While in the spirit of ‘Freshmanism’; Let’s get some things right

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By Babalola Khadeeja

Hey yo freshman! What’s up? A hearty congratulations to you for being admitted into the prestigious citadel of learning — University of Ibadan, the first and still the best. According to the admissions statistics of the university, over 10,000 candidates got engaged in the frantic race but you were part of the lucky few who eventually made it into the academic environment of intellectual giants. Give yourself a thumbs-up, Scream if you can, go for shopping, embark on an interesting tour etc. Sincerely, it is worthy of it. Being a student of the University of Ibadan is not a right, it is a rare privilege. Yes, a rare one.

Now that you have got your studentship established, it is therefore imperative to understand some rudiments about how to maintain that studentship. Many were known to have once been a student of the school but due to some hiccups had to inevitably lose their studentship. You won’t want something like that to happen to you right? Then, join me in this short but important trip.

Firstly, as you’re about to begin another higher academic sojourn, kindly drop any form of “secondary school champion mentality.” This is an entirely different setting that outsmarts the so-called smart ones; hence you need to empty your mind. You being a senior prefect in your former school doesn’t guarantee you being the best in your level. If you ask your classmates, then it may come as a big shock to you that more than 80% of them were prefects in their previous schools. Hence, come in as a clean slate. Drop the local champion crown at the gate. It is required.

Secondly, maintain a sound psychological condition. Being physically fit and financially stable are sine qua non parameters for having a smooth ride in school but the issue of psychological well-being can never be underestimated. Many students have lost their studentship because they couldn’t concentrate in class, couldn’t assimilate or digest what the lecturers have said, always had their mind far apart from their body, battling with some issues within, depressed etc. Thus, it is incumbent for you to do more than hear, listen to the lecturers. If you’re battling with a problem within, find a reliable confidant to pour out your mind to, problems shared is half solved as the saying goes. Free your mind from any form of worries.

Detach yourself from events or an environment that stunts your vibes, rest when you need to sleep, go out moderately with friends and do activities that boost your energy. Special appeal goes to those who choose a course but eventually got admitted to study another. It has affected a lot of students adversely — worry not dearie. Just be calm. Embrace the reality and give it your all. Some things beyond our control happen in life, but they surely happen for a purpose. Remember the number of people that are willing to take up that occupied position of yours, make that a form of motivation. Don’t let that weigh you down in class and thus affects your concentration. Talk to people who have once being in that position and who are doing very well. And if you are so passionate about that previous course you chose, then it is not too late to take another jamb while still maintaining your studentship in UI.

Thirdly, in case you don’t know, UI’s motto is ”for character and learning.” Note the sequence. Your character is very key in maintaining your studentship. Don’t ever be rude to the school management, obey all rules, be punctual, be religious in attending classes, respect your lecturers, your classmates, your senior colleagues, your hall portals, your friends, roommates and especially, respect yourself. Having achieve all these, then you can trust me that you are good to go. As regards the learning part, never joke with your academics. That is your primary purpose on campus in the first place. It is only in UI that heeding to advice is a matter of compulsion. Students are given “an advice to withdraw”.

Advice is either meant to be taken or not, right? It is not like that here. Tsunami and erosion are constant vocabularies you will get accustomed to every year. The latter means the student will be withdrawn out of his or her faculty to a lesser faculty while the former means the student will lose his or her studentship totally without any remedy. All those are publicly exposed by this particular book that it sneeze gives every UIte a cold – Book of life. We call it “the book of life.” It can make or Mar your studentship. Please be informed. Read hard, engage in team work, ask questions, make friends with your senior colleagues, go for tutorials, be an extraordinary student by reading wider and success shall be yours.

Likewise, the concept of extracurricular activities should not be overlooked. As you pass through the school, it is vital that the school passes through you as well. Get yourself engaged in extra-curricular activities that suits your personality. Don’t be a triangular student. It will interest you to know that some students have actually realized their true calling while they are engaged in extracurricular activities and they are doing really fine. There are numerous platforms that cater for relevant extracurricular activities on campus. There are platforms for pressmen, debaters, leadership acquisition skills, entrepreneurial skills, health organizations, religious organizations, volunteer works etc. Don’t, however, bite more than you can chew. Be moderate in selecting the activities that won’t affect your academic pursuit. Extracurricular activities are basically spicy ingredients that make a beautiful résumé and will eventually stand you out as a fantastic and an all-round graduate. Don’t miss out.

Also, the company of people you move with matters as well. On no condition should you be found in an unwanted setting. Cultism is a no-go area. Trust me; you will enjoy a high level of freedom you’ve probably not experienced before. Channel that to something positive. Don’t be fooled. There is a great deal of expectation from the parents who sent you to school. Don’t get them disappointed. Face your primary assignment on campus. Need I mention the fact that you will experience some inevitable form of intimidation? You will probably see students like you, even classmates that drive their own ride and live very comfortably. Don’t, because of that, involve yourself in God-forsaken acts. Look deep and deeper. You will surely be endowed with one thing that they lack.

The fact that the rose smells better than tomato doesn’t mean it can be used to cook a delicious soup. Be contented with what you have, strive hard, be legitimate in your dealings and you will surely write a better story. There are ‘academic intimidators’ as well. These set of people will, at one time or the other, make you question your studentship. They are always a step ahead and you’d wonder if you receive lectures under the same condition. Don’t feel intimidated. Work hard. Do your best and do the rest. Thereafter is no one you’re leaving the rest for. It’s your life, remember? Thus, give it your all.

Dear freshman, with the background information above and putting them into practice, then I can give you my word of assurance. Being admitted by the school did not come easy but maintaining that studentship is the herculean task you need to fight your way through. Brace up fellas. The sky is not the limit. It is just a stepping stone. UI is a place to be. Enjoy your stay. Once again, Welcome to University of Ibadan, the first and still the best.

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