#GSBCampusSeries: Chisom Muojindu Fell in Love With the City of Jos Despite its Intense Cold
Editor’s note: For 3 months, we’ve been accepting and publishing students’ experiences on Nigerian campuses through the #GSBCampusSeries. Beyond the four walls of the classrooms, so many things happen on campus, and our goal is to document the various aspects of this phase. The Grace Smarts Blog Campus stories are exploring academics, finances, love, school anxiety, mental wellness, relationships, and everything in between.
For our last episode, we feature Chisom Muojindu who shares how she grew to love Jos despite the city’s intense cold and nonstop rainfall. Enjoy!
I arrived in Jos at the beginning of October 2020 for the clinical portion of my medical training because my school’s teaching hospital or clinical campus is located in Jos. If you asked me what I thought about Jos before I got here, I would tell you about bombs, pogroms and terrorism.
The first three months weren’t so great as my body struggled to acclimatise to the weather. But it’s a city that grows on you unexpectedly. Like many old towns, it has a marvellous charm. The first thing I noticed was how everybody greets everyone. Even older people who should ordinarily be greeted do the greeting first.
And the people are very cheery and felicitous. By the end of October, they already started talking about Christmas and Christmas decorations. By the first day of December, Christmas jingles started playing on one radio station every day till January. At first, it used to be exasperating because it woke me up but I grew to love it. It made me begin to appreciate the Christmas holiday more.
Jos is an affordable city; transport, rent and food are affordable. Although it’s a general rule that northern cities are cheap, experiencing it was bliss. There’s light for at least 18 hours out of 24 hours.
There’s also the slower pace of life. It’s a very sleepy town and I liken it to Enugu in this way. Sleepy because markets and other places don’t open before 9. It’s so different from Abuja where everyone is up and moving by 6 or 7 a.m. already. When I first arrived, I attributed it to the laziness of its residents, but a friend who has lived here all her life said the cold makes it much more difficult to begin the day early.
The cold! That’s another thing I grew to love. Temperatures get as low as 9 degrees, especially in late December and early January. Reading becomes difficult, of course, but I would rather bear cold than heat. Because it’s very cold here, the dry season isn’t as intense. Sure it’s hot too, but never as hot as Abuja or Nasarawa. My colleagues and I like to joke that it’s preparing us for abroad living. And when it rains, it pours unexpectedly – a sunny day can quickly turn into a heavy downpour
Importantly, I think I became an adult in Jos. I don’t know if it’s because of the different rules of campus life here or the way the clinical aspect of medical training is, I just know actual adulting started for me when I came here. For good or bad, a lot of the views and lessons I’ve had as a burgeoning adult happened here. It’s why the city will always be dear to me.
For instance, I now know that I don’t want to live in big cities for very long periods. I prefer older, smaller towns. I always thought that I would live in Abuja after school but that has changed. When I am in Abuja, I miss Jos but when I am in Jos, I don’t miss Abuja nearly as much. My life plans have changed monumentally and Abuja no longer fits into those plans. I have spent 10 months out of 12 in Jos so it’s more of a home, but I think it would still be the same even if I spent fewer months.
So, yes, I have grown to love this city of old buildings, unexpected rain and warm strangers. I am grateful to have lived here, and I hope writing about my experience encourages someone to experience Jos too.