year in review 2018 Paperturn - Page 81



2018: A YEAR IN REVIEW | STUDENTS
hectic. I had to come back. I had to
catch up.”
So Mbadaliga wrote his tests.
“They didn’t go well at all. I failed
three and passed one ... something
that had never happened in my life.
I was falling into depression.”
To make matters worse, he was
struggling to pay his fees. Fortunately
the company that had sponsored his
initial years of study agreed to finance
him for the remainder of his degree.
With 2017 the year that almost broke
him, he could easily have given up.
“But here I am, still standing and still
pushing.”
In 2018, when this article was written,
he was pursuing his Postgraduate
Diploma in Accounting, before starting
his articles on his journey towards
qualifying as a chartered accountant.
“I have an obligation to my late
father, to make him proud,” he said.
“There are people that are facing
greater challenges, but I would like
them to use my story as a source of
hope and encouragement.
“I think it’s important for those
around them to reach out to them,
because we have a tendency to say, ‘If
you need anything, just shout.’ Some
people never shout. When you’re
going through things, you never shout.
You think that everything’s fine.
“So it’s very important to have
a support structure and for the people
around you to reach out to you.
“Mental health issues at university
are serious ... It is extremely important
to check up on your peers, as you may
be their last hope.”
that, one of his closest friends also
lost her life.
“I was at the lowest point of my life.
My friend passed away on the Friday,
and on the Monday I had test week –
four tests in a row. So for me it was,
like, ‘How am I even going to deal
with this?’ ”
Mbadaliga was unable to attend his
brother-in-law’s and friend’s funerals.
“I just couldn’t fall behind anymore.
Two weeks of work in final year is
79

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