Adesuwa was twenty years old when she got into the university to study computer science. She was from a broken home and a highly dysfunctional background. She had an irresponsible father who denied her the love, care, attention and affection that every young person craves for, due to her father’s bad habits: heavy drinking and extra-marital affairs. After her parents separated, She and her little brother stayed with her mother who as a result of the devastating effects of the separation did not give them (especially Adesuwa) any breathing space. She was being programmed for disaster with the nagging, belittling and soul piercing remarks of her mother. The mother made it clear to her that as long as she was still under her roof, she had to obey her rules including studying hard and passing her examinations. It was drummed into her ears that when she got into the university she could afford to do whatever she liked with her life but until then she had better behave herself.
Unknown to her mother, she was training Adesuwa for disaster because those words built mental strongholds in her mind over the years and she was anxiously looking forward to the day she would be admitted into the university. She craved freedom from the imprisonment that she was in currently. She was always apprehensive about life, as she had never had the confidence of facing it and winning. Everyday, she remembered and struggled with the disappointing words of her Dad who always ridiculed her for her poor performance in her studies and threatened to remove her from the private school she was attending to a public school, since she seemed to be wasting money.
As a result of all these mental strongholds, Adesuwa developed a very poor self-image of herself. It was with this poor self image that Adesuwa got admitted into the university and told herself that she was finally free to do the things she had always wanted to do and express herself to its limits because it was her life and not her Dad’s or Mum’s. With that frame of mind, she threw off every restraint and went on with full steam to enjoy her life.
For Adesuwa, the university was a place to express her womanhood and a place to seek for the love and affection that she had unjustly been denied of in her family unit. She sought for love and affection in all of the wrong places and during the process she was used, misused, abused and dumped on several occasions. She went to every party organized by every Tom, Dick and Harry, and because her background was telling on her, she was always putting up a front. In a bid to forget the hurting memories, she lived a life of extreme indulgence: got
involved with drugs, went to lots of “till day breaks” (TDBs) clubbing where sex, drugs and alcohol were the order of the day and from there her life took a plunge.
On this fateful day she had returned from one of such outings, when she suffered a serious nervous breakdown that led to her admission into the school clinic for days. After much treatment for several days, she was diagnosed with the dreaded HIV. The stigmatization led to her withdrawal from the university and she had to take a transfer to another university. Today she is involved with an NGO that is counseling young people on the dangers of sexual recklessness and HIV campaign.
Culled from The Freshers’ Guide.
- Lack of Personal Mission statements.
- Failure to attend orientation programmes.
- Failure to “spy out” the prospective campus.
- Lack of sound mentors.
- Failure to listen to sound advice.
- Unhealthy craze for wealth, fashion, affluence and the opposite sex.
- Lack of focus.
- Inability to handle the new found freedom.
- Failure to invest in the right things.
- Bowing to low self-esteem.
- Desiring to keep up with the Joneses.
- Putting on a show to impress others.
- Getting intimidated by others.
- Being naïve, unsuspecting and gullible.
- They exercise courage above caution.
- They manifest raw zeal that is not coupled with caution and knowledge.
- Failure to live within the prescribed limits.
- Displaying the “I can get away with it” attitude.
- Failure to ask for help on time.
- Lack of Personal SWOT analysis.
Every day on campus, you will be faced with the task of making decisions. While certain decisions might have little or no effect on your overall performance at the end of the day, decisions such as who you associate with, doing and turning in your assignments as and when required, attending classes, obeying the school rules and having a good attitude to life amongst others do have cumulative effects on how you turn out at the end of the day.
With that frame of mind, it makes sense to evaluate how each of your decisions affects your ultimate goal on campus and life thereafter. It doesn’t really matter if you admit or not, your decisions affect your destination. Your daily decisions will either move you closer to your destination or away from it. The smart thing to do is to LIVE in the NOW with the END in MIND. Smart students ensure that they are always moving in the direction of their goals. Review your actions, decisions and ensure that you are moving in the direction of your goals.
Making quality decisions requires skills, deliberate and affirmative actions; the right mindset coupled with self-discipline. You must be willing to do what is needful right now so that you can secure for yourself an enviable future. By so doing, you will not be making poor decisions rather you will be making sound decisions that will produce a corresponding sound life.
It is generally said that “Don’t just pass through school but let school also pass through you”. The purpose of school can basically be put as learning and building the right character. There is a person, a process and a product at the end of the day. It is expected that the person will go through the process and become the desired product at the end of the day. The quality of product produced at the end of the day is very important but then depends on a number of factors. When a student matriculates, it is expected that he/she will subject his/her mind, senses and actions to the series of exposure that will be offered by the academic community. The lectures, instructions, assignments, regulations among others are put in place to ensure that a good and dependable product is churned out at the end of the day. Your attitude, character, knowledge, objectivity must become positive and better day by day. Failure to subject one’s self to the ideals of the university automatically makes such a person half-baked after graduation. You must yearn for and imbibe the ideal values of university education. This will cause you to become attractive upon graduation and a toast of your generation.
See you at the top
As an undergraduate, it is important that you know yourself very well. By that I mean know your SWOT analysis. It is not enough for others to be able to tell who you are, it is imperative that you know who the real you is and take advantage of that personality.
Everyone one has a SWOT analysis:
S stands for your STRENGTHS: Your strengths represent those things that you can do easily with little or no push. Perhaps you are good with figures; you are extra ordinarily good with music, the arts etc. There are people who more intuitive than others. For you to be able to understand your strengths, you will need to sit down and engage your mind, doing some soul-searching and evaluation of your personality, success in time past and present, things that come to you naturally or like they say “things you have a flair for.” As you ponder on these things, make sure you have a journal with you for note taking because it is serious business. Build your life around your strengths. For instance, when choosing courses during the semester, make sure you choose more of the courses you can excel in rather choosing courses haphazardly except in cases where the courses are compulsory or you are keen on giving your best at excelling in that course. Remember that the idea is to maximize your strengths and excel in your academic pursuits.
S stands for your weaknesses: Irrespective of how strong anyone gets, there are still areas where he or she is weak. It is not a problem for you to have weaknesses especially in the area of academics and life generally because human nature is fragile and nobody is perfect in handling everything. But however, it becomes a problem, when you fail to work on your weak areas thereby leaving them unattended to. Such attitude will rob you of success at the end of the day. For example, you might have weakness in the area of writing essays but here you are on campus offering a course that demands you write and submit reports fortnightly. You can fold your arms and do nothing and expect to pass that course. By that kind of attitude, you will be courting failure. This is where self-discipline comes handy. Self-discipline demands that you challenge yourself to do everything that is required for you to come out in flying colours at the end of the day. So identify those areas that you are weak in your academics, character, and attitude; and ensure you take concrete steps to work on yourself and become a better person.
O stands for opportunities: In life, opportunities abound but sadly opportunities are not easily recognized because of how the minds of most people have been configured. Only few opportunities are obvious to all. The real and weighty opportunities in life are normally obscured to most people. For instance, being an undergraduate is a major opportunity for you right now to acquire knowledge, expand your mind and prepare for a great future. But sadly most people don’t know that. They only see the opportunity that the freedom of college education offers for them to act as they like. In relating it to your academics, you are likely to be surrounded with people who can help you to overcome some of your weaknesses if you will just humble yourself enough to ask for assistance and follow simple instructions. The school library is an opportunity for you to acquire knowledge but how many people do that, majority only visit it during semester examinations and that can’t offer them much at the end of the day. Take a critical look at yourself, circumstances, environments, network, association, school, class etc to see the vast opportunities at your disposal; and then do the needful which is- maximize the vast opportunities to your advantage and success at the end of the day.
T stands for threats: There are situations, associations, habits and attitude that will threaten your success if you fail to check and take care of them. Take a critical look at yourself and identify those things, actions, habits and persons that are not helping you at becoming a better person. My candid advice for you is to take them out of your life and embrace only the things that will accelerate your journey to success.
In concluding this article, I like to remind you that we all have strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in our lives. However what is important is how we are combining them to ensure that we succeed at the end of the day. Bear in mind that you have what it takes to excel on campus but it all begins by you knowing yourself and taking advantage of that knowledge.
See you at the top!