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Surviving Nigerian universities: A soft manual

Surviving Nigerian universities: A soft manual

By: SALAUDEEN, Hawau Oluwakemi

Here’s a friendly reminder that Nigeria is not like every other place, and so are the people. We are the people, and our thing is our thing, it has always been our thing. So do us the honour of keeping it our way; we want no change, don’t preach it.

We are the ones who suffer but never stop smiling, it has been sung in songs and engraved on the heart of everyone you come across and, this fact, I tell you, Is confirmed by the whole world that, we are the happiest people. C’mon, it’s a biological phenomenon, and so, to keep that smile up, you need to know and learn how to survive everywhere, but, herein, it will be how to survive in a Nigerian university. Okay, relax, it’s not really hard, just a few guidelines you should never forget. It will not only help you, but will let you sleep with at least an eye and a half closed.

As a student, all you are sent to school for is to read, never forget that. You just have to keep reading, doesn’t matter what you are reading, the book of life? Book of coitus? remember that when you get a call from home and they ask of where you are, tell them you are in a class or library, even while riding broda Saamu away in town. Watch yourself rise into the position of the family’s favourite and become an example to the others. Anything outside the context of reading puts you in the unserious zone, you don’t want to get caught. There will be no caught in Jesus’ name.

Also, believing everything your lecturer says is another means of survival. You are not allowed to hold a different view or air that opinion of yours. Not following Dr strange’s advice of forgetting everything you think you know won’t help you and it will get you into trouble. Since you know what your lecturer doesn’t know, why are you in class? Your primary purpose in class is to listen and give back to him/her whatever you’ve been given; nothing more or less. Forget the outside world, you won’t be needing it.

Have it in mind that should you hold a contrary opinion to that of the school management, you can’t say or do anything within the Varsity premises or anywhere near it. Feel free to grumble at the corner of your room; suppose the walls have no ears, then you are good. You are not there to tell them what they have to do or what your colleagues need. You are there to say yes to all the terms and conditions. Remember that you want to graduate and that there lots of your colleagues gunning for your seat on the graduation train (if you are a law student). Guard your studentship fiercely. Don’t thank me.

You should know that in any Nigerian school, you don’t need connection of any sort except that of God. Of course, everything here is easy and all you need is to follow protocol. Get your papers approved without having to beg for it. It doesn’t matter who you know or who you are, you have to join the queue like every other person because, in Nigeria, everything has a process you need to follow whether by crook or chook and everything will be perfect. Amem?

Are you the type who can’t do much of the first? Or you keep doing it without getting your desired result? Well you should ask yourself of the other things you are willing to offer, cash and kind are generally acceptable. Be willing to give knacks for marks. Like they say, use what you have to get what you want. There is also consented force; even though you’re not willing to give it, do not hesitate. May you not be unfortunate. And remember not to say a thing to anyone. No one would even believe. So you see that it’s to your own detriment.

You are a student and that is all you are expected to be while in school. But if you ever dabble into school politics and the a luta song won’t stop ringing in your head, don’t think too much of yourself into believing you can champion a cause. If you try it, two things are involved — you will end up in the bad books of the authorities, and your fellow students will turn against you. Either way, you lose.

Therefore, bend your back into every office, and polish your sir and ma. Clear your name in their presence and be a puppet. These students won’t give you the degree you want, so?  Think about it. Should journalism be your own calling, write only that which they want to read and thou shall be free with your pen full of ink. Anything contrary can and will send you packing, I’m sorry. So, keep your pen shut to survive.

To stay cool, you have to keep proving it. Your dress sense should speak, your swag should drip, you can leave your GP hanging, but don’t forget to keep reminding yourself of the fact that school is scam. Nothing justifies you better than that conviction. To keep that, you will need a group that thinks like you, those who keep gingering you that you can get away with anything. And if you fall on the other side of the wing, even though you stay awake all night studying your books, in that permanent seat of yours in the library,  never stop singing the school is scam song. Sounds better when crooned with students with half a kobo GP, and the ones who only remember their books when the exam is tomorrow. The Campus is a land of fun, it will be unfair if you don’t have your share.

Remember your anthem, thou shall look for all means to hide thyself and stay away from trouble, even if it includes snitching on the student leaders. Never criticize those who indulge in this act, join them in the act if possible. There is, therefore, a fat reward for your involvement in either — a delay in your transcript or delay in graduation. Or a swift graduation process followed by a recommendation letter (maybe for employment). I assure you that it’ll be worth it.

May our good Lord be with you, and may your survivalist struggle come to a fruitful end at convocation.

SALAUDEEN, Hawau Oluwakemi studies History and international studies at the University of Ilorin. She’s a lover of African prose and comedy and writes short stories about herself, all unpublished. She is an observer and volunteer at her leisure time. She hopes to be a woman of substance someday and so she attends developmental programs and also joins different groups to aid her practice.

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The only thing you need to know about me is I speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ―― well, except when writing.

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4 years ago

Great write up madam. Keep breaking the boundaries. You are blessed to our generation.

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