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How well do you know yourself?

“Tell me more about yourself?” The most asked interview question of all time! In fact, it is the first question you learn how to properly answer when preparing for interviews. Actually, today at KTH during lunch, there was a session at the Academic Resource Centre on how to prepare for interviews. A good resource I must say, as most people are getting ready for interviews for either the master thesis or internships.

Deviating much you might say, right? Back to the topic for the day, in my two and a half decades on earth, I am beginning to realise that this question is always subconsciously asked by friends, colleagues and family. Virtually everyone we have conversations with would draw their opinions of who they think we are – filling up their answers of the unsaid question, “tell me more about yourself?”


Sometimes,  don’t you think the real question should be, ” how well do you know yourself?”  For me, I learn and discover new things about myself every other month! Let me give an example:  In Nigeria, it is a common practice for most students to study until the wee hours of the morning; in fact, it had its own phrase – “doing overnight”. However, in my five years studying mechanical engineering, even when the going got tough, I could not bring myself to do overnight. My friends knew I could never lose my sleep time for anything, and when I mean, anything, it was anything! It was not like I never tried. I could not even stay awake to binge-watch. Errrm, it might be good to mention that late at night meant after midnight. It was almost as if there was a hidden “shutdown” button in my system. Once, it is midnight, everything shuts down till the next morning”.  Deadline or no deadline, I was zero productive and when I tried to push my limits, the opportunity cost was simply shaving off my productivity level, the next day by 80%. Don’t get me wrong, I always acheived all my set tasks. My case was more impressive than I dared to admit then, I understood I had 18 hours instead of 24  and had to maximize it.

Fast forward to my first year at KTH, the impossible became possible. I was not even trying to stay awake. I just found myself functioning round the clock and my 18 hours became 24 hours without being visible that I was functioning on less sleep. Recently, I broke my record by being awake for  28 hours and sleeping for 4 hours after this; the amazing thing is, there was no way to prove that I had little sleep when I was at work the next day.  To make it more interesting, I had absolutely no reason to have been awake that long – no deadlines, no exams (in fact, I love to be well rested before any exam)  just an easy going day. Am I shocked at myself? Absolutely!

 You’re a living being. Allow yourself evolve and enjoy every bit of it                                  

I paraphrased some quote I created to be able to enjoy the seemingly new things I discover about myself. Sometimes, it’s not like you’re trying to change or gain new habits, it just happens. However, as human beings, we also have the free will to curtail these things when they spring up at the beginning. You might ask me, “So why did you not try to keep your old habit?” Maybe because I love this new one better- the freedom to choose how I want to spend my 24 hours as opposed to being constrained to an 18-hour lifestyle.

I would like to end with saying that it is easier to discover new things about yourself when certain things change in your life. For example, moving to a new school environment, changing jobs, starting an internship, the list is endless. So, what is that thing that you would love to try? It might be signing up for an event and ensuring that you participate actively. Whatever it is, give yourself an opportunity to discover more of the potential stored up within you 🙂




2 thoughts on “How well do you know yourself?”

  1. Hi Oluchi, oh what an engaging and beautiful narrative you have and I for one can relate with it, coming from a common background – Nigeria. It is indeed true that the journey of self discovery is a lifetime journey. Sometimes we find ourselves developing new trends of behaviors perhaps to palliate our situation per time. Most times, hefty parameters such as our genetics, upbringing, experiences, abilities, rationale and emotions features in steering us along a particular path. I can’t agree more with you that we must be consciously involved with discovering ourselves and flowing with the current not against it. We don’t really know what we can accomplish until we try and as a prospective student I am stirred up in expectation of the new realities I will discover both within and without.

  2. Well said, Francis, “Sometimes we find ourselves developing new trends of behaviours perhaps to palliate our situation per time”. First, glad that you’re looking forward to being a student here at KTH with a heart set to discover more of the abilities deep within you. Second, thanks for the compliment. Good to know you could relate and also, enjoyed reading the post:)

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