is the ability to act in spite of your fears. So I started working hard again and I made a decision, that this wasn’t going to be a story of how I tried and failed, but it was going to be a story of how I tried and I succeeded.

Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to face your fears and act in spite of them.

While at University, I attended the Hillsong Church in Guildford. One day after the service, I was speaking to a friend, I told him I wanted to get a first class before, but I needed a 76% average and it was law so it was impossible to get. And his response baffled me, he said “you’ll get it!” I was like what?! He was so sure! In my mind I’m like, you don’t know me! You don’t know my life! You don’t know what I’ve been through!! What do you mean I’ll get it?! He said, “because with man all things are impossible, but with God all things are possible.” He repeated it again, he said “you’ll get it.” I was like “you don’t get it, I worked my butt off in my first semester, I didn’t even believe I could work like that and I got a 68%, now I need a 76% which is almost a 10% jump, it’s not possible to work harder than I have already. I’m telling you there’s nothing I can do right now.” He said “who said you have to work harder?” He said “you’ve done the hard work already, what you need now is the faith work.”

I went back home that day, thinking ‘faith work’ what does that mean? At this point, the final semester of my final year was coming to a close. With the Easter break in a couple of weeks, I made a plan of how I would be productive over the holidays. I was deceiving myself! The Easter break came to an end and I had barely reached half of my goals. I wanted to tear my study plan because I was so disappointed in myself. That weekend was Hillsong’s annual Colour Conference at Wembley arena. I wanted to go, but it was a three day conference, and I hadn’t been productive at all that Easter, so I was like, this is my last chance to be productive, why would I spend it at some women’s conference all the way in London. But for some reason, I felt like I was meant to go for it, so I did.

The story continues…check out part 2 here!

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