Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Charming story about a 23-year-old being convinced to try getting a university degree by his 19-year-old cousin

Derek Owusu telling his story for The Guardian. Here's how it starts:

I wasn’t doing very well and was explaining this to my cousin, who was now my client – we spoke during most of our training sessions to extend his rest periods. It was during one of these interludes that he started going on about the benefits of university and how well he was doing. He was 19 and I was 23. My only thought while he was talking was how smart he must be, and how much I enjoyed talking to people who were at university.

Then he asked me why I didn’t go to uni: “Study exercise science, then you’ll be better than all these dead PTs in here,” he said. No chance, I thought. 


But he was already convinced. Soon after, he arrived at my house with his sister – not unusual, as we always chilled together, though she didn’t usually borrow my laptop for so long. When I asked her what she was doing, she told me she was writing a personal statement. What’s that? “For uni,” she said. “I ain’t going to uni,” I insisted.

Two weeks later, I was putting my things in the back of my cousin’s car, enrolled as a mature student at the University of Bolton, accommodation paid for – all sorted by this 19-year-old who had some delusional faith in what I was going to achieve in higher education. He dropped me off, helped me unpack, and said he’d pick me up when I graduated. He also gave me a Qur’an and a Bible, to bless the room twice.