In this article, I will share with you the 5 tips to excel as an undergraduate student in Nigeria. Academic excellence in Nigeria may be difficult to come by but that does not make it impossible. It is just like every other endeavour that just requires one to make the right steps in other to achieve success. To the best of my knowledge, no secondary school subject is concerned with this, and you hardly find schools with counsellors that actually help prepare students for excellence. And that is so sad.
So that we are on the same page, let me clarify the kind of excellence I mean because we all tend to have different and confusing interpretations of the term.
The excellence here refers to obtaining a first class or second class upper degree that you can actually defend any time any day. Notice that it is two-fold.
It is not just about nailing the degree, there should also be a proof of learning in the application of what has been learnt.
Believe me, academic excellence in Nigeria means a lot especially in this time and age where employment opportunities are few and through the frenzy those with the best results cum brains stand a chance of being considered first.
1. Bragging rights: Sounds lame but it is true. That is the first thing you get and it is cool. It starts with your course mates, and depending on the extent of your excellence, it reaches a wider audience in the school. Lecturers and other members of staff will know you and favours will find you wherever you go. It is not a prophecy, it is just the way it is. If you are a cool-headed person, it makes it all the more interesting because people will appreciate you more.
2. Respect: This one closely follows the bragging rights. And it will come from people around depending on how excellent your excellence is. In view of this, don’t be surprised or shy when people begin to look at you in a particular way or heed every word you say.
3. Boost employment opportunities: In Nigeria, what is written on your certificate determines a whole lot when it comes to employment. Being an excellent student almost guarantees you a job even before you finish schooling.
4: Scholarship opportunities: Of course, this one too can be got without much hassles. All you have to do is keep your ears open for opportunities like this and apply. I know many excellent students who never paid a dime throughout their stay in the university. This could be you too.
There are many more benefits for academic excellence but now let’s see how to even become an excellent student.
1. Study: Success is achieved through hard and smart work. Anyone aspiring to succeed academically must be ready to do the job of studying. It goes beyond what is expected of every other student, go out of your way to make more research and learn more in the process. Make use of the faculty/departmental and university libraries to get more advanced than your course mates.
2. Take assignments seriously: Some students (especially freshers) do not know that every little assignment, project, class work culminates in the final result of the semester. So they pay little attention to these only to become serious right before exams (when it is too late). A smart student who wants excellence is always prepared, thanks to studying and taking assignments seriously.
3. Understand your lecturers: You see, it’s not just about having the brains, you must also be smart enough to understand your lecturers individually. Trust me, lecturers in Nigeria can be crazy. Each of them have their own style of teaching, expectations, demands, concerns, demeanour, etc; it is left for you to figure all this out and manipulate them to your advantage. If he says ‘buy my book, it is compulsory,’ by all means buy the book because the list of those that bought it is surely going to be used. If the attendance list is important to him, make it extremely important for you to make the list every time. And so on…
4. Ward off distractions: They come in many forms, shapes and sizes: friends, foes, hostel mates, etc. They may not be doing it consciously but that does not take away the fact that it all amounts to distraction. So be disciplined enough to know when to break free from unnecessary discussions, activities to return to what matters most – academic work.
5. Let setbacks inspire you: Let it not be the other way round. The moment you allow a setback mess with your inspiration and motivation to excel, that is when you begin to lose what you can achieve. Sometimes to be successful means experiencing some setbacks here and there. Let these push you to keep gunning for success and not failure. When the success comes it will be sweeter because you achieved it against all odds.
Read Also: 6 Tip to Succeed In the Nigerian Law School
You owe it to yourself to get the best out of school, don’t mess it up. Make your family proud.
I trust you will.