Dear new and returning students of the university of Ibadan, just being a student of this premier citadel of learning, ‘uites’ – as many would preferred to be called, is not enough to become an ideal and outstanding undergraduate student of this great institution. There are many and more things to make your journey through this citadel an eventful one. There are spices you can add to make your stay sensational and monumental.
To begin with, by default, you should know by now, as a student, your academic remains your sacred and primary assignment, and every other thing else follows behind its progress. A time spent unwisely outside this scope is synonymous to distraction from one’s studies, primary goal and objective as student.
Consequently, a student becomes a victim of the forceful and mighty ‘tsunami’ that swept away 10.9 per cent of the 2016/2017 admitted students of the University of Ibadan. Being admitted into “the first and the best” university, as a prestige maintained over the years, does not mean your admission is secured. You could be sent out packing, if you fail meet your end of the bargain at any point in time.
According to an alumnus of University of Ibadan, Aderibigbe Temidayo, “if you do not know what you are doing, you can come to the first and the best school and become the last and the worst.”
Just as diligence comes with pains and pay, failure also come with ease and loss. In a post on Wednesday, 21 March 2018, the vice-chancellor, Prof. Olayinka Idowu stated that “one out of every nine of the 100 level students did not meet the minimum condition to retain their studentship.” Although, the regret was largely owed to the sub-optimal admission criteria that exempted post-utme from 2016/2017 admission process, distractions from primary duty partly contributed to the expulsion of some 328 and relegation of another 115 first year students of this institution from their respective faculty after the 2016/2017 academic session.
However, don’t be decieved and sit unengaged, thinking that only outstanding academic performances will bring you all the goodness of life. There are more to life than what seems, at the moment, the best to us. There are basic lessons of life that only our academic engagement will not teach us. Among them are: discovering innate potentials and improved academic performance as result of skills learnt outside the classroom. According to Nicole Jackson in a post on ‘benefits of extracurricular activities’, such skills include: better time management to accommodate hobbies and class activities, better organizational skills and a boost in self esteem. A student with good time management is also less likely to tolerate procrastination, the bane of student lifestyle.
Comparatively, academic is sometimes a facade of valuable time wasted by students, an excuse to cover up unproductive time used in doing things not meaningful to their progress. As an undergraduate student, fresh and stale, take a meaningful stride through, at least one, other engagement while still in school, even if not in your first year.
If well balanced with academics, extracurricular makes student days in school adventurous and less drab, as it sometimes seems with academics workload. Let neither of your engagement suffer on the account of the other. If it is just one extracurricular activity you can handle well, let your impactful involvement be felt in it. Don’t be among the less impactful people that Yoruba adage would describe as “the snake that slithered across the rock without leaving any trail.”
Now, let us take a few minutes stride outside the academic community and have a panoramic view of the state of the country. The resounding alarm beyond the academic community is to ‘make hay while the sun still shines’. One never can tell what skill or extracurricular activities one is engaged with while in school that will later douse one’s tensions on the prevalent and impending unemployment awaiting many beyond the four walls of education.
According National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as summarily reported on Trading Economics (TE) website, unemployment in Nigeria recorded an increase of “23.10 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 from 22.70 per cent in the second quarter of 2018. Unemployment rate in Nigeria averaged 12.31 per cent from 2006 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 23.10 per cent in the third quarter in 2018 and a record low of 5.10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010.”
With no adequate or a sub-optimal measures set in place for settling the scores of unemployment in the country, the supposed light at the end the tunnel will soon fade away and return us back into the darkness, where we came from. An instance of this is N-Power, the supposed solution proffered to unemployment issue under the ‘change’ and the current ‘next level’ tagged administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. An inadequate solution, which does little in solving unemployment issue in the country, partly because those employed in N-Teach, the most popular of the National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP), are only so for a very short time. Very soon, in a matter of two years, they would most likely become jobless again.
It is no gainsaying that temporal solution to a problem would later haul back more of such problem in mighty folds and make the proffered solution to it unreasonable in the first instance. To worsen it all, lack of stern monitoring has slackened the N-Power programme, which now creates another problem from a supposed solution. An undercover report of Taiwo Adebulu on January 10, on TheCable, exposed the decay of N-Power and how billions of naira expended on it went down the drain due to lack of strict monitoring of some of the beneficiaries’ activities in their Primary Place of Assignment (PPA), where their absence was not noticed, because they “have found their way to beat the system in a way that fetched them side money.”
In essence, lessons learned outside the classroom are added advantage to the degrees awarded that might later be of no importance without spices from skills learn outside the classroom. Skills most employers look out for in an employee include: communication, which covers verbal and written with listening skill; ability to work under pressure, confidence; ambiguity management; enterprise and entrepreneurial skills, among others.
However, the ball to an ideal varsity student is now rightly placed in your court. It’s up to you to remain enterprising and become whom you long dreamt of being. The journey of a thousand miles starts here in school, where asides God, you are the sole architect of your future, far from the view of your parents or guardian. The stern decision to make your dreams come true, in whatever way you justify apt, lies in your hand; take it, draw it out, and start building from now! Now determines your life more than ever.
Be wise in your dealings! Do not play yourself freely into the hands of life, which will make you learn the hard way if you refuse to yield now. Academic zombie is not healthy living; it is a distraction from paying attention to things that matter. Little wonder, University of Ibadan does not just emphasize worthiness in learning, but also in character.
To be continued in the next series of “exemplary student lifestyle of notable alumni of University of Ibadan.” Anticipate!!!
Kehinde Amusan is a campus journalist of the University of Ibadan. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.