By Caleb Ijioma
I congratulate you all for taking a bold step in continuing your education pursuit. At this junction, I’m sure you have written your o level examinations and have passed all necessary subjects needed to make you admitted into a tertiary institution in Nigeria.
Well, just like every other institution we have in Nigeria, a tertiary institution is very complex and have a major role to play in your success as a Human being. I’m happy to write this letter to you because I have tasted the four walls of a higher institution and still threading on so many path.
Well, in this letter, I won’t be making mention of courses you should and shouldn’t take up. At this point in time, you should know what you intend to study knowing fully well that some courses presently isn’t relevant in Nigeria.
I have been opportuned to discuss with few students who just gained admission into various tertiary institutions, I have also in many times discussed with students who have been in a tertiary institutions for more than a year;some about to graduate and I notice that the whole essence of attending a tertiary institution have been mistaken.
As humans, we have different opinions to different subject matters, unknowing to us that some of this opinion’s are wrong,we have been able to digest it and allow them rule and guide us. This then forms a perspective and we walk in that perspective formed from a wrong opinion that should have been discarded.
The mind is a strong engine that determines virtually all our action’s as humans, when we feed our mind with things that should be discarded, it will have an effect definitely, if not now, someday.
Before you include that tertiary institution in your jamb form, there are things you need to know.
At this junction, I know there are Family members suggesting and making it compulsory for you to pick some tertiary institution as your first,second,third and fourth choice. Well, the first and second choice is very important, not that the other two choices aren’t, but you know,something’s are greater and bigger than another.
Firstly, whatever institution you have decided to choose, you should make research and ask questions about that institution. This will help you have little knowledge about the modus operandi of the institution. Its important that you ask students who are studying in that institution questions about the institution, how the system Work, students life and so on. Asking questions and making research gives you an upper hand. Remember, information is power, and that power can liberate you from picking the wrong choice of school. Trust me,some tertiary institutions are not worth the stress.
Secondly and most importantly, I have come to realise that Some tertiary institutions in Nigeria have nothing to offer its students other than the class room knowledge and examinations. I will boldly say that after conducting your research and you figure out that the institution you decide to choose has nothing to offer other than the classroom lectures, you need to have a second thought. I am of the opinion that a tertiary institution must have some student institutions/organizations that can help build students and make them have different experiences in that their career path and even beyond. As a student, you’re not expected to be limited to the knowledge gained in your classrooms, in fact, it is to your own detriment if you choose an institution that has no student organization to give you the necessary knowledge and experience needed in that your career path. Tertiary Institutions like this needs to be avoided.
Organisations like JCI,NUCJ, Enactus and the likes are necessary organizations that students are expected to join. The essence of these organizations is to build you and even make you a student professional in that career you’ve chosen. Everything can not be learnt in the confines of a classroom. By joining these organizations, you won’t become a half baked graduate.
Attend seminars,trainings, symposiums, conventions. All these are very important. Have this at the back of your mind that before they accept you into that job after graduating, they’ll ask “what can you do”. Your result will bring you job opportunities, what you can do will sustain that job.
Furthermore, don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t go to the university with the mindset that failure is evil. Try not to fail but when you fail, make the best out of it and rise. A lot of people have ended their lives because they failed. No! Failure doesn’t determine the end of a man.
Lastly, you need to understand that the tertiary institution is a very large world, you’ll meet lots of people from different backgrounds with different experiences, orientation and class. It’s important to go to a tertiary institution with an intention of learning and building your future while in school. Right there in the institution, you can find your business partner. Your relationship with the right set of people can change your life forever. These set of people can help you build your lives and can serve as a force to push you to greatness. Learn to maximize every opportunity that comes your way, judiciously make use of your stay on campus.
I hope that you’ll read this and digest all this as it will help you choose an institution you won’t regret studying in.
Caleb Ijioma is a youth advocate and a journalist, he can best be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org