A lot of students have been asking me about the secrets of making a “FIRST CLASS” in Nigerian Universities. the above-mentioned question is mostly asked by freshers who want to graduate with first-class honours in their various universities. In response to that, I carried out both online and offline research and stumbled at this piece from “theabusites.com” titled “how to graduate with first-class in ABU”. I assure you that this article will really be a source of inspiration and motivation as you prepare to become the next first classer in Nigeria.
“Honestly, I had previously resisted the temptation and pressure to write on the subject matter for many reasons. The most obvious of them being that there are no universally agreed with standard guidelines in this regard. For instance, what simply worked for Mr A might be—what we fondly called in college—academic suicide for Mr B.
Hence, the essence of this article is to inspire and encourage university newcomers or prospective students, or anyone else who may find it helpful, to utilize their talents to the fullest. I hope to instill confidence in them and to prove to them that if yours can make it despite lacking the widely-agreed credentials, they too can make it.
Therefore, since there is no universal procedure that leads to graduating with a first class honors degree, what I will be doing later in this article is to highlight some of the integral factors that I believe worked for me and I hope the reader will find handy in his or her journey to first class. In essence, this article is more or less my memoirs.
Before then, it’s paramount that you dismiss the false presumption among many university newcomers that first class is reserved to only “natural gurus”; whose source of knowledge is divine.
Although I unreservedly acknowledge individual differences—since all fingers are not equal—yet if I had believed in the above fallacy wholesale, I wouldn’t have graduated with first class.
What follows are some of the vital ingredients of the first class presented in no specified order.
1) GET A MENTOR
The importance of getting a suitable mentor (usually a predecessor) who successfully trod the path you want to traverse cannot be overemphasized. This will simply cut your work short for you. Most of us learned these clues in a hard way. That’s why I take it upon myself to mentor younger ones to learn them in the simplest way possible.
Therefore, I strongly advise you to start by finding a suitable mentor within your reach. I can give you this blanket assurance without any reservation: All responsible mentors find pleasure in helping their mentees. Nonetheless, make sure you do your homework diligently before approaching one.
2) PARTICIPATE IN TUTORIALS
If I have to recommend one factor above the others, then that factor is tutorial. You can benefit from tutorials in two broadways: Either by learning from tutors as a listener or by teaching others.
Many a times concepts explained in tutorial classes are easier to understand compared to those taught in normal lectures. Similarly, your understanding of some concepts becomes solid when you teach others.
Please don’t ever attempt to hoard knowledge on the pretext of maintaining your position in class. There’s no first, second, or third position in higher institutions. Unlike commodity, the more you give out knowledge, the more it becomes part of you. Needless to say, teaching comes with prestige and commands respect.
3) BE PUNCTUAL TO CLASSES
Attend ALL your lectures regardless of whether you find them interesting or not. Even if you don’t understand, attend and also jot down all the important information said or written by the lecturers.
Unknown to many, sometimes you understand lessons easily when you read the jottings that you couldn’t follow during the class hours. If possible, get separate notebooks for all the courses you are undertaking.
Apart from meeting the requisite 75% attendance, being punctual to classes will help you learn things beyond the content of your course. Many digressions by lecturers result in expensive knowledge that may not be acquired so cheaply elsewhere.
4) HAVE A GOOD COMPANY
To use Biology terms in the context of friendship, never engage yourself in parasitism (+/-). It should be at best mutualism (+/+) or at worst commensalism (+/0). It should be preferably a win-win friendship. Your close associates define you as a person. Therefore, always surround yourself with the best brains around.
Admittedly, you may not be able to figure out all the good guys in your class ab initio. Therefore, maintain a distant appearance until after your first exam. Because after the first result is released all the who-is-who in the class will be unveiled. Once you discover them don’t hesitate to befriend them.
5) LOVE WHAT YOU STUDY
Passion is the most effective driving force in any journey to first class. Unfortunately, not everyone gets placement to their preferred course of study. Hence, this may not be to their advantage. Nonetheless, the good news is that you can still love what you are studying. This will help you endure all the rigors involved along the way.
6) DREAM BIG
Be always determined to get the best for yourself. Your target GPA every semester should be 5.00. The likely outcomes are two: Either you attain your target at the end of the semester or you get something closer, either ways you are a winner. It’s usually dangerous to lower the bar; it works exactly opposite.
At the beginning of every semester, you can forecast your CGPA by simply using any credible MS Excel CGPA analyzer (I have designed a template that’s user-friendly) and assuming all your grades to be “A’s” as the best-case scenario.
You can then vary the grades and observe their impact on your CGPA accordingly and also to obtain an objective worst-case-scenario.
7) BE SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY STABLE
This aspect is very central to your success. This factor means having decent accommodation, a steady flow of pocket money, etc. This will give you both the social and mental stability necessary for the attainment of your goal.
There are many scholarships that can help you in this regard. Many state governments pay annual bursary, others include oil companies, federal government, foundations, private individuals, etc.
By always staying alert, information on these scholarships usually go viral on campuses and social media.
8) MANAGE YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY
There is this popular engineering slogan: No time to check time. Manage your time effectively. Especially if you are in departments with huge work load, there is usually not enough time. Therefore, you should apportion time to your schedules according to priority.
Most often, when exam time approaches, students seldom find enough time to digest their books. In order to avoid “crash program,” prepare early enough; before the semester gets hot.
9) SOCIALIZE RESPONSIBLY
As the saying goes: No man is an island. You can’t live in a vacuum. Socialize and mingle with your friends, however, do that responsibly. Engage yourself in various extracurricular activities that you believe are healthy to your personality, because there are a lot of social activities on campus that are counterproductive.
Declare some days reading-free days, as the saying goes: You can’t come and kill yourself. Socialize with your friends and acquaintances but make sure you apportion time to it appropriately.
10) GET FREQUENT REST
The brain works just the same way as mechanical engine. It needs rest. Don’t ever overstress yourself. You mustn’t kill yourself before you could graduate with first class. Don’t joke with enough sleeping. Sleep for at least 6 hours daily.
Many students collapse on campus due to excessive reading and zero rest. Some even become mentally affected due to excessive stress. Please get enough rest and sleeping. This two work magic.”