If the current semester were to be physical, diligent hawkers would have peddled their wares on corridors in halls of residence, calling willing (or unwilling) to get chilled Tsunami. Away from the hilarity of this popular phenom is the truth that lies in how representative it is of the reality in the University of Ibadan. As students hawk Tsunami to relieve academic stress and share some laughter, the University of Ibadan continually dangles Tsunami before students, regardless of their level of study.
What Does it Mean to be Tsunamised?
Tsunami, in University of Ibadan parlance, is a situation where a student is advised to withdraw based on their inability to meet up to academic requirements for the given session. Tsunami is an all-ravaging disaster that is capable of wrecking havoc on the studentship of both the freshman and the penultimate-year student. It is no respecter of persons or year of study. Your elevated senior prefect or senior girl position in secondary school is not enough to save you from Tsunami. If you are not well-equipped to prepare yourself for the academic ride, you may fall.
Dear Freshmen, What Shall You Do to be Saved from the Waves of Tsunami?
We are by no means seeking to scare the dim daylights out of you, but scaling through the post-UTME and gaining admission into the University of Ibadan are the least of the hurdles you’ll have to face in your academic journey. One of the baggages that await you at the University of Ibadan gate (which no one would tell you about, of course!) is a barrage of stress, unending classes, tests, assignments, term papers, and a network of Gordian’s knots. Your first year is pivotal to your excellence, or otherwise, in the University of Ibadan. However, this same first year is touted the most difficult for many, not because first-year courses are generally difficult, but because many students are ususally at a loss of how to navigate their first year. This is what makes freshmen easy preys to the people-sweeping Tsunami.
The last of Tsunami’s terrible ravages was after the 2016/17 academic session, when 328 students were advised to withdraw from the school (Tsunamised, if you please). This high rate was tied to the fact that freshman for that year did not sit the school’s post-UTME. Since the return of the post-UTME in the 2017/18 session, the Tsunami rate has reduced. Sadly, this semester will go down in history as one of the toughest, if not the toughest semester for students. The irregularities and non-familiarity with the mode and style of learning adopted this semester will have grave effects on academic performances. Freshmen may find it more difficult to navigate through the semester, seeing as this is their supposed first contact with university education.
You might have been receiving hits from all angles; from your GES courses to your faculty courses. You might as well have wondered if things would ever be fine for you. Know that things are only threatening to turn sour; the taste has not yet become bad. You can still remedy things, if you’re determined to. As a freshman, here are things you should have taken into consideration or started acting upon:
Know What Works for You
The most essential thing, and the biggest factor in how well you perform at the end of this semester is self-awareness. You must know yourself, for it is in so doing that you will know the best course to chart for a successful semester. Knowing yourself cuts across all your endeavours on campus. It is what helps you make important and defining decisions. If you know you assimilate slowly, you have no business rushing through preparations for your exams at the last minute. If interactions are important to how well you understand concepts, why miss virtual classes? It is dangerous to compare yourself to others and attend to your academics based on the characteristics of your friends, roommate, or colleagues.
There are founded stories of students who hardly left their rooms in their first year, yet they did excellently well at the end of the session. Comparing yourself to such students and toying with class attendance could backfire. Know who you are, know what works for you, and plan your academic semester based on your knowledge of who you are. It will also help to write down the courses you are taking this semester and your envisioned score for each course. This will create a mental readiness for what lies ahead.
Know What Works for the Lecturer, Your Department, Your Faculty
An academic semester is not a lonesome journey embarked on by the student alone. Your semester will never be complete without your lecturers, your department, the departments you borrow from, and your faculty. Therefore, it does not stop at knowing yourself and knowing what works for you. You need to take it some steps further: know the lecturer for each course, their marking style, and what they expect of their students. Of course, we do not expect you to conduct a vox populi! We are not asking you to walk into their offices either. Your best shot is those who are a level or two ahead of you; the sophomores, the final-year students.
Some students are lucky, in that their departmental or faculty exco have given them a brush down of what to expect from each lecturer. However, many freshmen are still wallowing in the murky waters of ignorance. The rope to safety lies in doing your background search for what works for each lecturer. Therein does your salvation lie.
TDBs and MTNs Have Proved their Worth Overtime; Consider Them
We know your forehead might have creased into four bumps of skin when you saw TDB and MTN. Not to worry, they are both University of Ibadan words which mean Till-Day-Break and Morning-Till-Night. These are terminologies used to qualify the time spent studying one’s books. They are tried and tested options that have delivered the serious students from the clutches of Tsunami; the serious students. Coupled with self-awareness and armed with the knowledge of what each lecturer requires of you, TDB or MTN is a lethal weapon for securing yourself against Tsunami. TDB may work for you; MTN may be your own choice, and if you are strong enough, you could combine both. In all. ensure you are not deceiving yourself, and that what you are doing works for you.
This Disaster Does Not Respect Your Academic Standing, “Revered” Stalite!
You’re a sophomore, or an ante-penultimate-year student, or you’re even in your final year of study, so, you believe you are automatically delivered from Tsunami. You could never be more wrong in your assumption! Tsunami wrecks havoc on the stalite too; only that stalites are deemed better prepared for all its whiles.
However, know that this is a virtual semester, a never-before-tried path. As such, you are equally prone to the injuries that Tsunami is wont to inflict. Watch, be vigilant, ensure that you are not lagging behind seriously. Read your books, attend classes, hold group discussions if they would help you. Do not joke with the least of assignments; now is not the time!
The virtual semester has had varying degrees of negative effects on students: the accumulated fatigue, the induced apathy, the added financial responsibilities, the loss in a quagmire of ignorance, you name it! Regardless of how trying and unfavourable the semester has been, there is no guarantee that the pedals of exams will be softened for the bruised feet of students. The breakfast will be served, UI-standard, and it is then left to students to improvise (as they always do) and find a way to survive. This time around, don’t just aim to survive; aim to thrive!
May you not be tsunamised.
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