Yesterday, 23rd January 2015 marked the matriculation ceremony for new entrants into the University Of Lagos (UNILAG) this event was held at the Multipurpose halls of the institution.
However there are a few things which all the ‘official’ orientation in the world would never tell you, therefore we got a very fresh Alumni of the university to give us a list of 10 things you need to know as a Unilag freshman. This is just information, not advice, so whatever you do with it, is clearly at your discretion.
- You are “on your own”
For some people with very rich or overprotective parents, your whole life until this point may have been rosy and paved with gold, maids and house helps at your disposal always. However the University offers you absolute independence, here there is no mummy to wake you up for lectures, no maid to prepare your breakfast and no chauffeur to drive you around. If you prove dull or gullible, other people would exploit your weaknesses, here you are on your own!
- The System does not really Work.
During my first year in school, I stayed at El-kanemi hall and I bet you, boys were practically fighting every other day and the closest thing to an authority figure we ever saw was probably older students. My point is that it is very important for you to avoid trouble if you do not have Muscles to fight, then you better have a functional brain to evade fights, the more you report to the authorities, the more childish you seem and the more you get bullied.
Also in my second semester as a ‘fresher’, I had an A in a course when the result was posted on a board beside the Lecturer’s office, but online and on the broadsheet, it reflected as N/A. All my pleas and letters were not able to resolve this, I graduated with an N/A in that course. So just beware, the system, just like most other things in Nigeria, does not work
- Student – Lecturer Relationships.
It is usually better for a Female student not to be too acquainted with a Male lecturer. However, those who detest studying and making good grades the proper way should be ready for some serious *ucking. This works with some lecturers but for some, it’s a no-no. Generally, it is better not to sleep with any lecturer at all for any reason, unless of course, you wish to sleep with all of them in that particular faculty eventually. Trust me, these men are very good with referral services, once the alarm is blown on you, offers would start streaming in, offers you must not refuse. Once you start receiving sexual threats from lecturers, it is either you report to the counseling unit or write to the DSA, these measures most probably will not work, but they are worth exploring.
- Don’t get caught cheating!
I know the school authorities have already told you about the stiff penalties attached to exam malpractice, they must have also warned you not to indulge in same. However as the saying goes, the end justifies the means. I know some people who graduated by cheating in all the Exams, tests and assignments they ever did. You see, my point is that only those who get caught ever get punished. Therefore if you know must resort to exam malpractice, then you better don’t get caught and if you ever get caught, you may end up in number 3 above, and I tell you, it’s even worse when they have leverage over you. Anyways in most cases, immediately you fill the malpractice form, you are on your way home, I mean your Parent’s home.
- Student – Student Relationship
I had my own fair share of relationships while in School, during my second year, I spent the whole of 8 pm to 12 midnight every day for a full semester on a Babe I was dating. It was fun, it was crazy, it was a roller coaster, I would spend those precious 4 hours of my life talking and gisting with her, then spend the rest of the night thinking and dreaming of her, looking back now, it was a sheer waste of time. 4 hours of 24 spent on something without a future value. Asides from being time-consuming, relationships cost money too, you had to buy gifts, chicken and chips, Suya, Salado (high-end eatery inside Unilag), Cinema Tickets, pay for guest house frolicking and sometimes send recharge cards, not to talk of the hourly calls you are required to make. In Unilag, relationships are mainly a father-daughter affair, so as a fresher, if you are ready to have a Girl-Friend, you better have the financial means to treat her even better than her Father. Don’t be scared anyways, there are also exceptions to this rule and it’s only a matter of time before you lose her to people who’ve grown beards and can afford genuine Gucci.
- Talent appreciation.
Yesterday, I was in Unilag for the matriculation ceremony and I overheard a concerned Mum, telling her two daughters how to navigate their lives on campus, she went this way “now that you would be moving into the hostel, every morning, you would leave your hostels for lectures and then to the library”. Seriously madam, who would attend all the shows on campus? Who would twerk in the clubs on the Island? Who would hang out with boys in front of New hall and all the dark corners at night? Oh? Who would come and dance half-nude on the top of a bus for 5k during hall week? better still, are your children not beautiful enough to contest in miss Unilag beauty pageantry? How about the ever growing demand for event ushers? Come on Mamma, that your idea won’t work o. It can’t work! Iro nla!
Please once you move into the hostels, remember to have some fun, there are many opportunities to chase your dreams and talents, especially for those interested in Music, sports and other entertainment allied activities. For the academics and scholars, we have the debates, spelling bee competitions and other such competitions in school. For the sportsmen, I would advise you register at the sports center, Unilag have school teams for all sorts of sporting activities ranging from football to volleyball, just do it! Also for those who are music, comedy or dance inclined, do not be afraid to put in for competitions, to perform at hall weeks and barbecue nights. Infarct start building your fan base from now and in no time, luck would smile on you like Reekado Banks, who used to be my Coursemate. There are also a large variety of clubs and para-military organizations open for students’ candidature. The choice is yours.
7. School politics
Students’ unionism has been banned for years now in Unilag, but with the 2014/2015 set, this ban has been lifted. Do not be scared to play active part in student politics, start practicing how to become a Leader. Volunteer to be the group leader for group projects, do the presentations when necessary, ask questions from your current excos, pay your association dues, contest for elective posts, do not be scared of trying out new things, to participate in new activities, you may be new to the system, but the system only improves those who are ready to improve. Extend courtesy to people, help them out with something from time to time, pay them compliments, always have a smile on your face, be confident and dress well, also do not ever be scared of the authorities, only stand for the right whenever you can. Whenever an opportunity comes your way, make a move for it, grab it.
8. Friends are everything
Friends would ruin you in Unilag. They would ruin your myopic perspective about life, ruin your religious intolerance, and ruin your hate for alcohol. What I’m trying to say is that most of the time, you would end up like your friends whether you like it or not. It is therefore your call to determine whom you make friends with and who remains your friend. At some point, your friends would be jealous of your success, they may not support some of your activities but then you actually choose what is best is for yourself.
Although it is not easy, but try to read for at least an hour a day, do not wait until the exams are near, by then the library would be overflowing with people and same applies to night classes which are usually more of a social than academic gathering. Also remember that for any course you fail, there would always be someone who would score an A, that is the black sheep of the class, beware of such people, they make your F seem like you did not work hard enough. *giggles*
Missing scripts are a harsh reality many students would face, only a few ever escape this menace. Therefore it is usually safer to brace-up before hand for the case of a missing result or script. Always make sure you check for your results as soon as they are pasted in order to correct any issues before the results are uploaded online. Also ensure you are among the first set of people who check their results online, always make sure that complaints about results are filed early, either verbally to the lecturer involved or through a letter addressed to the appropriate offices involved.
As a freshman in your first semester, you may be feeling all intelligent and excited, but by the end of this semester, some of your course mates would be on probation (less than 1.50 GPA) and by the end of second semester, some would be advised to withdraw, that is a polite way of expelling them from school for a woeful academic performance. Therefore, always remember that whatever you do, you must maintain your ticket to remain in school, and that is a CGPA of 1.50 and above at all times.
You would be needing God in your life as a student. Whichever way you choose to stay close to him is strictly your decision. For some it may be Church, others Mosque, others by offering sacrifices at junctions, whatever you do, try to have some form of relationship with God, it is always worth it, and always watch out for exam prayers at the S.U.B grounds, Exam prayers are a very effective way of relaxing during exam period, that of course is if you are done with studying.
I wish you all Success throughout your four-year stay in this prestigious institution.
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