There’s nothing like that thrill and excitement of finally becoming free and moving to an higher phase. The phase where you pursue your dreams.
All that excitement can easily be drained out of you by the torturous Nigerian Universities. I’m not talking about private universities or state universities. I mean federal Universities.
You would be reminded everytime that your grades are super important. This constant reminder can be good or bad for you.
On one hand you probably have that first class goal in mind and on the other hand is the university system designed to steal your life from you in exchange for a first class certificate.
You will be forced to make decisions which is where the mistakes most freshers make stems out from.
Decision making and creating a balance between academics and the other parts of your life is one of the hardest things to do as a fresher.
It’s usually because most Nigerian freshers are not used to making important decisions alone before resumption into the university. Plus they are still new to the system.
Which is why I will be giving you an inside gist on those mistakes so you don’t make them.
Grade costing mistakes freshers make
1) They follow the crowd:
This is one thing I made sure that I didn’t do. It was one of the lessons I learnt at A’levels.
There’s always this pressure to do a lot after resumption. So freshers wake up very early and rush to classes.
In OAU, some students get to lecture theaters as early as 3 a.m. The over-ambitiousness is crazy.
So many students would gather in lecture theaters at night to study over night. Most of this students barely get anything done during their night study.
In fact most of them have complete notes but empty heads. It’s hard to explain but it’s because of the stress they load out on themselves
It usually takes the mid session test to slap them back to reality. The reality that getting good grades is not just going to classes and reading over night because everyone is going out to read.
* The temptation is high but you don’t have to wake up that early. You don’t have to struggle to stay awake all night to get good grades
You don’t even have to run from one tutorial center to the other to get better grades. All you need is great organization skills. Do not follow the crowd.
2)They are overconfident:
I have always known myself to be confident but I still work hard and smart.
Some freshers become so confident in themselves because of their past achievements so they become negligent in studying and preparing for exams in school.
Nigerian Universities are super talented in the art of humbling students with high shoulder pads.
After the first test, most freshers realize the real difference between universities and secondary school.
* My advice is however brilliant you were in secondary school, don’t rely on it.
Act like someone who knows nothing and learn more.
3) They don’t know what works for them:
Compared to the Nigerian University system, it’s relatively easier to perform better in secondary schools without knowing what works for you.
Like I mentioned in point 1 most freshers follow the crowd but it’s mainly because they don’t know what works for them.
I realized that for me it didn’t matter if I attended hundred level classes or not. had little or no impact in my study.
I stayed off campus in my first year so it was not easy getting to classes early.
Which meant I had to sit at the back or call friends to take spaces for me and I have bad eyes(sadly I can’t see far distances).
As a result I would barely see what the lecturer was teaching. Coupled with that is the fact that I would barely hear what the lecturer was saying.
More or less I wasn’t gaining anything from those classes. Instead I got several materials and I began to study them during class hours. I also knew I couldn’t stay up all night but I could stay awake within certain hours so I read at those times.
* It’s important to know what works for you. Not everyone thrives well in classrooms also not everyone thrives well without attending lectures.
Not everyone can read throughout the night so it’s okay if you sleep off, you just need to know what works for you. Don’t stress. Remember,the important thing is to get good grades. It doesn’t matter how(don’t cheat tho.)
I wrote an article on creating a study planner. It covers everything on knowing yourself and preparing a plan that works for you.
4) They start reading too late:
Some freshers spend most of their time writing notes and going for tutorials and they end up piling up notes till mid tests or exams.
By the time they realize they had not been preparing, it would be too late. They end up crash reading (probably doing it the wrong way.) and failing.
It’s very to get caught up with the university stress and end up not studying.
* It doesn’t matter how many classes or tutorials you attend, if you don’t study on your own you might fail.
Which means classes don’t matter as much as studying does. Studying on your own helps you store the information in your long term memory.
If you do it the right way. I wrote a comprehensive article on improving your memory for study.
* It’s important to start studying early and a study planner will surely help you achieve that.
The greatest threat to anyone’s grades is distractions. Most Nigerian freshers get distracted by their freedom.
They enter into relationships, friendships and start extracurriculars that take away their time.
Its okay to be in a relationship but you have to make sure it’s not toxic. Toxic relationships are the most distracting.
You must also make sure that you balance the relationship with your studies so you don’t end up spending more time on the relationship instead of your studies.
Extracurriculars are great too but it must be balanced. Some freshers spend more time in fellowships praying for good grades than they spend studying for good grades.
It’s important to understand priorities before it’s too late
* It’s okay to have distractions but it’s not okay to let them control you. Control your distractions.
Be in charge, choose when they get to distract you. Don’t forget the goal is to get good grades. So focus on that.
There are so many mistakes freshers make but learning from those mistakes is important.
You have to work for good grades the right way.