If one should consider the great enthusiasm and do-or-die spirit with which Nigerians in lower institutions seek to gain admission into the degree awarding institutions or other institutions of higher learning, one would begin to wonder if that is all it takes to stay alive. In as much as a university certificate is very essential, its high time students got to face the realities of life, especially, the Nigerian students. There are lots of life truths they need to get into their heads in order not to become easily discouraged or even frustrated at the end of their studies. So many students while in school feel that after school, it’s all gonna be so rosy, not knowing that the acquisition of a certificate is never an end but just one rigorous means to an end. We see so much jubilation after degree exams, yes, we are not arguing the fact that it is worthwhile. But after a while, a lot of graduates start questioning the reason behind their joys at graduation, when they are faced with these life lessons you’ll be exposed to in this article. Get them into your head, and live a better life. Lets take a look at ten indispensable lessons every Nigerian student should learn before graduation.
1. Learning Continues
It is quite hilarious that a lot of Nigerian undergraduates have this common belief that once the certificate is acquired, “I am no longer a student, no more lectures, assignments, seminars, and studying”. They think that since they are no longer students, there’ll be no need to read and study any more. That’s a big lie. Learning is an indispensable part of living. Even if you get a job, its learning all through. Tasks have to be given to you by your employer which you must accomplish exactly how you are told to – that’s equivalent to assignments and exams, if not more demanding! The fact is that the learning process ends at the end of life. So don’t roll up the scrolls yet, you even need more.
2. Certificates do not Equal Success
Often professors, with an intention of motivating students to take their academics seriously, tend to portray that getting high grades and graduating with a good result is everything. This is why so many students who cannot work hard to learn, go about getting degrees through the foulest means. They do not mind buying it. But, when you get out in the real world, nobody is really going to consider you as successful only on the basis of your grades and certificates. Not until you have proven yourself through producing practical solutions to problems in the society. The real deal is when you know what it takes to win those grades and certificates, and how you use this knowledge to excel in the rat race of real life.
3. Cultivate Good Relationship Attitudes and Communication Abilities
A lot of students, while in school live this “I don’t care” lifestyle. It may augur well for you as student, but the fact is that you are not living a real life by being care-free. For you to make it in the outside world, you really need to learn how to maintain cordial relationships with people. It is very important as well as helpful to learn how to initiate and sustain conversations. This is because, after school, situations are sure to arise when you must meet people, talk to them and also talk about yourself in an impressive manner. It is also very important to point out here that it is very necessary to value your school days relationships, be a good and helpful friend because you may never know who among them would recommend or even directly help you in the future.
4. Start Searching for a Job or Planning for Business While Still in School
Do not wait until you’ve finally graduated before you start looking into the labour market. It is appalling that a lot of Nigerian undergraduates do not even know how to draft a curriculum vitae or a cover letter. They are waiting to learn it after graduation! That’s completely wrong. You need to start equipping yourself with all the necessary knowledge to face the real world. Consider your career and start investing in your future even as a student. If you ask some students what they’ll do on graduation, they’ll say they want to be self-employed. Then ask him or her how much he/she has saved and you’ll be shocked to hear “nothing”.
5. You Need to Know that Life is on the High Side
As a student, you do not give the cost of living a serious thought because you are still dependent. But it will do you good if you learn and accept the fact that life isn’t cheap at all, life is expensive. Do not wait until you start earning your personal income before you learn how to make budgets and manage money well. Avoid impulse buying and affluent living. If you think your parents, guardian or sponsor have plenty of money, why don;’t you make investments instead of spending all on frivolities?
6. Learn to Cope with Change, Pressure and Uncertainties
Before you leave the campus, start earlier to separate yourself from the fantastic campus life. The truth is that life does not always give what is expected. You must learn how to cope with unforeseen circumstances and uncertainties. Learn to face the unknown future with boldness instead of fear. For years, in school you will be surrounded with almost the same type of people. These are the people whom you probably know for long and so it is not very difficult to understand them. Besides, they are your peers and equal, so you may not need extra care to get along with them. However when you get out in the real world, there are all types of people out there-the good, the bad and the ugly! You have to learn how to deal with them and the pressures that come along. You must learn how to be a leader as well as a subordinate, how to give and receive instructions. There are ample provisions that can help you prepare yourself in this area even while still in school.
7. Learn to be Social Network Friendly
You would be surprised to know that even in this jet age, so many students are still very naive when it comes to social networks. Some do not even know what they are all about let alone knowing the benefits. It is very vital for every student to be internet friendly, especially in our present society, if not, he or she will become outdated or archaic. We have a lot of them: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, name them. Mind you, I am not saying you should become an internet addict, you must not belong to all the social networks but make sure that you are well-informed and connected. And you need to learn how to be disciplined on social media, mange your private life well so that you don’t expose say things that will mar your future seeing that most social media contents are for public consumption.
8. Learn to Take Worthwhile Risks
For you to succeed in today’s society, you need to be daring to an extent. In as much as you need to be careful, to look before you leap, you should never be a coward. Never be scared to take chances. You’ll never get anywhere you want if you don’t take calculated risks every now and then. You need to understand that nothing good comes around easy in life. When you become a graduate, the best option is not becoming a boring office robot whose life revolves around work. Do not be afraid to face the real world with open arms, explore opportunities, and take chances. You’ll be surprised at what fate has in stock for you.
9. Acquire Skills
It will be very useful for you to know that the sought-after people now are no longer certificate holders, but problem solvers. Employers are looking for people who will help them grow, expand and improve their business and not for book worms and degree holders. It good to have the degree but the practical skills are incomparable. It is high time students stopped depending on their certificates. Acquire skills that can gain you an alternative or self employment in case your area of study gets saturated with explosive population of applicants.
10. Learn to Combine Hard work with Patience
It’s very unfortunate that some hard-working people are scarcely patient enough to see the end of their hard work. On the other hand, some who have lots of patience just sit around and do not work hard enough. But if you can learn to combine patience with hard work, you’re sure to get wonderful result. Learn to persevere through things you are convinced will work out even when you are faced with hitches. Do not give up easily. The saying that a patient dog eats the fattest bone is not a farce but a fact. You have to learn this now, in the moderate-paced school environs before you get to the fast-paced labour market.