“Time slips away like grains of sand never to return again.” — Robin Sharma
Time; stealth in its ways, and quick to slip by. Among us, no one is powerful enough to stop the march of time or slow it down. We either kill time or we save time. Sometimes, we rob and get robbed of time. But all that matters in the end is how we use time, because cliché as it may seem, time wasted can never be regained. And it must have been based on this backdrop that Sharma drew his famous quote, which is the opening line of this piece.
There is no denying that the 2020/2021 session has been a bunch of all things imperfect for the average University of Ibadan student. From resuming during the heat of the pandemic and having to run a virtual semester, to coupling academics with the emotional tiredness that had rested on the shoulders of all humans, to a first-in-many-years ditch in communication, students at the University of Ibadan have seen it all this session, if it all can ever be seen.
However, one thing that has perhaps surpassed others this session is the way this second semester has been slipping out of our grip like a ball out of its socket. While students counted the passing of each week in the manner peculiar to students, the weeks did not cease to slip by, and if you have yet to come to the awareness of it, examinations in most faculties are slated to commence on Monday, 25th October 2021. In about a month, you will be sitting exams to round off this semester. In case you have not given much thought to it, this semester is upon you; it is upon us!
This is the ninth week into the semester, yet it seems like the semester has only begun, with little or no academic activities. This is a deceitful way of seeing things, because many students banked on some added weeks for lectures, which will most likely not see the light of day. While this may be a very demanding semester for some people, as they get to offer more courses compared to the first; It is a less demanding one for others, as they get to offer only very few courses. Should it be surprising that lectures in some departments are only yet to begin or just at the introductory stage, yet the exams have to be written at the stated time?
It is worthy to say that this second semester is that crafty rich friend that goes around lending his needy friends’ money, assuring them to pay whenever they like, only to come the day after for the money. This is not a time to start groaning over spilt milk, for the wasted weeks can never be recovered. What then should you do? At this point, it is time to take strategic actions toward how to make the best use of the remaining part of this semester.
To Freshmen: Tsunami Calls Every Session; Will It Find You Wanting?
Perhaps you heard of the dreaded Tsunami as a UI hopeful. All what you heard of the self-inflicted disaster is true; it comes, it strikes, it carts away some people. It’s understandable if you feel you’ve understood how the university system works, having spent a semester and half already. But your understanding of how the system works is only assured by how well you’ve been taking decisions this semester. This is a semester where you get a CGPA, compared to the GP you got in the first semester. Were your grades excellent in the first semester? It would be foolhardy to rest on your oars this semester, for it’s a timeless UI maxim that at the end of the second semester, the CGPA of most freshmen drops like an album.
The second semester has its peculiarity of being filled with a lot of activities. If the second semester were human, it would be a Yoruba woman – an owanbe lover to the core. As the SU Week beckons, so does the Inter-faculty Competition, and your faculty and department also have their respective weeks coming. There are picnics, seminars, conferences, religious activities – you name them. The dilemma is that virtually all of these activities are geared towards making you a well-shaped human. Does that mean you should attend all? No. As a freshman, you have to come to the realisation that you are not obliged to attend all the events happening on campus, regardless of how beneficial they may seem. You have to recognise that you need to save time as much as possible for yourself first, and your academics. Remember, you are only privileged to attend these events because of your studentship, without it, there will be no validity to give you access to these events.
You are also not obligated to join more organisations than you can commit to. It’s never about how many organisations you have joined, but how effectively you utilise the platform these organisations give you for your growth and development. At this point in the semester, it won’t be surprising to find some freshmen struggling already with commitment issues and responsibilities in these organisations. Start reading! That can’t be overemphasised. In days to come, you will be writing a series of tests before exams. It’s never too late to begin preparations.
To Stalites: What’s Worth Doing, Is Worth Doing Well
At this phase of your studentship, you might have gotten involved in a lot of activities, being in one committee or the other, taking leadership roles in various organisations, administrating a political office, running for a political office, but to name a few. It’s not bad in itself that you are already involved in a whole lot of things, as this qualifies you as someone who is prepared or preparing for life after school. However, what should raise a concern for you is when you are not able to find a balance amidst all of these and your academics.
There is also the tendency of being overwhelmed with the demands of your various commitments coupled with academic demands. If it’s getting so overwhelming, it’s either you take a break or resign from some of these commitments. At this point, your health is as important as your academics. Set your goals correctly, prioritise wisely, organise yourself, plan ahead, and take a break between tasks to clear your head and refresh yourself.
To Finalists: The Horse Does Not Relent At The Last Lap
It is clear that the pressure is more on this side of YOUR academic pursuit. Although your primary concern might lie in completing your project before the deadline date, there’s the need to prepare for your final papers, while not forgetting to think of the future; your future; life after graduation.
Dear finalist, if you haven’t been giving your project topic enough attention, this is the best time to push further by making sure you attend to corrections where necessary. This is your last phase as an undergraduate, a very crucial moment for you; give it the very best that you can.
In the true sense, time is upon us all to buckle up on areas we have been lacking behind academically. It’s never too late to begin regardless of how far behind you are. Start attending those classes; do those assignments before the deadlines; and begin preparations towards exams. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today. Let us begin!
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