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THE ANTIDOTES TO CHAOS IN YOUR PERSONAL UNIVERSITY LIFE



What is a University?

I have used three sources to define a University: a soft dictionary, a junior category Merriam-Webstars dictionary and an Indian preacher's definition.

Institution of higher education (typically accepting students from the age of about 17 or 18, depending on country, but in some exceptional cases able to take younger students) where subjects are studied and researched in depth and degrees are offered [1]. (The University of Ibadan takes 16 years and above for its degree programs and lesser for its diploma programs). Webster's asserts that a University should have professional schools within it e.g a Law faculty and a College of Medicine [2].

Ravi Zacharias is a Christian apologetic who has spent more time traveling around the world, and during one of his lectures, he defined the University as a place uniting diversities i.e unity in diversity -uni'versity [3].


Possible backgrounds of students 

The diversity in a university is so complex that when a room is allocated to you, the students you share it with can be of diverse origins and backgrounds. Different languages, ideologies, cultures, colours of skin and so on.

Lecturers

Among lecturers, you find the diversity. There are immensely visible differences that manifest among lecturers. There are the radicals who exude leftist views. There those who are conservative. Many are obsessed with respect and honour and will demand it with threat. You must know how to address issues while you remain firm, cool headed. Maintain your principles if you have some.

Your school and your home.

At home you always have the effontry to make physical contacts. I have heard of only a few fights between students -in significantly few.

The relationship between your parents and you is very different from the relationship between you and your lecturers. In loco parentis is at some times unfavorable and there is limit. In your secondary school, students can be handed over to a teacher to act in loco parentis to her or him. That authority is often misused by the teacher who might simply turn the child into an errand runner and nothing more. The students could as well live a miserable life that may remain so for long.

The natural instinct that exists between the parent of a child and the child does not exist between the lecturer and the person. Students might become so close to a lecturer, but I doubt if it is possible go beyond a mentorship-mentee relationship. I have no experience with that.

A parent will be careful with imposing punishment on the child. That is not true with the school students relationship. My personal example will suffice. I was suspended from school for leading a peaceful demonstration. If the Vice Chancellor is my father, I will not be suspended on those exact grounds.

No parents will impose stringent rules on their children but there are a lot of stringent rules being imposed on students. Simply saying no to them becomes a crime.

What is expected of you?

What you should learn you should learn how to live independent of your parents as a University student. Financially, I still rely on my parents because they prevent me from taking a job. They want to do well on the score sheets. Well, I always appreciate it but I make them know I can cut that favor at my will. My father specifically asked me not to participate in the students Union. His fears are borne out of his experiences in the Police force. He is familiar with the incidences of violence on campuses and he knew power could play a role. Yet he wants me to be a senator, a federal representative or anything like them. My mom knew she couldn't change my mind -whatever the cost. Instead of attempting to dissuade, she prayed for me. I defied their instructions and became a Student Union President.

You may not become a Student Union President but be active in extracurricular activities. I could have been a slightly below average sportsman but I didn't receive support from my parents at all. So I developed my mind and chose civic engagement and campus politics. You can also decide to have a first class. It depends on how good your mind is. Some people wait for their first year results to determine what they would do. I didn't wait. You should consider the Student information handbook before choosing which group to belong to.

Learn to cope with stress. I could combine several things at a time because stress doesn't not determine my output. I learned by practice. You can too if you are not lazy. If you have interest in any extracurricular activities, meet a senior colleague who is already involved in it about to manage your time.

Love your neighbor as yourself. You better be ready to do for others what you are ready to do for yourself. Share your stuffs with others and be happy no matter what comes your way. Live like you have a great purpose in life and you can't be distracted by the petty things or normal human imperfections. It works for me.

Take your reproductive health classes seriously -it helps. I learned for example that you should not eat to relieve yourself of stress but simply rest well. I learned a lot. Others may disagree but that is my own opinion from experience in reproductive health classes.

Be smart and stand up for yourself and others. If your colleagues are doing a peaceful march or a protest, join them. It is a good experience for you as young person and you will relish it till you grow old and transit to the place beyond. Most student marches remain marches and their is almost no incidence of violence anymore. If it becomes violent, stay at the back. You can't expect other people to tell the truth when you won't tell it yourself.

Don't live wildly or give yourself to drugs. It has no good for your life at all. Your desires are not meant to rule you and that is a fact. Common sense. I know of a boy who's first sex was with a sex worker and it was unprotected. Apparently he was "high" when it happened. I learned directly from him. He sobbed while he narrated his ordeal.

The chaos within the University includes depression, mental stress, anxiety, confusion, loss of self esteem, fear. They are all personal but practice your immunity to them by following the guidelines I have provided and you could thank me later. That is a summary of the things you will go through before graduating.

And those are the antidotes to chaos in your personal University life.


Ojo, Aderemi -President of the University of Ibadan Students Union (2016/17 session) can be reached via email ojderemi@gmail.com and his articles appear on his website platinumderemi.com
Follow him on twitter @oj_deremi

[Art by Lindsey Pinkerton]

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2 COMMENTS

Abodunrin Damilola
Abodunrin Damilola Mon June 17, 2019 at 2:53am

A brilliant piece. This part caught my attention so well been and erstwhile Head of the union Lautech Student Union. I look forward to your reinstatement soon. " Financially, I still rely on my parents because they prevent me from taking a job. They want to do well on the score sheets. Well, I always appreciate it but I make them know I can cut that favor at my will. My father specifically asked me not to participate in the students Union. His fears are borne out of his experiences in the Police force. He is familiar with the incidences of violence on campuses and he knew power could play a role. Yet he wants me to be a senator, a federal representative or anything like them. My mom knew she couldn't change my mind -whatever the cost. Instead of attempting to dissuade, she prayed for me. I defied their instructions and became a Student Union President. You may not become a Student Union President but be active in extracurricular activities. I could have been a slightly below average sportsman but I didn't receive support from my parents at all. So I developed my mind and chose civic engagement and campus politics. You can also decide to have a first class. It depends on how good your mind is. Some people wait for their first year results to determine what they would do. I didn't wait. You should consider the Student information handbook before choosing which group to belong to. "

Bernard Idriss Turay
Bernard Idriss Turay Tue June 18, 2019 at 2:21am

One of the things I always admired about my great friend, Ojo Aderemi, he knows what he wanted.... The penalty meted against him was a pure travesty of Justice.... To re-echo his words, if the VC or those who took the decision of him two semesters were his fathers, I surmise that wouldn't have been the case.. tyranny was at its manifestation in Ojo's Case. But this doesn't negate the fact that we should keep mum against our so-called authorities.

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