CALLED TO EXCEL: ACADEMICS WITH WUNMI
It’s been a while on here….I won’t proceed without elucidating to the readers of this segment the reason why I have been MIA (Missing In Action). On the 4th of June, 2016, I took my marriage vows before God, family and friends *blushing*. Prior to this time, I was super busy with the wedding planning, change of apartments, packing, amongst others *whew*. So please pardon me. God has been sooo amazing! Liftings everywhere!! I return all glory to Him.
So tell me, how have you guys been? How’s studies, work, business? How’s life generally? I hope all is well.
While thinking about how I haven’t been in touch for a while and what to write, one thought dominated my mind, which I consider worth sharing. Took a hiatus in my mind to think of why I started this segment, asking myself what academic excellence really means to me? Why do I consider doing well in academics very important (considering the fact that I didn’t start of as an ‘A’ student)? Having thought of these questions more than once, I got an honest series of answers which I had never paid much attention to until now.
Growing up, I was an average student. By average I mean, provided there was little or no ‘red biro’ in my report sheet and I didn’t have to repeat a class, I was fine with my result. My parents are educated civil servants so I didn’t grow up in a house of ‘scholars’, by scholars I mean like Professor, Medical Doctor, etc. However, my parents invested in my education by getting me lesson teachers whether school was in session or not. At this point I never really understood why I needed to put my best in this thing called academics. I just used to envy the A students back then in secondary school at how ‘lucky’ they were…how ‘easy’ JAMB/Post UME was gonna be for them….I wished to be like them, however, I stopped at wishing…..could not go extra mile because I did not even understand why I needed to be above average….I didn’t stretch myself to be the best but I was stretching my faith for better academic result. What my faith produced was average not best…what that thought me was, God cannot do for us what we are not really desiring. No wonder Bishop Oyedepo said ‘Expectation is the mother of manifestation”, God is not a God of waste. Until we really understand what we want and why we want it, it is unlikely for God to grant our request. Unfortunately, most of us stretch our faith for what we really don’t want (need) yet.
Getting to the University, my goal was not to have any carry over. I really didn’t understand the ‘5pointer concept’…until the first semester result was released… then I saw my classmates having first class GPAs, that moment was very defining for me because then classmates/lecturers selected their friends/ ‘tutors’/protégée. That was just the propelling force I needed, I saw the ‘regard/respect’ accorded to fellow classmates that had exceptional academic performance. From that moment it became forward ever for me and the rest they say is history. Although I didn’t graduate with a first class CGPA, but God helped me make a 4.38 of 5.00. This is why I am always telling any Uni student I come across that first semester of first year in Uni is the determining factor. This might sound cliché but it’s true; it’s a matter of ‘if the foundation be destroyed what can the righteous do?
I remember that everyone wanted to be friends (especially during exams) with the A students in my high school (and university too). In fact, as a form of good gesture, you would see fellow students’ gifting items to these ‘bright ones’. It was then I realized that excelling in academics was not just for you, it helps others too and attract ‘pool’ of friends to you; some you learn from, some you inspire, some you help, and so on. For me that didn’t have a very healthy esteem before then, I loved that part of academic excellence—academic excellence then became also a confidence (esteem) booster for me. Being a mediocre was not an option anymore, I wanted to do WELL.
Also, not having any older sibling, I had to set a good record for my younger brother hence academic excellence was something I began to aim at to ‘proof’ to my (African) parents that I was worth being the first-born and a true source of joy and pride. There was a scenario that happened when I wrote post UME for Bowen University, an insider told my parents I had a very poor performance….my dad didn’t talk much because we were awaiting the result for Covenant University post UME. My mum on the other hand, s-p-o-k-e to my ‘senses’ ..…*African (Yoruba) mothers attitude*…all of these propelled my thirst to do better.
Second semester 100level, my resolution changed — I wanted to get out of the middle. Now my faith was worth stretching (having mixed hard work with faith) because I got results. God honoured my requests when He saw the maturity that I knew what I wanted and why I wanted it. I clearly understood that I had been predestined to excel. I also understood the role of faith in my academic journey. Also, I understood that, faith is a currency and my purchasing power was a function of my currency (faith) value. Unfortunately, we try to twist God’s arm by having 100 dollars’ worth of faith and expecting 100,000 dollars’ worth of goods (results).
Now I’m more interested in excelling not only in academics but in everything I lay my hands to do and my ‘job’ here is simple; to encourage/motivate people to do better by sharing my own story and what has worked for me. Our excellence on earth brings glory to God in Heaven and as children of God we have been called (‘mandated’/predestined) to excel.
Dare to excel in all endeavor whether academics or otherwise. The world awaits the manifestation of the sons of God. Some of the perks of being excellent are; opportunities, strategic relationships, material inflows, etc
The world isn’t ready for your testimonies yet….
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)