My graduation is coming up soon and I’m a bit or maybe not excited. Anyway, I studied Medical Laboratory Science at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Ghana and my graduation was supposed to hold between 28th to 30th of September but I heard last week that it has been shifted to between 19th to 21st of October, depending on the day my faculty falls on.
Being a graduate (or should I say almost a graduate) and working (I’m currently waiting on training and internship before NYSC, that’s how medical laboratory scientists that studied outside Nigeria have it now, but for the mean time I’m working in a private lab), I have realized, that life isn’t easy or straight forward and you need to work hard coupled with God’s grace to get somewhere (I’ve always known that but this is the reality of things now). Anyway, I was reflecting on my life in school and I realized that there were some things I could have done that would have really helped me one way or the other and I decided to share.
- I should have been focused in my first year: Not that I was unserious, but I was new, it was a new environment and so on, so I didn’t really take my first year as serious as it should have been. Ever since then, I struggled to get my GPA up. Thinking about it, I realised that if I had paid attention to my first year in school as I did other years, I would have probably made a higher GPA but in all, I’m grateful to God. A high GPA doesn’t guarantee success but I mean, if we can aim higher, why not? So if you are about entering university or you are in the university, please work very hard in your first and second year. Those years determine how you would struggle with GPA. The emphasis on first and second year is because students just come into the university and don’t realize what is important because it’s like a new world with freedom until in their third year when graduation is coming soon then they struggle so hard to raise their GPA.
- I didn’t associate much with people: I was quiet, that quiet girl in the class and I was like a loner because most of my course mates stayed in school halls and I was in a private hostel so I didn’t get to flow with people plus I’m not the best at making friends or interacting with people (though I’m trying now). So because of this, I didn’t really get information on things such as school activities or notes given out and so on. This was mainly in first year. Along the years, I tried associating with people and it helped me. Don’t be like me. It’s OK to be quiet, but make friends especially in your first year, so that you can get important information. Ignorance is not an excuse.
- I didn’t exactly use my university days to build myself in campus: I don’t mean building oneself academically, but in other parts. I feel it’s easier or would be helpful to build your brand on campus. You might be doing something outside but in campus, let it be known. E.g. If you know you want to be hosting programmes, you can start in school by hosting student activities and so on. Is it bead making, making of hair? Start in school. Start in school to build your own brand that has a future. I’m not talking about selling clothes or stuffs in school to make money. That is good because it is a form of revenue. I’m talking about while selling those clothes, even after school, you start a chain of clothing stores and so on.
- I didn’t really go out: I don’t mean go for parties and so on but I was mainly in my hostel. Naturally, I’m not an outing person but I don’t mind going out with a close friend or two. Go out, maybe to the beach with a couple of friends or if you like big gatherings, fine. Someone is like, what will that help with now? I dunno, I just didn’t go out enough plus I think it’ll expose you to different people and you get to interact with different minds too.
- I didn’t participate well in departmental activities: I didn’t really do much of that except compulsory ones, of course, and looking back, I think I could have made effort but I just felt I want to rest or, which one is my own. Participating more would have helped me more, maybe sharpened my skills or interact with people and even build communication skills.
Extra tips not necessarily related to me but could be helpful would be:
- Choose your friends. Choose friends that complement you and would build you
- Do not be afraid to be yourself anywhere
- Always ask questions where you are confused, whether in class or any other place. It’s important. You don’t know it all and don’t think there will be another opportunity to ask or that you can figure it out yourself.
- Get rid of being shy, it’s not a treasured quality, it can in fact limit you cause, yea, you are shy and can’t do certain things. Also one way to get out of being shy is by going out of your comfort shy zone and eventually you will be out. let me add, there is a difference between being shy and being reserved. It can be confusing but I realized I’m not shy but reserved. A reserved person can do certain things a shy person would never do.
- Take advantage of every opportunity in school. If there is an opportunity to learn new skills, like web or graphic design for free or a little fee, please do. This life is somehow, you don’t know where you might need it.
- Finally, commit everything to God, put them all in His hands and always acknowledge His grace.
“Be careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil”
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NIV)
So there you have it. Thanks for reading
Just on the side: I’m starting a series on my blog called “Viewpoint”. This is basically the opinions or viewpoints of people on subject topics. So I would ask some people their thoughts on a particular issue or matter and post it on my blog for others to see. The aim of this is to realize how people think and to appreciate the diversity of thoughts. Also, when we hear other people’s views concerning certain things, sometimes, it could help us understand some things, or maybe not. Anyway, I would be posting it every first Monday of the month, starting with October. Anticipate!