By Funmilayo Ajidahun
While some students name Mathematics as their worst subject, 2020/2021 University of Ibadan, UI, graduate, Oyedeji Temitope Victor, finished as the best student in the Department of Mathematics with a CGPA of 3.87/4.00.
The honour student also bagged 41 awards, including National Outstanding Mathematics Student of the Year SNE Award, Best Graduating Student in Faculty of Science, Best Graduating Student in Mathematics, JCI FOPA Award for the Most Outstanding Student in Academics, Best Sportsman of the Year, NDMSS UI.
While recalling how the journey to academic stardom started, Temitope said: “When I came into the University of Ibadan 2017, that was the same year my brother Oyedeji Timilehin graduated from the University of Ilorin.
“He graduated top of his class and in the faculty and that was the first and one of the important motivations that I had. I remembered my dad telling me I must beat his grades and records and I was laughing to myself because it looked quite impossible to me. But it inspired me to always be the best. Thank God I did.
“Aside from being a focused student, I was actively involved in the Department and faculty’s football team. I taught pre-university and 100 level tutorials.
“One of my biggest challenges as a student was being a student. Sitting through the conventional lectures was sometimes difficult.
“My mind and body were always going, and I couldn’t wait to get out of my seat, move around, share my thoughts, and interact with my peers. I handled it by focusing all my energy on my listening and note-taking.
“In my first year, it wasn’t really easy to adapt to the new environment and there were lots of intimidations everywhere. In the subsequent years, the volume of work, time management and trying to balance all was challenging.”
Talking about other things that prepared him for the excellent performance, he said: “I understood what works for me. I don’t really spend many hours reading because I will get distracted.
“I only need to get the concept of the course/material and I have just little work to do thereafter. But the key thing was that I was able to balance everything. I made sure that I am about 95% satisfied before going for any exam or test.
“I also try not to read irrelevant materials aside from notes and textbooks and I understood my lecturers and what they want.
“Growing up in a very competitive environment has always taught me to strive to be at the pinnacle of my abilities, while also assisting those around me. This conviction has been the foundation for my attitude towards my academics, work and personal life.
“It has enabled me to strive for excellence in all I do, which has been reflected in my accomplishments thus far.”
He hinted that he looks forward to pursuing a master’s degree in the field of differential equations.”