I have always wanted to do this, but my greatest problem has been time. Recently, I got involved with some venture that has kept me busy round the clock. However, because this is something I am passionate about and because my school (FUTO) will be doing the matriculation ceremony of the year one students later this week, I think this is the most appropriate time to write this, while trusting God that someone will read this post and be guided to live a good life as a student. I am dedicating this blog post to all my friends who just got admitted into different higher institutions of learning.
As a premise to this post I will like to start by congratulating you for gaining admission into the higher institution. You fought competitively with thousands of other students and here you stand about to sign the school Matricula. You are a champion!
However, as someone who just got admitted into the tertiary institution and perhaps being the first time you will be out of your parents home you need to be guided and tutored on what life in the university/polytechnic could be lest you make mistakes you may live to regret.
Before you ask what authority I have to write on this delicate issue, I admit that I am no teacher of morals hence cannot be authority in matters of morality and life but with my little stay here in the university, I think I have a little to offer.
I must begin by warning that life in the university will not be a roller-coaster ride. You will be met with a lot of challenges and difficulties. It has not been easy for me writing this but inspiration has always come from looking up to my target, which leads me to my first advice; you can’t afford to be a student without setting targets. I set a target of second class upper as I entered the university and all my activities have always resolved around this. I also never wanted to be a triangular student (Hostel>Lectures>Church). I wanted to participate in a lot of extracurricular activities that will make me an all round graduate after 2016(my year of graduation). If you do not set targets for yourself then be sure to be comfortable with whatever nature brings your way.
Friends! Friends! Friends! They can make or mar you. The issue of friendship has been the greatest bane of us students. The level of influence your friends can have on you cannot be measured. A good mannered student can change in a matter of weeks just by mingling with bad fellows. I have seen very good guys turn devils just by interacting with the wrong guys. Please, be careful of the people you call friends. The moment you discover that you do not share the same mission and vision with your friends it’s time to call it quit. The worst thing you will ever do is to think you are strong and matured hence cannot be influenced. Interestingly, the guys who fall mostly for this are guys from very good homes. A Latin adage goes thus ‘Corruptio Optima pessima est’ meaning ‘corruption of the best is the worst corruption’.
For the boys amongst you, another temptation you will be facing will come from the girls. One thing I can assure you is that you cannot escape the advances. Not now when indecent dressing is beginning to look ‘decent’. For someone like me, I am learning to get used to it. It’s an evil I have learned to live with. This however, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t condemn and speak against it for cording to ….. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to keep quiet. So, be careful with the type of relationship you have with opposite sex. I would not go into the argument of how right or wrong it is to keep a girlfriend/boyfriend because it’s matter of discretion. Let whatever relationship you have with the opposite sex be defined and limits set.
Furthermore, do not make the mistake of passing through the university without letting the university pass through you. The university training should be a wholistic one that integrates different spheres of life from morality to sports and academics. This is why on your graduation the university will give you the certificate ‘pressuming’ you have been found worthy in ‘character’ and in ‘learning’. Identify yourself with the church you worship at home and be an active member of the church/fellowship. Identify also with people from the same area with you and join them in their weekly meetings. There are so many other associations and groups to look out for. The-Enactus (formerly SIFE) is a great place to be for any student who is desirous of a better life after school. However, there is a caveat here. Make sure you do not join any association that is not registered under the student affairs unit of your school. They might not be what you think they are until you get initiated. Be careful of associations with unclear motives and intent. Be careful of cults. Be careful of cultists.
Another thing you must learn is how to strike a balance between your extracurricular life and your academic life, none should suffer at the expense of the other and do not forget that the primary reason why you came here is to graduate with a good grade. That aim should not be compromised. Do not at any point lose focus and do not be carried away by frivolities.
The university life should prepare you for the harsh and unfriendly outer world you will be facing after graduation. Start from your first day in school to think and prepare for the future. You have to understand that life is not going to be easy after school. You should understand that there are few job opportunities for thousands of graduates who come out every year. Employees are now going beyond the certificates in accessing candidates for employment. Start now to work on those employable skills which you will need after graduation.
Finally, you cannot do without God. You need to strengthen your relationship with Him. It doesn’t end in you being a bright student. You can write exams and your script get lost along the way and you get an ‘F’. So do not be carried away by activities that you forget to take care of your spiritual life. In whatever you do be guided by your conscience and do nothing that will bring disrepute to the name of your family. Once more I say CONGRATULATIONs and I hope you make the best out of your stay in the school. God loves you.