ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI: PRINCIPLE OF ASSOCIATION
IRON SHARPENETH IRON-“I.S.I”
Hello Beautiful People!
“You are the salt of the earth. But remember that salt is useful in association, but useless in isolation.”- Israelmore Ayivor
Been a minute on here! How are y’all doing? The last 3 months was all shades of beautiful against all odds and I am grateful. I don’t know if you are familiar with the ‘end of the year syndrome’, where everyone get to be more aggressive with goals set up at the beginning of the year, well I am having that already *covers face*. In the midst of this, God keeps reminding me of how he has answered some of my unremembered prayers (made for myself and others), how he has been busy attending to my very urgent needs that I have no idea of.
My point, stay grateful! refuse to be overwhelmed by the unaccomplished goals.
Every reader on this platform is celebrated; your comments are appreciated (tho’ I ask for more….lol). In view of the motive behind this platform- to help others excel in their academic endeavours, I hope that this segment of ‘Academics with Wunmi’ has been helpful.
In today’s post, I would be discussing the Principle of Association in relation to Academic Excellence.
Interestingly, this principle does not apply to academic journey only; it applies to all areas of life. However, for this post, I would be emphasizing the effect of right association in one’s academic journey. I have chosen to re-emphasize because I am certain a good percentage if not all of A.C readers are familiar with this subject. As cliché as it sounds, it works!
Proverbs 27:17 says “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another”. The bible is very rich, complete and clear.
As a student, it is important to associate yourself with people of like minds. Not some persons who just want to ‘suck’ you dry of knowledge, also don’t be the knowledge hoarding student who wants to learn from others but doesn’t want to teach others. A quick illustration, only a water pipe that dispenses can be refilled, the pipe that never dispenses will at some point begin to stink. That’s what happens when you hoard what you know, the knowledge gets stale and obsolete.
The principle of association reveals areas or subjects you don’t have sufficient knowledge or understanding about. Albert Einstein said “if you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough”. This quote is apt because in an attempt to explain a subject matter when asked by your group (association), your answer is to a great extent a function of your understanding. Where your answer is not robust enough, you are appraised by your group and you are encouraged to put measures to do better in place.
During my undergraduate, whenever my friends and I discussed a topic or prepared towards exams, if I’m asked to explain an area, I explain it to the best of my ability at that moment, where my explanation is not robust enough, such areas were identified and another person elaborates. Sometimes, it’s not everything the lecturer dictated or said that I captured, but from the discussions with my friends, I was able to identify those areas I didn’t quite catch during the class. This process helped me a long way in gaining better understanding.
When you surround yourself with positive people of like passion, you are motivated and encouraged to update yourself.
Synergy is the benefit accrued to the bonding of group of persons. The effect of every positive association should be to synergize!
Even the bible acknowledges that “two is better than one because they have a better reward for their labour”.
I think it’s a good place to introduce the Law of Structure and Flow. This law establishes that to see your desired flow, put a corresponding structure in place. Your flow is a function of your structure. In this scenario, your structure is your association (those you surround yourself with in your academic journey) while the flow is the academic excellence that accrues as a function of your association.
Someone humorously said, if you move with the wise you will gradually metamorphose into being wise, even if it starts by you pretending to be, before you know it you become truly wise. This is not to encourage pretence; I just want to accentuate the effect of association in your academic pursuit. You cannot be in an association and be neutral, you are either being influenced or you are influencing. You can’t be in a moving vehicle and remain stagnant.
While I was doing my MSc. thesis for instance, I had a group of people I discussed with once a month. We come together to review each other’s work, give constructive advice, ask questions, and so on. Though our topics were different but our common ground was to excel as student researchers. It was a group of 4, each time we meet, everyone is to print the latest version of their work so we swap each other’s work in the meeting and do some sort of ‘peer-review’. More often the ‘peer-review’ identifies grammatical blunders or inappropriate use of words and other areas of inefficiency. This ‘peer-review’ enhanced each individual’s ultimate performance. Three of us had distinction in our dissertation.
I desired a Flow of excellence in my academic pursuit, I put a corresponding Structure in place and I got results!
Another thing the ‘peer-review’ did was to give me some form of accountability. That is, I was always motivated to work so as to have something to bring to the table. This helped me set goals with specific and realizable specified time-line. I didn’t want to be ‘reviewing’ someone’s work and no one to review mine because I had not done something new. I remember I used to say to myself then ‘ I’lld rather go with half-baked bread than go with nothing’. That’s the spirit (energy) positive association gives you.
Let’s look at this way, you cannot be in a moving vehicle and remain stagnant. That’s what the right association does.
‘I want to start a study group, what must I know?’
a. Establish and Understand the end goal: “if purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”. It’s important you get your motives right.
b. Agree on the purpose why you are forming the study group. Amos 3:3
In the end, your goal and a clear understanding of the association keeps you motivated even when someone within the group offends you.
“He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
Share your story of how the principle of association influenced your academic pursuit and suggestions in the comment box below.
Have a blissful November to Remember.
The Education segment of the blog is one where you can find resources as a student/prospective one to help you succeed academically. Periodic posts would be published ranging from advice to questions and resources, all of which readily available to help you. I wish you all the best in your academic endeavours Tosin Alabi( editor)
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