Humans of UD

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Photo by Marquel Plavan.

Charles Obegolu: Senior biology pre-med major from Dallas, Texas.

A typical day in the life of Charles Obegolu goes something like this: classes in the morning, followed by a few hours of work at the University of Dallas health clinic, a workout at the gym from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., track practice afterwards, and finally, working as a personal trainer in the evening. On his days off, he dabbles in fitness modeling. He loves his busy schedule and thrives on back-to-back activity. As a firm believer in the phrase “An idle man is the devil’s workshop,” Obegolu makes an effort to fill every moment with something productive.

When one hears that Obegolu’s family came to the United States from Nigeria in 2010, one might believe that his daily routine would have been vastly different before the move. However, Charles says that his life in Nigeria was similar in many ways to his current life as a UD college student.

“I lived in a busy city in a comfortable home and attended a private school,” Obegolu said. “My parents had good jobs and we lived a very normal life. My family moved to America for the educational opportunities.”

Obegolu’s family moved to Dallas and the assimilation was very natural.

“Nigeria is not like the media presents it to be,” Obegolu said. “If you take a small portion of poverty from any part of the world and exploit it in the media as the majority, any place can look terrible.”

For Charles Obegolu, the main differences between a Nigerian lifestyle and an American lifestyle lie in small details. For example, the price of private school is greater in Nigeria, and technology is not as widely used. He alludes to Anthony Bourdain’s Nigerian installment of “Parts Unknown” to convey some of the Nigerian mindset.

“I don’t like to generalize about groups of people, but from my experience, Bourdain really hit the nail on the head,” Obegolu said. “He shows how Nigerian people really hustle and work hard for what they are able to get. I can relate to that — my parents raised us with a strong work ethic.”

Obegolu’s work ethic greatly lends itself to his busy schedule.

“I don’t like things being handed to me. If I’m going to achieve something, I know it will be by the grace of God and my own efforts.”

As a biology pre-med major and an employee of the UD health clinic for the past four semesters, Obegolu has set himself up for a successful medical career. After graduating, he plans to attend Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica, where he will study for two years in Dominica and then two years in their extension in Florida. After that, he will take the necessary steps toward a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

“My family has lived in London for a year and Egypt for a short time when I was a child,” Obegolu said when asked about his experience with traveling. “And then I went to Rome at UD. I’ve been accustomed to traveling, so I’m open to experiencing other cultures. Wherever my occupation leads me after med school, I am open to following it.”

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