UI Students: Avoiding Academic Potholes; Making A Mark

The story of Busirat Rufai contains lessons that students can draw to succeed in their academic sojourn in the university. At just twenty-two, Basirat graduated as the best student in the University of Ibadan for the 2018/2019 academic session. How she achieved this feat was simple: she simply took her academics with the seriousness it deserves. The stories of Martins Isaac, Nwachukwu Emmanuel, Yusuf Olalere, and other students who have achieved outstandingly at the University of Ibadan, have some things to say about the way students need to perceive themselves. These names cannot be forgotten, even when the bearers are currently young people. 

It is common to hear that the University of Ibadan is where the best of the bests compete, and that whoever doesn’t have the tenacity to achieve more than the best is usually relegated. We are doubly sure that you must have also heard that graduating summa cum laude is almost an impossible feat at the University of Ibadan. While this especially is a shaky opinion from the low-thinkers, it is pertinent that students strive to achieve more than the best to create a pathway for a successful career. 

But how is this possible? Of course, it is by studying hard and having brilliant mentors, and praying too—for the religious type. These, however, are not enough. To achieve the very best as students, you need to form a positive mindset of achieving the very best. This sounds easy, right? The reality is that you cannot have a positive mindset by relating with people who believe having Cs and “let-my-people-go” grades are enough for them. The old saying of “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are” comes into the picture.

We know there are students who on their admission to the University write jaw-breaking plans on what they would like to achieve. These students pursue their plans passionately, but at some point fizzle out. They are brilliant, but their brilliancy is not enough to score them high points. The reason for this is quite simple. Most students read hard but not smartly. When you read smartly, it becomes easier for you to perform well in your exams rather than cramming all your lecture notes to impress your lecturers and possibly to appear superior to your mates. Another thing is that you should know what your lecturers want, and adhere to it. Failure to do this means deviating from what is required. Thus the results may not be as you expected.

There’s a meme that surfaced on Twitter a few days ago. The content—not verbatim—is that when you walk with a winner, you become a winner yourself. The importance of moving or as we say here, “rolling” with colleagues that will positively shape the way you see things and perceive yourself cannot be over-emphasised. How will you achieve your desired goals if you don’t have friends to egg you on when your motivation is down? You need to have a cluster of friends that will always tell you your best is not enough and that you can do more. If you are always being motivated by the plethoras of excellent things to come, you’ll surely achieve the best.

But sadly, most of the students love to move with those who tell them getting First-Class is a scam or narrate the gory story of a lady who has a Doctorate but ended up becoming a prostitute because she didn’t get employed. Don’t let low-thinkers contaminate you with failure stories, over and over again. Although you could learn one or two tricks of not being a failure, there’s always something that comes attached to listening to a single story. 

Also, as students, you must be sure of the careers you want to pursue after school and must be seriously pursuing them while in school. We wrote last week on the indispensability of skills acquisition, we are now emphasising the need of starting early to achieve early. Our Editorial may sound motivational, but we are not a bunch of motivational writers. Those who are at the top, and who most of us would like to emulate started early. If by now you are still undecided on what you eat to do, you’re missing something. And we need to add, no matter what you have in plan, do not forsake your grades or academic degrees for it. Brilliant grades are important to have a brilliant career.

You see, there’s nothing special or extra-ordinary about becoming the best. But then, it takes an extra effort to become extra-ordinary as Professor Omobowale of the English Department would say. Success stories are exciting to read. Most times, when reading how people achieve the best despite all odds, we put ourselves in them and try to achieve a similar feat. This points to the fact that we all want to be successful too, which is the reason why we should begin to think out of the box. In few years, those who dream greatly now and pursue them fervently as if it is the Kingdom of God, will laugh and laugh continuously.

Those who have a problem or the other with their academics should not cover their faces. They should interact with those who are knowledgeable and always ready to assist. It is not a “village remote control” that causes an academic problem. Several other “curable” factors do not need spiritual intervention. You should go for counseling if you believe imaginary village people are against your academic success. Most likely, it’s your perception and you must do well to change it.

Dear readers, we hope the little we have written will reorient you on what comes ahead and how you can effectively tackle them. We know achieving success is not rosy, but then, you must always know that there is no excuse for failure. Prepare to overcome all odds and everything will come out fruitful. If you however still think the kernel of our discussion is “Lori iro,” you can sit back and watch failure haunt you for the rest of your lives. We hope this won’t be your case.

Have a fabulous week ahead.

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