IGNORANT FRESHERS RUSH IN WHERE WISE RETURNING STUDENTS FEAR TO TREAD…

The English saying that fools rush in where angels fear to tread is as instructive as always. And this will continue to be so as long as calmness and composure are subdued by over ambition and waywardness especially in matters concerning greenhorns. If you are a fresh student, thank God for your stars as you have gained admission into the first, best and most prestigious university in Nigeria. But be aware that the success of your admission will only manifest after you have bagged that prestigious prize, your B.A. degree in whatever department you have been admitted to. That is admission into UI is not a success on its own but a means to a success, the graduation.

You have been told, I presume, or even observed that the University is a home of almost absolute freedom. Yes, that is almost absolutely true. Nobody will punish your lateness to, or your absence from, class. You are on your own. And you should know that the freedom comes with responsibility, No, responsibilities. You should guard yourself against abuse of unbridled freedom. 

Forget all the shit you have been told that UI is dull and the spirit of aluta is dead in the university. When it comes to elections, whether the Students’ Union’s, Faculties’, Halls’ or even departmental, the spirit of politicking and all the shenanigans, manipulation and machination that are found in the mainstream politics are adopted to win. Here, you will hear words like alignment, alliance, endorsement etc. You may even be told your faculty or department is not as important to you as your hall. (Imagine!) Students’ politics is a veritable tool that is capable of training future national leaders for the task ahead. But be careful; do not be distracted. Unfortunately for the overzealous fresh student, the Students’ Union election of the University of Ibadan is statutorily meant to hold in the first semester and so many a fresh student has, from experiences of past sessions lost themself in the excitement of the electioneering. As you are showing up at the different rallies and campaign grounds, your classmates are already submitting their assignments, writing their tests and getting their C.A. marks already. I do hope you have been told that the university is not the same as secondary school where your first term result has nothing to do with your promotional result and the three terms’ result have nothing to do with your SSCE. Whatever you will graduate with at the end of your four years or three years will be determined by how much seriousness you put into your tests and assignments as well as exams.

Erosion. Tsunami. CGPA. SDC. You would have been told during the orientation programme the university management organised for you that your admission is still written in pencil. First of all, you have not been matriculated. I learnt that will be done on Thursday, right? But you have not yet done any exam in the school. There is a certain number of course units you must pass before you can be deemed promoted to the next level. Erosion is when you are ejected from the department into which you are admitted and dumped at another department you need not like only because you are not up to the standard of your dream department academically. Tsunami is when you are ejected outright from the university without any option of trying another department. The reason for tsunami is also academic non performance. Work for your Cumulative Grade Points Average CGPA before you begin to poke your nose at the extraneous affairs in the university. Learn from the story of that bloody fresher of yestersession who without any CGPA was already campaigning for a position in the Students’ Union. He attended all the political rallies of the aspirants from his hall. He became a kind of jagaban and every politician that wanted to be taken seriously (including my friend!) gave him his due respect because he was really influential. When the result of the first semester eventually came out, the guy was on 1.0 of 7.0 CGPA. Not only was his political ambition was in jeopardy, his academic career, his primary assignment on campus was threatened. Only God knows what he did to move from 1.0 in first to 1.6 after the second semester exams. I remember the reckless way with which the bloody fresher used to sleep whenever he came to read overnight at my departmental library.

UI can be funny. Tread cautiously. Your brilliance alone is not enough to earn you marks Never look down on any of the returning student. You are just about to pass through what they have passed through. There was another fresh student last year in this faculty. The guy was actually brilliant and intelligent. He did organised tutorials for members of his class and even led class discussions. He was rewarded at the end of first semester with 6.7 CGPA. And then, his head began to swell. The final year students of his department were very lazy; they were not good enough to be deserving of the B.A. degree. The 300 level students were very dull and they were in fact not being taught anything serious. The 200 level students were mere post secondary school students. Ha! Raymond knew how to bully intellectually. In order to convince the 300 and 400 level students that they were actually taught nothing serious, he had to engage in reading their books. What happened at the end of the second semester to his CGPA was an eyesore!

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