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To every student who hasn’t found their bearing

academically or doesn’t know what the academic world
holds, I pray all your dreams come true!
To every student out there, keep pushing! One day it
would eventually make sense.
Table Of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ................................................................................ 5
HOLD ON! ................................................................................................... 6
PROLOGUE.................................................................................................. 7
SMALL GIRL, BIG DREAM ............................................................................ 8
THE TWIST ................................................................................................ 14
LATEST UNDERGRADUATE ....................................................................... 17
YOU'RE YOUR OWN MOTIVATION! ......................................................... 21
WHAT ABOUT THEM! ............................................................................... 26
SLEEP ........................................................................................................ 29
DON'T IGNORE ......................................................................................... 35
BEYOND THAT! ......................................................................................... 38
THE STRUGGLE ......................................................................................... 42
FOR SPENDING! ........................................................................................ 45
HELP, I’M IN LOVE! ................................................................................... 48
DOES IT MATTER?..................................................................................... 53
HOW I FEEL ............................................................................................... 56
THE DARKER SHADE ................................................................................. 58
STANDING OVATION ................................................................................ 61
Special thanks to God Almighty for constantly giving me the
Grace to encourage young minds through words. Thank you for
the grace of writing.
To my Parents, they played a huge success in my academic Life
and in this book, I love you Mum and Dad.
To my wonderful siblings, King-Adonai and Jesuloba, thank you
for constantly being my number one audience. I hope you
never give up on your dreams and live life fearlessly.
To my Wonderful Aunt, Aunt B who never ceased to believe in
me all through my journey in the university and was a strong
pillar of encouragement.
Mummy Akinola whom God used to help me through the
clouds when I gained admission.
Dr. Sangoyomi, despite her busy schedule took out time to help
in my academic life. Your advices were very needful and helpful.
Ajayi Mayowa and Adeyemo Jolaade for taking out time to read.
Itunuoluwa Abidoye for supporting in the biggest way despite
the little time frame.
I am glad you decided to read this book. This is a piece of me,
please handle with care!
Don't just read it like it's one of those other novels you read,
read it alongside a pen and book. That way, you will be able to
jot things that are going to help you. Don't just read once and
drop, continue to read it till your dream becomes clearer!
Beyond the story, pick the lessons. I look forward to hearing
your review, lessons and most especially, your testimonies.
Just in case you need a listening ear, I am a step away;

It was the annual students’ conference that most students in

the Lagos metropolis looked forward to. The networking, follow
up and opportunities that came with it was a great deal which
most parents and students saved up for, long before it started.
This Year’s own had been different compared to previous ones,
as only one speaker was invited. As Kike dressed up for the
program, she wondered why only a speaker was invited.
Thankfully, she had registered online and didn’t have to join
the long queue. She had missed out from the worship session
and this got to her, who goes to a conference just to miss the
worship session, she asked herself. “We will now welcome on
stage Agronomist Ojuola. She is the CEO Ojuola Farms and a
motivational speaker whose life is sold out to Christ. Please I
beg of us to jot as many things as we can as the speaker comes
up. A round of applause once again….” She was used to
Engineers and Doctors; she never knew there was a title for
Farmers also. She laughed…. Everything was set on her laps, her
diary, her pen and water bottle just in case the throat gets dry
to assimilate some points.
“Good morning young ladies in the house, my name is
Agronomist Ojuola. I’m so sure a lot of you might not be
familiar with the title. Let me pick it up from there, An
Agronomist put in a lame man’s word is one who majors in the
economical aspect of Agriculture....”


Like every other girl, my dream was to be a Doctor, not
because I understood what it entailed, but because the title was
catchy. I didn't know what the medicine world had for me but I
was super sure that if you couldn't read, you couldn’t be a
Doctor. I had this big picture in mind and ran my Life based on
the norm; education!
In primary school, I was amongst the top three of the class and
this meant the world to me so much that if you had asked me
to choose between food and going to school, I would have
chosen the latter.
Growing up, my Parents felt I was an average student and
thankfully they helped by constantly providing a lesson teacher.
I really didn’t have the flare for education until I got to Primary
four when I happened to raise the bar high by becoming one of
the top three of my class, which sure was a big deal to me!
Being one of the best students in class was fun as I was
admired by both my classmates and teachers.
Then, a tragedy occurred!
We were all seated in class on a fateful Wednesday when we
saw two students work into our library for the entrance
examination. No one knew which class they were seeking
admission to, all we knew was; they were going to be students.
The next day, a young guy walked into the classroom. Little did
we know that he was going to disrupt the system of the class.
Tunde became the favorite of the class and of all teachers.
The result for the next term came out and alas! He topped the
class. The previous first became third while the previous third
became second. The previous third became the fourth position
till we left the school.
On the graduation ceremony, I was happy I was leaving as the
third position but was pained for Anthony who left as fourth.
How surprising it was that a young boy from nowhere could
come to disrupt a system. This taught me a lesson; we aren't
too small or young to make a difference irrespective of the time
life gives to us.
Life became gold when I gained admission into the secondary
school of my choice. My Parents were so happy about that and
were ready to go any length for me but something had left my
journey that I never noticed; the competition spirit. The
competition spirit was one that retained me as one of the top
three in primary school despite the fact that Tunde came to
disrupt the system.
I went to school every morning and came back late in the
night only to sleep. I wasn’t a real hard fan of watching the
television, unlike most people would think. The first term, I
came out with seventh position, which wasn’t much of a big
deal to me. Moreover, we were 30 in my arm of the class. I was
like a compass without bearing instead of flowing with direction.
I stayed stagnant, probably I’ll become a breeding place for the
mosquitoes. My sit partner was the 12th position and as long as I
was five steps ahead of him, I was an achiever!
Prize giving day came and as usual, I was looking forward to
receiving at least one prize, more like reaping where I never
planted. After the ceremony, our teacher was waiting in a
classroom for students to come pick their gifts. I told a
classmate of mine to come collect her gift and her mother
yelled at me saying that we couldn’t collect prizes and we
wanted to collect gift.
That memory stayed with me and I was bent on improving as
I resumed a new session. Dreams do come true but mine was
During summer school, we were always ranked; with each
person given a position. I was usually one of the top four and
this left me heartbroken. If only it could happen during normal
school session.
No one was talking to me in class. Looking back now, I know the
reason but then it was a major issue to contend with. My
Parents’ marriage was pulling apart and there was no one to
save it. Mummy spent most of her midnight as a punch bag in
dad’s hand and during the day, she barely had time for us as
she would rather go visit a therapist. My Father was a no-
goarea for us as he was the Lion of the tribe of the Clan. This
had instilled a lot of fear and built insecurities around me.
I continued walking through the path of loneliness where I
made insecurities my friends hoping that one day Hope might
take them away from me. That day never came!
The Junior WAEC was coming soonest and all I could think of
was passing. At least, if loneliness had decided to hug me,
failure shouldn’t be the dress I should have on. Everyone was
talking about how they wanted to go for Science, Arts or
Commercial. The dream came back! I could be a Doctor after all
but that’s if I was intelligent to do just that.
I was really lost.
After exams, I was checking through my exam scripts and to my
amazement I saw that I had scored 52 marks out of 60 in Basic
Science, I was as astonished as it had never happened in
secondary school.
This amazement drove me into the Science class and not until I
got to Science class did I know that fire was waiting on the
mountain for me. Physics was like Greek, I never understood it
and Further Math was just a waste of time. I loved books but
everything was not just clicking. I really wanted to turn back but
fear of everyone most especially my Father, saying I wasn’t
good enough for Science, gripped me. I was dying inside but
there was no doctor to revive me.
I kept failing wonderfully but everyone kept telling me I was
doing well. My closest friend, Tara was the best in Science class
but I was part of the average students.
I remember walking down the Administrative block with my
friend and we got talking about the best in Arts student in our
class. I narrated the guy’s story of how he used to be the dullard
of the class and how he was now the genius. I didn’t know
when I told her I used to top the class back in primary school.
She looked at me and asked a simple question “What happened
now? Why aren’t you topping the class any longer?” These
words were heavy for me and it got me wondering what had
happened in my Journey. “Was I no longer reading?” I wasn’t
the social type and that made me realize being social didn’t
constitute my problem.
G.C.E came knocking at the door and I was so excited to write
my first external examination. Results came out just as I was
starting my last lapse in secondary school. I was shocked to see
that I failed, I had failed Math and Chemistry. I wasn’t bothered
that I failed, I was just concerned about how the Lion would
react to it. It wasn’t funny for me as the whole house became
unbearable; most especially for my Mother. My Dad wasn’t
taking it cool with her and this caused her to pour her
aggression on me most times though she tried not to. It was
few days to WAEC and I was scared. Scared because I was so
sure that I was going to fail, I held on to faith regardless and
was so sure all my nights had to go into this exam.
It was Thursday evening and my mother was handling food.
“Ojuola!!!” My father shouted and I sure knew I was in for a
serious battle and instantly I came over to him at the dining
table where he was eating. He asked me to go bring the
vegetables my mum was cooking. Until I got there did I realize
she was naïve to what was happening but gave me to avoid
troubles from my father.
I was instructed by my father to chew the whole vegetable. I
obliged, and only then did I realize I was eating bitter leaf but it
was too late, I had to finish everything. I rushed to drink water
afterwards but that kind of worsened my condition.
I was bent on passing my WASSCE. How? I never knew but I
knew Miracles happen. The bitter leaf experience didn’t make
sense to me, at least then. I just felt a young man was punishing
me but my mother’s cry over me not failing, it made a deep
sense to me.

I had the big picture of becoming a Doctor, regardless of what
anyone said around me, I kept that in mind. My phase in
Secondary School was gradually coming to an end and everyone
was preparing towards external examinations, perhaps the
exam that would determine our future.
My dream sounded unrealistic to me but I wanted to bring it
to fulfillment, no matter the cost. My Father enrolled me for a
pre-degree program in the University of Lagos (UNILAG) where I
was to study Pharmacy. It wasn’t a good idea to me, I felt I had
better things in mind than to waste a year of my life. Besides, I
wasn’t sure if I would do well in Pharmacy of all courses.
Eventually, I obtained a JAMB form against my father’s will in
which I chose medicine as my preferred course of study and
opted for a private university simply because I had watched a
movie produced by the drama unit of the school.
I was writing WASSCE when my Jamb result was released. I got
191 out of 400 marks. For someone who wanted to read
medicine, that was a dream being shattered.
My JAMB score caused a lot of trauma to me, I thought at
some point I’ll probably have a hole in my heart. My dad didn’t
want me to write JAMB that year because He felt I wasn’t
sound academically. All my friends were doing it, why did I have
to be an exception? I rejected his offer which left him with no
other option than to get the form and here I was telling him he
was right after all, I wasn’t supposed to write Jamb.

My father went mute for days concerning that issue and as a

typical Nigerian child that I am, I knew that was trouble! Few
days later, he called me saying he was going to pay for my form
into the University. My joy knew no bounds, I felt like an
undergraduate already even without taking the Post-UTME.
At this point, I had to admit that my strength wasn’t for
Sciences. It was a funny plight for me; was I going to go back
and start Commercial again or probably Arts? I couldn’t
phantom this fact and this caused me sleepless nights for two
I was crying in my Mum's shop on a fateful day when someone
walked up to me and asked what the matter was. I opened up
to her and told her my situation. She sat me down and
explained how crying wasn’t the solution, rather I had to look at
that big picture in mind maybe I couldn’t attain it but I had to
attain something similar. On getting home that night, my father
brought up the idea of studying Agricultural Economics and that
was how I opted for it in my Post-UTME.
My WAEC result came out soon after my graduation ceremony
from Secondary school. I narrowly passed my subjects and I was
very happy that a miracle had happened, at least to me. My
Father spared me with emphasis that I had to finish in the
University with a first class.

I finally resumed in the University of my Dreams!
I walked majestically around my hostel during the first night
reminding myself that miracles do happen if we play our part. I
was ready for the new life ahead and bent on utilizing it. I didn’t
want the whole ‘having to live in regret’ most especially with
the parents I had at home.
During our first two weeks, the school provided an Orientation
program for us. There were lot of motivational speakers and
lecturers assigned to speak to us for these two weeks. They
spoke about what was ahead of us and a lot more. As I heard
all their long speeches for the two weeks, the resolve in my
heart grew stronger. I could make this first class after all!
My school had routine devotions in the morning which usually
ended at 6:30 am. I used to dress up before the devotion and
immediately after the devotion, I would set out for class. I used
to trek down to class for a period of thirty minutes most
especially if it was Chemistry class. And if it was a class close to
my hostel, I’ll set out by 7pm. I didn’t know that you could be
busy and not be fruitful, however, that was my case.
I noticed a young lady that usually came to class almost the
same time I did, I wondered why but I felt we had the same goal
in mind; being First class students.
The first semester exams were wonderful and I was so sure I
was going to be that 5.00 student in class but alas! When the
result came out, I had a 2.7 which was a Second class lower. I
couldn’t call home to tell them yet, I wallowed deep in tears
and nobody knew what I was passing through.
The other student, Titi who usually came to class the same
time I did, had a 5.00 Grade Point Average (GPA). To make the
matter worse for me, she said she was travelling out of the
country in the next one month since she had an outstanding
It was time to reflect on my life, I realized that my father had
told me while leaving the house what had worked for him but I
never sat down to check out what would work for me. I had
adopted his method of trekking down to class but I never knew
it wouldn’t work for me.
Yes, there was a standard, making a First class, and the only
option was to read. What if I had sat down to analyze when I
can read? When I can assimilate? I was basically to draw out a
plan for my life. I never knew that was what Titi did.
She realized she could only assimilate in the morning and
went for it, which was the main reason she was always with me
and immediately after classes, she went to her hostel.
Here I was! After classes I would go the library and come back
late in the evening. I didn’t only fail but was also diagnosed of
Ulcer. I thought that the amount of time you spent reading
amounted to you coming out with a good degree. I never knew
that it is one thing to read and another thing to be able to
answer the questions given to you in the examination.
Looking back, I realized I didn’t connect with the right friends. I
had two friends and our results were similar. Whereas in Titi’s
clique, they had bookworms as friends and this showed off
because they all bagged a first class.
Another key factor that killed me was; as much as I wanted to
top the class, I never realized that no one can get to the top
without the help of others. I was working on a practical on a
fateful day when one of my course mates walked up to me
asking if I knew what I was doing. I snubbed her not knowing
that was the person that was going to top my class that fateful
semester. Had I known, I would have probably made her my
I finally told them at home.
Normal drama, my mother came to school to beat me. They
didn’t know I had already felt bad myself and that wasn’t going
to help. My father told me that night that he was going to
withdraw me from school. I remember telling him that night, “I
am going back to that school and I’m making a First class.” My
father was angry but he never knew the resolve in my heart was
greater than his anger. Even if it meant begging, I was ready to
go back to that school and make a First class. This time, not
because of my parents, but because of the strong will in my


If everyone is driving you and there’s no driving force from
within, you might not go far. In the case of Titi, her driving force
was to go and complete her education in the United States of
America (USA). In my case, I was living in fear, was just afraid of
my parents; the typical Nigeria society!
The next semester began and I was like a lion in the jungle;
ready to devour anything I laid my hands upon. I wasn’t going
to read after class again, except it was called for. I was bent on
this. I was going to take out time to gist, just to relax my brain. I
was going to watch movies, eat and sleep, all work and no play.
If you had seen what my time table was you’d have thought, I
was mad but I was perfectly okay. Not until I drew out my
timetable did I realize I was meant to be a night reader and not
a night sleeper. Realizing this, made me sleep during the
evenings and read during the nights. I never rushed out of the
hostel to trek anymore, I did my quiet time and afterwards
waited till 7:30am, boarded a shuttle and arrived in class few
minutes before the class started. Everyone didn’t understand
me but my resolve was one that was stronger than their
It was time to go for a short break. It was when they
announced the break that it dawned on Kike that she was in a
conference. Everything had felt so real to her that she
wondered how it must have been for Ojuola. She was bent on
getting her address and details. She needed help. Though Kike
was in her second year in the university, her results were
nothing to write home about. She stood up, the crowd was
something else in front of Ojuola, she just prayed that she
would give out her number when she was done with the second
part of the conference or better still sell her book. That way,
she could track her down. She couldn’t leave that place without
making at least two friends. She walked round, it was time for
“Let’s all gather back to our seats as the second session
begins...” They all sat down in their seats. Just before the
moderator came on stage, they were served small chops with a
pack of fruit juice, Kike sighed. That was all she wanted at that
moment though the conference was a more pressing need.
Ms. Ojuola came up to continue her message for the day. She
walked up to the podium looking more elegant. Kike was so
sure some touches had been made to her face, she was looking
all wonderful again…
It was when I got the dare for success that success also chose
to be my friend. I realized that when I was talking about success,
success was also talking about me but the instant I started
walking towards success, it started running towards me.
Yes, Bill Gates never went to school but remember always,
you're in Nigeria not America. Yes, you can always think outside
the box, in fact it is very much allowed but not until you can
think outside the box, can you face your academic future with
all seriousness. I hear people say things like; Adesua Etomi is an
actress and I tell them, she finished with a first class degree in
English. True, Tara Fela-Durotoye owns one of the biggest if not
the biggest make up house in Nigeria but permit me to say, she
discovered herself while in school. Folorunsho Alakija, yes! She
is a business woman but can I remind you that she isn't selling
pepper by the road side. She is into what was at a time the
major source of income to the country, oil. If you leave school
today, would you be the next Folorunsho Alakija in the next ten
years? Yes, Kaffy is a singer but I’ll remind you that she is
learned. Unlike what the society feels about education, it
doesn’t cage, it only organizes a community.
I was happy with the way my tests scores were going after I
choose to organize my life, it sure was going on well. I walked
into class on a fateful day, our Chemistry teacher decided to
announce our scores, I got 5 out of 30 marks. I still believed that
miracles happen but I wasn't sure if it was going to happen to
me at this point of my life. I braced myself up the night before
the exam of the course. I was so sure of other courses and
didn't want this spoiling it, I solved as many questions as I could
possibly lay my hands upon and by 7:30am, the morning of the
exam which was to start by 8am, I was sure that I could defeat
failure again. No one believed me at home when I said the
exam went on fine, I never expected them to. As the day went
by, I was seriously counting down to the release of the exam
results and Yes! It finally came. Of the 8 courses I offered, I had
7 A's and 1 B. This was the beginning, my Cumulative Grade
Point Average (CGPA) was now 3.50, a Second class upper.
It finally felt sweet to taste success, I could sleep well, eat well
and raise my head high amidst everyone. Dreams do come true,
this wasn't the peak of my Dream but this made me realize, I
was a step closer to it!
“You don't relent when you finally get what you want, you aim
This was a quote I made up for myself and I absolutely had it
stuck not only to my wall, but to my consciousness and
subconsciousness. There had to be a drive! I resumed for my
second year and things went as planned, I had a wonderful
result and at the end of my second year, I had a 3.90 CGPA.
By my third year, I realized the night reading wasn't going to
work for me again as I usually started dosing, I remembered
thinking about it on a particular day and I felt fear flow through
my spines; I couldn't afford to fail again. In life, no one wants to
go back to the spot they used to be most especially if the latter
is better than the former they'll prefer going any length just to
retain the success.
A story was told of a boy who had first class for the first two
years in higher institution during the third year, he felt he might
fail a course and decided to cheat during the examination.
There and then, he was caught and that meant an extra year for
him. He never graduated with a first class and still spent an
additional year. He really was bent on not leaving success but
he chose the wrong path.
My case scared me, I couldn't leave success, not now! I
decided to try out different plans at least to see which would
work. I tried reading in the evening but I realized it wasn't
possible (I'll share the reason in another chapter). I had to try
another technique: I tried waking up by 2am every morning to
read till 6am, I realized this worked out for me and I was able to
assimilate. I did stick to this till I was able to get what I wanted -


“We hear about them long before we understand what the

journey is all about but we really do not pay attention to it.”
When I was allocated to my room upon admission into the
University. I had five other roommates making us a total of six.
Faith, Taiwo, Precious, Dorcas, Ope and Cynthia. Faith and
Taiwo were very close while the other three were close. The
trio was from very rich families, you didn’t need anyone to tell
you, Money was speaking. On the other hand, the duo was also
getting along, always drawing a budget and spending most of
their nights reading. My mother had warned me strenuously
about friends and this made me disassociate myself completely
from my roommates.
I chose to move with one of my course mates, little did I know
that she was as naïve as I was. Faith had done pre-degree in
another school before crossing and had a fore knowledge about
what the university life entailed. On the other hand, Taiwo had
waited at home for four years and beyond the joy of finally
gaining admission, she knew she had wasted a period of four
years and was bent on maximizing the next four years. The duo
had something in common and this made them click from day
Here was I, naïve about life and still not knowing whom to
blend with. The trio usually didn’t attend class and were times
without number spending their time flexing and gisting. They
were part of the hottest in school and the most sought after.
At the end of the first semester, Faith was on a First class
while Taiwo was on a Second class upper. The trio had lot of
carry overs in their results and this sent a signal to me.
Money isn’t everything after all.
Growing up, we are taught to watch out for friends when we
finally settle down or better still not move with bad company.
Most times, we sit back and ask ourselves, what about them?
True, there isn’t any big deal about them but can I remind you,
when you have the result, it’s your name that would be
mentioned not theirs, everyone answers for their name. If you
soil your name, you soil everything.
Our parents warn us sternly about them, if there really
wasn’t anything to be careful about no one will always buttress
on it. Here, was the single, the duo and the trio. I chose to go for
the single that didn’t help me but there was a duo that was
going to leave a positive impact on my life and the truth is if I
had gone for the trio, my academic world would have crumbled.
There is a big deal about them after all!

If there's one thing I have come to cherish as of today in this
world, it is definitely sleep. I can literally go a week without
sleeping but once it's the eighth day, I give myself 10 hours of
sleep without interruption.
Note that I said sleep not rest.
When I started actualizing my dream while in the University
one thing I never joked with was sleep. I had three leadership
positions, first class to make, friends to gist with, social media
to follow up, people to counsel and a whole lot more. The truth
is, if I didn't take out time to sleep, I'd have probably broken
down and someone else would have fitted into my position.
I remember telling my roommates that if I was sleeping, no
one was to wake me up. Visitors didn't like this idea neither did
my course mates. But soonest, they got used to me and life
became easier.
I once had a gadget, a funny one to be precise. It usually
worked for eight hours and once it gets to the ninth hour, it
begins to malfunction not until you allow it rest for two hours
then it could continue for the next eight hours.
Take out time out of the 24 hours to actually sleep. It relaxes
your brain and makes you equipped for what lies ahead. The
world is full of so much stress, anxiety, fear and unforeseen
circumstances that you shouldn't want to take yourself out of it
When I realized the benefits of sleep, when I'm not catching
up with meetings or gists, rather than spend lot of hours on the
social media. I’ll split that time I have to use on social media
and I’ll spend half sleeping and the other half chatting.
Every engine needs oil, every pond needs water, every paper
needs corn, every human needs sleep. Even the mad man you
see in your street, he sleeps. The young and the old need sleep.
Academics are quite stressful for you not to get back and renew
My father used to tell me that there’s enough sleep in the
grave. Don’t be such of a fool that you realize you need sleep
but don’t realize that sleep can make or Mar a destiny.
Hakeem had series of tests throughout the coming week and
this definitely meant no sleep to him. He was a night reader and
as such had to balance between going for classes during the day
and reading during the night. On Friday when he was finally
done with his tests, he got back to his hostel and went to his
neatly laid bed ready to hug sleep tight.
Rashid was in a different department from Hakeem and
wondered why he hadn’t seen him for a week. He chose to take
a stroll down to Hakeem’s hostel. On getting to there, he was
told that he couldn’t wake him up as he had emphasized before
sleeping. Rashid was upset, he decided to go to Sadiq’s place to
relax pending the time Hakeem will be awake.
Rashid was heartbroken when he realized that Sadiq was also
sleeping. He asked his roommates when he had slept off. “He
was bored throughout the day because he didn’t attend classes.
We opted to play a game and he slept off while playing the
game.” Rashid was left with no other option than to go to his
Truth be told there were both sleeping, it is natural to sleep.
As a matter of fact, if you don’t sleep when you ought to or you
probably lack the “sleeping life style” Doctor’s might have to do
their job. Hakeem likewise Sadiq had been tired from
something, they didn’t go to sleep for fun, it was demanded for.
Hakeem had utilized his day, in fact his week and was permitted
to sleep but in the real sense of it, Sadiq had wasted his day.
There is an underlying fact in this, if you don’t utilize your day,
you’re not permitted to sleep!
Counting to be counted!
Money is counting, Time is counting, Friendship is counting,
Water is counting, Blood is counting, Energy is counting,
Resources are counting, Situations are counting, Failure is
counting, Success is counting, everything is counting!
They’re all counting to be counted whether we like it or not.
In my second year, I wanted to run for a political position in
my faculty. We were three running for the same position and
this meant a lot of campaign and work. I was given a form
alongside my opponents. There was a CGPA requirement that
others could not meet. I was the only one running! I won the
election even before the manifesto!
When they started off the journey in their academics, little did
they know that, time was counting. They felt they should at
least make a second class upper division before leaving the
school but they didn’t know it will count before leaving the
Everything you do now is at the stage of counting but one day,
they’ll leave that stage only for them to move to be counted.
As a student who happened to go to a Private University,
money was counting only to be counted for or against me. Over
five million was used to send me to the University and this was
a total shock to me. Now, I had to make sure such a huge
amount of money wasn’t wasted. How? Come out with a best
result and education. Yes, education! I must have educated
myself on how to talk, walk, write, speak and a whole lot more
in addition to the wonderful result I have to come out with.
Only when I realized this and made use of it was it counted
against me in the labor market. In the real sense of it, if what is
counted is to your favor, you’ll like it but if vice-versa versa
you’ll pay dearly for it.
Everything you do today is counting to be counted in the
future, ensure that the figures add up!

While in my first year a group of students walked up to me
asking for the time table of my courses. I made enquiries from
them and realized they were carry over students. How stupid it
was of me to had make mockery of them rather than ask
I never asked questions on what had happened to them and
why they had carried over the courses. I only felt they had been
unserious. Not until my first semester result was released did I
know their usefulness in my life.
Often times when you ask the best students what they did to
get their First class, they’ll tell you they read and planned their
lives. True, they aren’t telling lies.
Whereas, if you ask the carry over students why they failed,
they won’t tell you, we just failed! They’ll most likely tell you
the things that made them fail “We never took that lecturer
seriously’’, “We slept off during class”, “I didn’t read as much as
I ought to”.
Most times, when they came to me they did mention the
mistake they had made silently, “I never knew attendance was
paramount, that was why he failed me. Please can I get your
time table?” The issue most times isn’t that the lecturer had
failed him but rather he disregarded going to class. They always
mention what made them fail. Don’t ignore that aspect of them!
Pay close attention, listen to it so you won’t tread that path.
Hear the success and failure stories. The success will remind
you of where you’re going, the failure will tell you what not to
do if you want to get to the success.
Another thing I did wrong was to make mockery of them.
Thankfully, I never did it to their faces but my actions gave me
out! That they are failing today doesn’t mean they won’t
succeed tomorrow. Be careful how you talk or react to them,
you might need them on your way to the top!
I made mistakes when I was in my first year and learnt during
my second year. During my second year I was good at a
particular course and a spill over student in my class walked up
to me and asked for my help in teaching him the course. I
obliged and did the needful. Few years after I graduated I ran
into him at a supermarket, we linked up and started talking. He
was the one that ended up lending me the money I used in
setting up my farm.
In the real sense of it, no one wants to fail.
Be careful so you don’t end up being the failure!

When I first gained admission into the university I was keen
on just academics and Spiritual stuff, it wasn’t a bad idea after
all. I never went for anything social neither did I get myself
involved in any activity. Gradually, during my second year I
realized, we don’t just come to school for the books alone.
Beyond reading, cramming and scrabbling there’s a lot to be
learnt in school. How to dress, talk less, associate and a lot
more but the silent thing school teaches you is balance!
During my first year, I had joined a unit in the church. I
looked for a unit where I could be fervent and consistent and
yet not lose my academic goal, I saw one and instantly I joined
them. I was of the notion that if people didn’t know what you
stood for, they’ll definitely sway you to their side.
I always desired to be the course representative of my class
but not until I got to my second year did I think of politics. The
flare of leading didn’t come when my results started getting
good as a matter of fact, I had been the class captain all through
my six years in secondary school but one thing I realized I
lacked was, balance! I couldn’t balance being a class rep, having
to go hours reading and then still come back to spare out time
for gist probably at night. I was still building my results and this
meant a big deal to me, I consoled myself. At least, politics
could wait.
By second semester of my second year, I was already sure I
understood how I could get my academic goal and what did
work for me. Now it was time to add some few things;
leadership, association and activities. Some go to school just to
get the certificate, others go to school to get the certificate and
other things the certificate cannot give them. I became a leader
in class and I used this to check mate my result, it didn’t drop.
This gladdened my heart and I didn’t stop there, I went for a
leadership position in my faculty.
Not only did this open my eyes to see beyond the classroom, it
built me up intellectually, socially and in fact, fashion wise. I
remember when I started the association part of relating with
people, I wore orange shirt on orange skirt out that day.
Someone saw me outside and started shouting “Mirinda!
Mirinda!” I felt so bad and this made me learn how to combine
colors to look nice. You don’t have to wear a baggy top or
trousers just to show you’re not a bad child. You could wear a
nice top and shirt, look clean and still stay modest.
Beyond going to classes, there are activities that happen in
school. Some are of the opinion that the activities are there to
distract them but in the real sense of it the activities are there
to build one up and most importantly teach us balance.
Life itself teaches us that if we can’t balance ourselves, we
can’t bring the best out of it. You don’t have to be fully involved
in other activities you could just pick one of your interests,
probably you’ll earn one or two things that Statistics or
Economics won’t teach you. I learnt this and ran whole
heartedly with it, I can categorically tell you that even outside
the four walls of school, it did help me!
Beyond school being a place of education, it teaches us how to
associate with others because in the real sense of it, we can’t
live without interaction with human beings. We learn how to
dress; organizations out there don’t just need a young brilliant
chap, they also want you to be physically educated. Of what use
is the book, if you can’t communicate? They want you to be
able to articulate your words together and while speaking, you
can make sense.
Yes, school brings us up to learn simple things in class and
answer tougher questions in the exam. If you can do this and
pass, why can’t you bring that technique into your life? Can you
think outside the box? Can you do something no one else has
done before and it would help to solve some of the societal
problems we have? If not then all the exams you have written
are of no use because beyond that exam, the real exam is
waiting for you outside.

I just have to let you know that one major thing I battled
with while in secondary school was self-esteem.
Upon gaining admission into Secondary school, I read in the
brochure of the school that every student owed it to
themselves to do something good to single them out or better
still, bring the school to limelight.
I really wanted the former, I could do something good
anyways - 'snitching'. I started fishing out bad eggs in the school
and walked directly to the principal's office to report them.
This single act made my classmates detest me and wanted me
to keep a distance, they all felt I was evil and meant evil. But
the truth was no one had seen what I saw; they might have
seen this in the long run, but really never paid attention to it.
I had that aspect of my life to deal with and there was really
no one to talk to about it. My mother tried her best by
constantly defending me from their hands but a foundation had
already been established.
Life wasn't made easier for me as I had to battle with having a
short hair, I felt I was the ugliest in my class. In the real sense, I
really was! There were instances were my classmates had taken
several pictures together but I never noticed I didn’t appear in
them till I became an undergraduate.
It was Thursday, the usual day for Throw Back Thursday, #TBT
on social media. Prior to that day, I had asked my classmates for
the pictures they had of me either personal or with them. No
one had my picture except one fortunate guy who had photo
shopped my picture with that of a goat and funny enough, he
had delight in sending it!
I had to talk to myself. I couldn't allow my past with my
classmates destroy my present with my course mates. I had a
choice to make! I picked up my mirror and spoke to myself for
hours underlining one basic point; ‘I was the most beautiful in
the world.’
My perspective about other things that mattered in life
actually changed when my perspective about myself changed.
At the end of the day, the freedom we actually need is from

My highest allowance while in the University was in my first
year first semester. Till I graduated from the University, I never
collected half of the money I was given when I initially gained
admission. I was naïve to what savings was all about, I felt
money was to be spent and I did just that - spent my allowance!
I spent my allowance on data subscription and airtime. Who
didn’t want to keep up with the social world? Every time I ate, I
ate to my satisfaction. Garri was common food amongst
undergraduate but it was far from me. Not because I didn’t
bring from home, but there was really no need to take it.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying you should live your
life on garri flakes day in day out. Not at all, in fact, if you can
get hold of good food, eat it! It helps maintain your brain. But
days when we’re at point zero in our allowance, garri is always
a life saver!
Water aids in digestion, water is cheaper than other liquids, I
knew all these, but it really wasn’t in my Dictionary. Pepsi was
my drink, I drank it in the morning, when I wanted to eat, when
I was thirsty. As a matter of fact, they were both liquid to me.
It was when I had an ulcer attack that I realized that although
they were both liquids, there is no liquid like water. Nothing
beats the original.
Nemesis soon caught up with me as my father realized I was
spending a lot on airtime. When I got to my penultimate year, I
had a lot of financial struggles, one you couldn’t even tell to
anyone. One thing I am sure of is, if I had done some savings
earlier on. I could have scaled through unhurt in my
penultimate year.
You really don’t have to starve to save but you can cut out
expenses to save. Eating two square meals per day won’t hurt,
neither will opting for water rather than a drink. A budget will
always help to maintain a good life style.
Before you decide to go to the ATM, sit down, write out how
you intend to spend the money you withdraw, calculate and
track each penny. It would help a lot!
One key thing I have learnt in saving is you don’t save after
you must have spent, you save before spending. You could
open another bank account where all you do is save and so as
to meet your target, I’ll recommend you don’t have a card for
that account or better still make it a fixed account. There a lot
of savings applications that can help you save towards your
target. Some of which are; Payday Investor and Kolobox.

I hear a lot of student say, “When I begin to make the millions,

I'll start to save.” But the truth is, if you can’t save from a
thousand you won’t be able to save from a million.
We don’t save because we have enough, we save to have


It’s not a big deal if you have feelings towards the opposite
sex and it’s natural to want to have a tight intimacy with them.
Every lady wants to feel loved, so also every guy. What if the
other partner isn’t the right one? Or what if (s)he doesn’t feel
the same about you? What if (s)he is just there to terminate
your destiny? Same boring talk old ones give to us.
Before gaining admission, I was in a relationship with someone
who happened to be nine hours far away from me in distance
when I’m in school. We spent most of our time talking on the
phone and most times when I got home, we could barely see as
we were always busy during the week.
Mid way into the first semester of my first year, I felt I was in
the wrong relationship. I thought over this for days and decided
on what to do - I ended the relationship! The guy begged, but
my mind was made up, we both had to move on. We are still
good friends till now, in fact I went for his wedding last week.
Everyone was used to rushing for PHY 119 class. The class
room was too small for the population and there was usually
nowhere for students to sit. We had to go look for chairs or
stool before the lecturer came in. To make matters worse, the
lecturer would come in ten minutes before time and
immediately it was time, he would go ahead with the class not
minding the situation of things.
On a particular day, I was really stressed from the previous
class but I had to rush to get a space for myself and afterwards,
go look for a chair. While still keeping space for myself, a young
guy, Raphael walked by my side and offered to give me a chair
to use for the class. We got talking and until then, did I realize
he had actually gotten the sit for me. We became friends and
from that day we went to classes together. We were in the
same faculty and this made life so simple!
We weren’t dating or in a serious relationship. We were just
platonic friends but no one believed me. They usually spoke
about how good we looked together and by final year, we sure
would win best couple of the year. I usually fantasized about
the whole idea and looked forward to it.
Raphael started disengaging himself from me in second
semester, I was surprised but I couldn’t talk to him about it.
Soonest, we became closer once again. It felt like a heavy log of
wood had finally been removed from my back. I’m so sure if
Raphael had asked me out at that point I’ll have given him a
loud YES. But that dream was shattered now. All the times
Raphael disengaged from me, He was trying to win another
lady’s heart, he asked her out and she already accepted.
Raphael never told me and when I confronted me, he insisted
he wanted me to find out and besides we were just friends.
How that escapade never affected my result, only God
understands! A lot of times, I walked down from class to the
hostel with my face down. I felt really empty without Raphael.
Worst of all, I felt the whole world was laughing at me.
I remember waking up from bed on a fateful night telling
myself Raphael wasn’t meant to be THE one after all. It was
when I eventually told myself that truth that I got my freedom.
The whole world might lie to you because they never know
the future, never lie to yourself! They lied to me that we were
going to get couple of the year and immediately I realized that
truth couldn’t come to be again, I didn’t lie to myself!
That I didn’t get it right in relationship in my first year
doesn’t mean someone else can’t get it right.
I had a hostel mate who started a relationship during her
first year and as at final year, she had done her introduction.
Another started in first year and on completion of her
Bachelor’s degree, she got married!
Relationship is more than “Have you eaten?” “What did you
eat?” It is more than hanging out to eat or gist. All these are
part of it though but always remember, relationship is a big
Relationship can make a first class student become a second
class student. I once had a roommate who was on a first class
before she started a relationship. Upon starting to date the guy,
they started reading together what I later termed love reading!
She didn’t realize her grades were falling apart and her ‘tens’
were becoming tensed. Although she later broke up with the
guy, her result never went up, she graduated with a Second
class upper. How disastrous it is to taste first class when you
start but you never can boast of it when you’re leaving. The end
justifies the means!
Sayo, on the other hand, was a second class upper student
when her first semester result came out and she settled for
someone who was a first class student. They started dating and
by second semester, she had become a first class student. Her
boyfriend had instilled the spirit of excellence in her and
ensured she used it to upgrade her results.
She ran with this and was super happy with herself at the
end of the day. Can I mention to you that they’re happily
married today?
Relationship is not a sin but if abused becomes a sin.
Relationship isn’t meant for babies that are sulking but for
adults that can chew. Relationship requires a lot, most
especially commitment. You’re not the only one in the
relationship, what you want might not be what the other
person wants. Most importantly, the place of God before
entering and in a relationship cannot be over-emphasized.
Academics itself is a commitment. If you cannot handle the
two, don’t try it! That you don’t date in your first, second, third
or final year doesn’t mean you won’t end up with someone that
will love you and cherish you.
Heart break isn’t a palatable experience neither is academic
failure a delightful experience. One can wait for one.
Relationship can wait for Academics, be smart!

Yes, it does!
I have heard a lot of student tell themselves that Spirituality is
nothing but a waste of time and therefore it could wait at least
till they were done with Bachelor’s degree.
The truth there is, the Spiritual controls the physical whether
we believe it or not. And just in case we can’t make use of our
physical strength in the physical world, we could go draw
strength from the Spiritual.
I remember after failing in my first semester, I went back to
God and told him exactly how I felt and guess what? He did
listen to me!
Funny enough, it was when I became actively involved in the
things of God, second semester of my First year that my result
received yeast in it and did swell up.
Just in case anyone has lied to you saying, “God will drain you”
let me tell you, you can’t take God seriously and think he won’t
take you seriously. “Fabaya!” No way.
In fact, God gives us so many assurances in His book, the Bible.
3rd John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest
prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that
giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be
given him.”

Deuteronomy 28:13a ‘” And the LORD shall make thee the head,
and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt
not be beneath.”
These assurances are not just for fun; they are big deals! All
God needs you to do is to submit to Him and resist any obstacle
that is making you not commit yourself to him and instantly, He
will take charge of your life. Only then can you live a wonderful
Being in God doesn’t mean things automatically becomes rosy,
it means that even if you pass through the thorns, there is
someone up there holding your hands and slowly whispering in
your ears, “It will be well!”

Looking back, I never knew but now I know, there was an
Architect that had drawn a plan of my life and after doing this,
He chose to plant a seed. He didn’t just plant the seed, He
watered it!
The plant faced the turbulence of the wind, harsh weather
conditions, trampling on by humans and animals but despite
this, it had to fruit!
I would have been of no use if I actually didn’t produce any
fruit. God was the Architect and the Farmer. He had planted me
securely and had the plan of my life cycle. At some point, I had
felt he was missing but I was absolutely wrong. He was still
watering me day in, day out. He didn’t stop the wind or the
humans, they had to be there if I wanted to fruit!
As I round up this session, I’ll pin point lessons I have learnt
from my story and I want you to do me a favor and write them
where you can have access to at all times. And just in case you
have jotted down a lot from my story, please do well by reading
them day in, day out. Only then, can they help you.
If you thought I was going to tell you lessons then it means you
have wasted your time here, you’ll have to write the lessons
yourself. Only then can you run with it!


When you are given birth to, you wore a shade; a dark one!
The shade of not knowing what will become of you, what you
were supposed to be, what the future was like, if your parents
were going to die, if you are going to have to deal with terminal
disease etc.
As though that wasn’t enough, when you continued in the
journey, the shades were removed. You felt it was better now;
at least you could see but when you were about taking a step
further, a darker shade was given to you!
The dark shade was all about uncertainties but here was the
darker shade, it had uncertainties and circumstances.
You never knew if you were supposed to be a Pilot or an
Accountant but you knew one thing for sure, you wanted to be
successful! Couldn’t you walk into your success with hands in
your trousers with a cheering crowd in front of you waiting for
your autograph!
We all wish it was that easy but there is a darker shade we are
wearing. The shade doesn’t make one see the clear picture. It
makes you see only the struggle, pain, worries, frustration and
a whole lot.
The shade paints the white picture as black and causes you to
stay in absolute imagination rather than reality.
I had a dark shade on when I set off in my journey, I wanted
to be a Doctor! When I realized it wasn’t meant to be, I was
happy that at least, I was given an option of becoming a Farmer.
Little did I realize, I was going to be given a darker shade when I
gained admission; the picture was going to become blurry and
the dream that looked like it, can never become a reality. It was
all lies after all!
At a point, the darker shade is going to be removed and
you’re going to see clearly. If you didn’t hide behind the mask of
the shade, you’ll be proud of the person you have finally
If you had hidden behind the mask and left everything in the
hands of fate, you’ll wish you can turn back the hands of time
and go back but immediately the darker shade has been
removed, but there’s no going back!
Wearing the darker shade could be annoying and depressing
but always remember, it’s a DARKER SHADE after all!
Life is a twist but you never really know what it looks like
until the twist becomes straightened. I always desired to heal.
Or should I say, offer my best as only God heals? I wanted to
provide solutions in the health sector; perform surgeries,
prescribe drugs and a whole lot!
It finally came but like a twist. I never got to be a Doctor of
humans but that of seeds. Tell me to separate a healthy seed
from a deficient one, I’ll do just that for you. I can take care of a
seed that you feel is deficient and make it what you could never
Maybe we would hold on, if only we knew all our dreams will
eventually come to play probably not the way we want but the
way the owner of sleep wants it to play out.

There was a crowd waiting outside the hall. Some I had
predicted and others I had not. My parents were there in
striking colors of lace. It was their daughter’s graduation and no
one expected less.
Let me remind you that at the end of the day, there will be a
crowd waiting for you on the Other Side. A crowd you cannot
predict now. The crowd to cheer you might be your parents at
the end of your first degree or your boss who finally signs your
promotion letter.
I graduated with a First class. This was the beginning of
another journey that I’ll share with you one day. Looking back,
I’m glad that I made my parents proud. I’m glad I can share my
story to inspire someone. Above all, I’m proud of who I’ve
Everyone will be proud of you, but more than that, the joy in
your heart will be unexplainable. You will be glad of what The
Darker Shade molded you to be. It’s a journey that is worth its
challenges. I will be waiting at the end of your journey, to give
you a warm embrace and a standing ovation…
Ms. Ojuola prayed with everyone and gave out her email
address. Kike was glad she attended this conference. Now, she
had to run with all she had heard just like the saying goes;
“A Journey of a Thousand Miles starts with a step.”
First off, school is frustrating. We all know, and it can be
overwhelming at times. You are about to start another journey
with new friends, new hallways and even new drama! My
advice to you is; never give up or think you can’t do it. Take
positive advantage of the University and I promise you, great
things await you.
Whatever happens during your stay in school, always
remember that it is not the end of the world and no one is
perfect. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. Never let
anyone pressure you into doing things that you’re not ready to
do. Don’t forget to always thank your parents when you’re in
school, you don’t have to wait till they send you money.
Another key thing is SAVING. No matter how little you think
your allowance is, you can still save. From your first year, have a
specific amount you must save for every month. Note that you
begin to build your CGPA from the very first class you attend.
Don’t mind all that happened in your secondary school and the
people in your life that have written you off. Don’t lose focus,
set achievable goals, don’t procrastinate. Have a target, write it
down, paste it where you’ll see it, and remind yourself of that
target every morning.
Above all, study the Bible and pray! You can never be a
complete student without God. Put Him first. Make the Holy
Spirit your best friend. He will always direct you.
Lastly, make yourself available for God. You don’t have to be
in all the units in the church. Pray for direction and join a unit.
Nothing is more painful than “I was almost there!” “……
I almost bagged a first class” The labor market doesn’t
care; all they know is you graduated with a second class
upper division. Make hay while the sun shines, put in
your best while you still can. The funny thing about
academics is, you don’t do the first semester and get
away with it rather you build on it.
I had outstanding results all other semester but the first
semester of my life in the University left an everlasting
void in my result.
Always remember, sometimes it’s not enough for us to
do our best but what is required.

The part of asking Questions cannot be over emphasized.

Ask Questions from those that has passed through your
level, a level ahead preferably . Get Past Questions as
most lecturers repeat them, 5years Past Question per
course isn’t a bad idea. Read wide, Have a jotting note,
know how to calculate CGPA, Don’t hate any lecturer if
not you’ll hate the course. There’s no way you play your
part that God won’t play His. Best wishes!
-Atinuke Dada
Please don’t despise God that's the first thing
Dont say you want to flex or chill first so you Dont have regrets...
Read your books, I'm sure you have heard that a lot but please do
Dont be discouraged you will hear good and bad things aboutyou
seive the good and dispose the bad.
Bad Company they say corrupt good manners. Keep good friends
and Godfearing ones at that. Also not just God fearing makes
friends whom you are compatible with.
Always be cheerful.

- Grace Atoloye