May 2, 2021

Archivers Varsity best graduating student: How my lecturer’s ‘boring sermon’ earned me first class

achievers University

— says there was no time to have a boyfriend

— l was the reason my mum couldn’t complete her education

Dayo Johnson Akure.

Miss Mariam Oluwadamilola Oloko emerged as the best student in the 2020/2021 academic session at Achievers University Owo, in Ondo state.

She hails from Ogun State and studied International Relations

Three hundred and thirty-three students graduating from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences CONAS and the College of Social and Management Sciences COSMAS during the university’s 10th convocation ceremony.

Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof Samuel Aje gave the breakdown to include 15 first-class, 167-second class upper division, 131-second class lower division and 26 with third class degrees.

In this interview, the best graduating student talked about her challenges, how her mother couldn’t complete her education because she was carrying her pregnancy, how her daddy’s doubt about her ability to succeed motivated her, the role of one of her lecturer and how she hopes to get a scholarship to study to obtain masters and PhD degrees abroad.

** Challenging times

” There is a saying that nothing good comes easy and this saying applies to the years we spent on this campus. Although it wasn’t that easy, it wasn’t entirely difficult either.

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” One of the challenging times I personally faced was when I fell ill and had to visit the University Health Centre, the next thing I remembered was waking up in a wheelchair at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, l didn’t know what happened neither did I have the strength to ask questions. I thank God and the medical personnel and staff of the university that ensured that I was given the necessary medical attention, including provision for food.

” That was for the trying moment
We also have fun, learnt a lot and have come to the conclusion that studying at Achievers university was definitely an experience that worth it. We say a big thank you to the university, the visionary, Dr Bode Ayorinde, our Pro-Chancellor, Management and staff of this great university.

* Motivation

” Motivation l am sure, guided us all to this stage and l personally had my own share of it. I always remember, as l was told, that I was the reason why my mum couldn’t complete her university education, and l vowed to make her not regret aborting me. So l have strong determination to complete my education for both of us and make her proud.

” l was also motivated by my dad’s doubt about my ability to succeed. So l must succeed to make parents happy.

” Initially, there was no conscious effort by me to make a first-class or even do anything above average. I had always been a ” let me just pass and go” student. That has been my attitude from my primary school days.

“My dad did not go to school but he likes education. For his daughters, you must stop at the university. During my primary and secondary school, I didn’t take learning seriously. I didn’t make my daddy happy. I was an average student because I wanted to be an average student. It was just why do I have to stress myself. It was just passed and go. It was just like let me pass and go. In the university, my dad thought I was sleeping around. He thought I was scamming him but my mum tried a lot to raise money for me. My friends called me names and said I was a proud person.

“My daddy is paranoid and protective. He has the belief that guys always come around women. That was why he thought I was sleeping around. He thought I came here to waste my life and I hope I have proved him wrong.

“Daddy will not give you money to buy clothes. He will just turn his heads but he gave me good money for my convocation which means he is happy.

** Lecturer saw potential in me

” l want to thank Mr Oyindsmola Oyewole for always being on my neck. This lecturer saw potential in me and called me to his office one day. He gave me a “boring sermon” ( so l thought then) and so I tried to avoid him and avoid another sermon but I couldn’t, he was either sending motivational texts to me or asking me to come to his office for talks.

” At a point, I just told myself Dami, just do what this man says- if you don’t make the first class it’s his loss, not yours.

” That was how my drive for a first-class journey started. As you can see I have motivations and l followed them. I am sure my fellow graduands had their motivations as well and are glad we all could realize our potentials.

” l hope to get a scholarship to study and obtain my master’s and PhD degrees abroad and return to Nigeria to impart the knowledge acquired. I east to be a lecturer and this was caused by Prof. solar in, who called me one day after marking my script, to make me realize this path was for me, and I wish I would be able to fulfil this dream to be like him- he studied abroad and still came back to his country to impart knowledge on people like me.

” if the scholarship did not come then it is left for my dad to decide because I cannot raise money myself. I am tired of stressing my mum.

“I sacrificed a lot especially begging people for money. Some will block you off.

“My daddy didn’t want Achievers. My mum wanted me to study abroad but it didn’t work out. I won’t recommend private schools but I will recommend Achievers. In some private universities, their questions are very cheap.”

* No time to date boys

“I never went partying. I did not go to a club in my four years stay. It was just my books. My friends will go out but I will always stay back. I only go out to buy chicken and chips, I don’t go to parties and do not have time to date guys. I am not saying you cannot do both but I don’t like distractions. I like to stay focus. It was not easy turning down guys but now the boys can come.

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