Most people believe that venturing into the political aspect of schooling in the University tends to, more likely, cause a drift in the academic stance of most students and to this end, a lot of eligible students distance themselves from school politics (an avenue that could have effected a whole lot of change in their career in the long run). Many students who have actually taken the bold step to partake in school politics have given a very different view of it. Today, one of the most popular graduates from the Department of Accounting, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Uyo, Uyo has lent some credence to school politics, adding that it also helped to contribute to his academics; this and many more were discussed. Excerpts:

Please, may we meet you?

I am Nlebem, Chibuike Joshua, a graduate of the Department of Accounting, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Uyo. I am of Rivers descent.

Are you currently doing anything, that is, apart from being a graduate?
Yes. Currently, while waiting to be posted for the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) later this year, I am into Research Writing and Analysis for Undergraduate, Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) Students and Masters Students.

Okay. So you are basically going to remain around the school environment even after graduating?

Yes. Like I said earlier, for the time being; I love research writing a lot.

You love research writing or you just love schooling? You know a lot of people don’t love schooling.

I actually love schooling. I’ve drawn up various targets for myself that I hope to achieve during and after my NYSC; I want to be a full-blown professional for about 10 to 15 years, and then go back to the University environment to take up a lecturing position to fulfil one of my career objectives of becoming a Professor. I love education immensely.

Wow! Well, your resolution was actually evidenced in your result as you were on the Honours’ Roll of the University of Uyo in your second year and you ended up graduating as one of the best students in your set. Apart from your love for education, what other thing can you say contributed to your success?

Yes, I was in the Honours’ Roll of the University of Uyo during my second year in the University; I had a CGPA of 4.61 then.  Although it is rather unfortunate that I didn’t finish with a first class, I still finished as one of the best students in my set, with a CGPA of 4.28. Apart from my love for education, many other things contributed to my academic success:
1. Love for God: I have an undying love for God; I don’t take the things of God for granted.
2. Discipline: I was a disciplined student; most times, I spent the night reading my books.  I hardly went for functions outside the University premises until my final year. I was not anti-social, but I set limits for myself.
3. Determination: I was determined right from day one in the University to graduate as one of the best, if not the best in my set.
4. School Politics: I was the Secretary General of my Faculty. It contributed to my success in school because it gave me a closer look at the outer world, and how to lead and manage resources.
One principle in life is to “put interest in what you do because if you don’t, you will fail trying to”. This goes out to those students who don’t like schooling; it is one of the basic problems of poor academic performance in Nigerian universities.

How were you able to cope with the demands of being the Secretary General of the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Uyo, and the demands of being a student? Did it affect you?

Well, I wouldn’t say it did not affect me; it did, but minimally. I was still able to combine the demands of being a student and a student leader because I was good in time management. Time management was the key to my being able to cope. At times, I’ll draw up a list of things I have to achieve in a day (they’ll contain both academic and administrative issues). Nonetheless, I enjoyed the demands. It was an experience that taught me a lot about life.

Interesting! So you actually lived by a timetable?

Not really, I wasn’t the timetable kind of student; it didn’t work out for me most times. I was just a good planner. When I say I’m not really a timetable student, I mean that I didn’t apportion time to my list of achievable things in a day or week, but I achieved almost everything on my list before the day or week runs out. I didn’t like the idea of apportioning time because it would build intense pressure in me.

Okay. During your stay in the University, what were your worst challenges?

My worst challenges were mostly financial. Also, poor teaching and learning in the University of Uyo contributed to the challenges I faced because some of our lecturers didn’t teach us as well as we expected. Another contributory factor was lack of interest; at some point, I lost interest in studying accounting because of the way we were being taught. However, I was able to regain interest later by adequate personal study.

Speaking of poor teaching and learning; did you ever have a carryover?

Yes, once. I had a carryover in my third year. It was a life-changing experience to me because it happened mysteriously and I never believed I could fail a course in the University, although I braced up to the challenge because it wasn’t going to define my entire achievements in life.
So, to those students who have failed once or more, I advice that you should brace up to the challenge; I believe you can do better.

How about a word of advice for the incoming freshmen?

My advice to all freshmen is that the university community they are in is not like the Secondary School; it is a different world on its own. Hence, they should outline their goals and set out strategies to fulfil them. They shouldn’t allow the excitement of getting admission to a higher institution of learning lead to distractions that will, in turn, lead to poor performance. Rather, they should read and study hard, pray and put interests in their various disciplines. If they abide by all these precepts, the sky would be their starting point.