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My Academic Journey

 



My Academic Journey by Oladosu Adenike

My journey to study agricultural economics and extension started when I left home to school, a far away state ( Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi - Benue, Nigeria.). What I thought will be my greatest challenge turned out to be my greatest opportunity to turn things around for my good. I had no family members nor relative in the state where my university is located. It was someone who connected me to the person I lodged with. These set of people turned out to be sisters to me; they cared for me and advice me. I never left God out of my business because He is the only one that can see me through. University I must say is another world of it own – where you get to meet people from different background from yours and you must find ways to figure out which path to follow. Any choice you make will either make yo or mar you – that means you have to be very sensitive.

Whatever it takes

I read a 5 years course that turned out to be 6 years due to crisis and administrative issues. At the course of my studies, sometimes I feel like giving up the race to first class because it was the toughest thing I have ever done. The day I have to enter into the rain or hot sun that scorch or cold (out of my comfort zone) to class just to read, the day I have to skip either breakfast nor lunch or dinner to complete my academic work because everyday I have a target I must meet else I won’t be fulfilled. I also remember the day I read for 20 hours because I had examination in the evening and my next paper in the morning of the next day was a tough one. Before I got to university I remember my mum will tell me; “I know you use to take your time to do things and when you do it, you do it well but you are slow at it” but when I got to university, the school shaped me to be brave, very fast in walking, talking and reading because every minute to me counts.

Life on campus

My movements where triangular; if you don’t find me in class then you should find me in my place of worship or in hostel – I get all my stuff I will need within a semester from home. There was nothing like social life,that was the biggest sacrifice I have to make. Our set (2016/2017) was very competitive indeed so if you don’t gear up another person coming right behind you will take your position. To a large extend, your choice of friends matter. My choose of friends where from the fact that we are on the same page on several bases. We might read differently but we sit on the same row most times. Though,I started my year one first semester as a first class student (4.50) at the end of the first year, I had 4.58 as my CGPA (Cumulative Grade Points Average. The worst of the result I ever had was in my first semester year 2. I thought it was the same frequency of reading that I do in year 1 that I can use in year 2 but I got it all wrong. The semester made my CGPA to drop to 4.52 from 4.58. then it was done on me that I need to increase the frequency of my reading at every point in time. That was the last reduction I had in my CGPA. Though, I was the inquisitive type my elder brother thought me so. I ask question from my seniors for each level I’m moving into; how does this lecture act? What do you think about this course? From different people just to get opinion that I can hold on to and to feel the pulse of each level ahead of the semester.

Never say never

Though, I love calculation coupled with the fact that my dad is a mathematician (retired) so I had the upbringing in such skills. That really strengthen my academic courses. I don’t believe a course is hard even when I know it is hard. A major throw back to when I was in my year 5 first semester, I did a course that was purely accounting. Back then in junior secondary school, I never liked business study which contain all of these accounting framework and I never see myself liking such aspect but, I knew that my CGPA depend on me getting an A in the course because it is the highest credit unit (3) that semester while the rest courses were 2 unit each. I have to seat down and read for it than any other courses that semester. I then turned out putting my colleagues through. I had an A of 72. Same as chemistry, I don’t like it back then in secondary school days but when I got to university, in my first year, both semesters had chemistry courses; the one of 3, 2 and 1 credit units respectively. I then turned out to love chemistry. All those things  I thought were hard in secondary I see them as the simplest course.

Standing out

I got to be close to my examination officers because there is no way you check your result without passing through them so in that process they got to recognise me as one of the best student in the college and ever since then, they began advising us and mentoring us and even build a close contact with us all. They  are men that knows their student and their student knows them. They frown at every reduction in our CGPA and gives us accolades when we perform well in our CGPA. It is hard to come across such examination officers. There was an incident that happened in my year 3. That semester, I had 8 As and a carryout that was later changed to a D. never have I had a D in any of my departmental courses. Little did I know that lectures that don’t know who I am that fought for me during the departmental sitting in assessing the results. It was later I got to know that the D I had was formerly a carryover. They said “ the girl that have this beautiful result cannot have a carryover” That was what made many lectures to know me including my HOD ( head of department). I thought I will got a 5.00 GP but the D spoilt it. that is why the best time to make a good result is in your first and second year in school because the higher the level, the lower your GPA (Grade Point Average can add to your CGPA. Even though you got 5.00 all through your final, if you don’t start well you can’t meet up. There is this particular semester, that was in my yeas 4 when I was called upon to give a speech to the year one students. The theme of my presentation was, “Be focused”. I admonish them and give them experience that can shape their studies while in school.

Fearless

At my early stage in school (year 1), I got to know the dean of student affairs. How was that even possible? It was a glorious evening while he was checking round the school I met him. I greeted him and then he ask who are you, I told him ( mind you, I was never in a haste to get to tell him about myself – it wasn't about the ethnicity but about the respect) that was how he gave me his phone number. Many people have always thought he was my uncle but we are neither from the same state nor have he met my parents before. He communicate with my parents via phone calls. Also had a supervisor that was tough. Whenever I tell people that he is my supervisor, the next thing they do say is “why you” people then saw that we were flowing well. When he wanted to grade my project, he asked, “what score do you want” I told he 80 and above and so it was. He scored me 85% the highest grade among others. I know the daughter of whom I am and he also recognised that. And God was by my side….to be continued

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