Duinesig’ golden girl soaring to higher heights

Shoulder

13 April 2019 | Education

Leandrea Louw

Tuilika Andreas (19) is the true epitome of a living inspiration and youth leader. Making waves since the start of her school career there is no stopping her anytime soon. During her grade 10 year she was the top performer in the Erongo region and in her grade 12 year she was the second best top performer in the region, in the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate Higher Level Examinations. She was also given the most prestigious award at school; Dux Learner, during her grade 12 year. Aside from her excellent academic record, she has served on the Junior Erongo Regional Council, advocating for youth related issues and had the opportunity to travel to the United States of America to participate in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program. Currently, she is a first year biomedical engineering student at the University of Namibia.

Here is her story, in her owns words, on how to work towards achieving your dreams.

“This is a story of a vision that drove a mission, a dream that was crushed but rebuilt and a hope that prevailed throughout. This is my story of the humbling life that awaits us all as we say our goodbyes during the valedictory ceremony and the doors of high school close. It was all outlined perfectly in my head. Unfortunately, it took a plot twist that taught me so many valuable life lessons.

Leaving High school, I completed with outstanding grades and a great reputation. Towards the end of grade 12, I realized that there is a bigger world filled with all kinds of decisions awaiting me. Having participated in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) and being a youth leader, I was exposed to a wide range of study opportunities that I felt suited me, however, my mind was set on medical school. Initially, I hoped to study in South Africa, University of Cape Town to be precise, but I was unfortunately too late for the application process. Because of this, I learned the importance of being alert and vocal about my vision as I have let an opportunity pass. I later heard of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation from one of my mother- figures at school, Mrs Galant, but sadly, it did not fund studies related to medicine. I contemplated on the matter and after thorough thought; I realized that medical school was still not a guarantee even though it was where my mind was set. I have chosen not to be narrow-minded but rather try all available stakes. So I applied and secured myself a bursary, majoring in Biomedical Engineering, not something I was ready to devote my life to.

High school is a disguised comfort zone. Being in high school, we rely on our parents and teachers’ efforts. We neglect the fact that after high school, things are going to be different. If you are a visionary like me, and see yourself prospering and studying what you are destined to, it should be hitting you now that you only have a couple of months left before you say adios to your closest beloveds. To avoid welcoming the doom of settling in your parents’ house for the next two to three NAMCOL and factory working years, it is about time you look into the matter and start setting your goals straight. Someone might argue that the reason for so many learners not admitted into university after high school is the lack of opportunities. Wrong. It is the direct consequence of negligence. Not everyone is privileged enough to have internet access at home, but everyone is blessed with the library, but miserably trapped by WhatsApp status updates.

My passion for medical school (UNAM) was still alive and well, so I decided to apply with my August results. My anticipation for the pre-acceptance letter was torturing. That is all I thought about. Exactly on the 19th of Septemer 2018, I got the “unfortunately you did not meet the necessary admission requirements” letter. It hit me like a bombshell. Everything hurt. It was a form of physical and emotional pain that caused a wave of depression and uncertainty of the future.

Rejection and failure are two things that do not sit well with visionaries. I do not know how much I should stress this but it is meant to create a bounce-back effect. It is supposed to give you more fire to do even better than you have ever did. It is supposed to fuel you up so much that no one will be able to comprehend the results you will produce. The most important thing is understanding that it is not selective. It jumps up on everyone. It does not understand rich, black, white or prestige. It only understands weakness, and where it sees weakness, that is where it settles.

Personally, I do not believe in failure. I know it exists and that it happens, but I do not accept the fact that anyone should conform to it. I believe that everyone has the potential to pass. I understand that most of us decide to allow our awful circumstances and battles with ourselves to overshadow our vison, but I also understand that we have the ability to tell them, “look here you, and move aside, my future is calling me”. If you believe that your future is at risk of all the decisions you make now, then there is no way you can mess this up.

As a result, I bounced back. I performed so well that medical school had no reason not to accept me. The process of the immediate life after school is different for everyone depending on what they desire to be and do. So, do not expect it to be exactly like mine. You might face financial issues, indecisiveness and pressure from family and friends to do something your heart is not set on. Nonetheless, the main determining factor is definitely those “hard earned” results you see in the newspaper at the end of your school career. The key behind it is simply to make up your mind as early as possible. In your free time, do research about what you would like to study. Attend career fairs. Talk to people. The biggest mistake you can make is to isolate yourself from the world, locking yourself up and burying yourself in the books. Yes, you must study as much you can, effectively of course, but you need to keep the vision alive. You need to know why you are doing it.

Lastly, this is meant to communicate to you that the life you are so hopeful for is not a just a fiction of your imagination. It is a real life accomplishment you can attain within the next few months. In case nobody has ever told you, you should believe in your abilities first before you expect anyone else to do so. In the same vein, always remember that when attitude outdistance ability, even the impossible becomes possible.”

We wish you nothing but success and may your light always touch and inspire those around you! Good luck!

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