SUCCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP: A CLASSROOM MEDITATION

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The attainment or achievement of set goals and objectives.  Specifically success is the achievement of the purpose for which an individual or group or system is made…Success is when one is able to achieve the purpose of his creator and when a system is able to achieve the purpose of his architect or designer (2011:15)

SUCCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP: A CLASSROOM MEDITATION

A LECTURE DELIVERED TO STUDENTS AT

THE FRESH STUDENTS’ ORIENTATION PROGRAMME,

ORGANISED BY:

THE STUDENTS’ AFFAIRS DIVISION,

FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY AKURE (FUTA)

ONDO STATE

BY:

OYE AGUNBIADE (HON)

THE PROSPECTS/FRCN

1ST DECEMBER, 2015.

 

The Pro-Chancellor,

The Vice-Chancellor- Prof Biyi Daramola,

The Deputy Vice Chancellors,

The Registrar,

The Bursar,

The University Librarian,

Dean of Faculties

Dean of Student Affairs- Dr Kayode Alese,

All Professors and Heads of Departments here Present,

Other Principal Officers of the University,

Our Distinguished invited Guests,

Gentlemen of the press, the noble profession,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

And The Greatest Futarians!

Preamble

Sometimes in 1985 a revered man of God in this country was invited to preach at a Professor’s daughter’s wedding. You can imagine the dignitaries present ranging from Professors, Doctors, Businessmen and women, high ranking Government officials to men and women who seemed to have made their mark in the world. After preaching with fervor at the ceremony, an old man and woman approached this cleric one after the other. The first after adjusting his spectacle remarked:

Young man, I wish I met you in 1943. If I had met you forty-two years ago and heard what you are preaching now, I would not have been what I am today…what can I do now …where were you when I just got married?

The man of God could not answer as he knew the old man wasn’t expecting an answer from him. He stood watching this old man shed tears. He just wished he had met him then. And the second person who was the wife of one of the University Professors, also looking with eyes full of regret said:

Well I thank you for all you have said. For me it is too late but I am going to buy the tapes for my daughter so that she will not go the way I went.

These are statements made in outright regret with wishes to turn back the hands of the clock, but too late. However today I congratulate you because you are opportune to hear the needful which many didn’t as they embarked on a similar odyssey which you are starting today.

Today no doubt about it is a new dawn long awaited by many of you here seated. While some got it right at their first shot, many others are just having a sigh of relieve after throwing the admission die two, three or thereabout times. I identify with you today and congratulate you for scaling through the hurdles.

We however often quickly forget what it takes to attain a feat. Many students today see their admission as a success and begin to revel until the realities dawn on them. A myopic understanding of success to people in this category will therefore ground their progress because true success is progressive in nature. We therefore need to have a clear grasp of what the university is. To some it is to come and get first class (their own definition of success) and leave. To some it is a place to socialize while to some others it is a home away from home. Many conceptions therefore are myopic of the valid essence of the university. As a result social vices are yearly on the increase. The same goes for the increasing rate of unemployment in our society.

On a different note some of you came in here with the fear of the future and even burdens from home. These and many others are reasons why I determined 8 years ago to make it a must to address fresh students at the entry point into the university.

No doubt about it you are in here for the right orientation to keep your ball rolling in the journey of success as we meditate on the topic: Success and Scholarship: A Classroom Meditation.

SUCCESS?

Success in its most simplified delineation is the accomplishment of a set goal. According to Pastor Wale Adelakun of Dominion Centre for Transformational Leadership Success is:

The attainment or achievement of set goals and objectives. Specifically success is the achievement of the purpose for which an individual or group or system is made…Success is when one is able to achieve the purpose of his creator and when a system is able to achieve the purpose of his architect or designer (2011:15)

Consequently we can talk of two kinds of success in the university viz a viz academic and the purpose of God. While the first will be simply addressed through Scholarship (Hard work) the second will basically be borne out of the understanding that you are not an accidental creature.

SCHOLARSHIP?

Scholarship could be defined along two lines. It could be the amount of money given to somebody by an organization to help pay for their education. But for this meditation we would consider the second meaning as explained by Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary as “Serious formal study or research of a subject”. In other words by Scholarship I mean academic study which is what you are here for by virtue of your admission.

SUCCESS AND SCHOLARSHIP: A SYMBIOSIS

In our contemporary world the place of Education cannot be overemphasized because education is a true leveler. This is an undisputable fact because with God on your side and the right education (information/power) you can surpass the breakthroughs and successes of those you envy so much today. That is why I once again congratulate you for choosing this path.                        Meanwhile not all on this path harnesses the benefits therein all because of how they handle it. Everyone invariably wants to succeed in life but while some knows what it takes others do not. In this small world you need to study well enough to attain and accomplish the reason why you are here. William Ellery Channing once made a remark on the beauty of books and I will like to repeat it here to reinforce the essence of being studious. According to Channing:

It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are true leveller. They give to all who will faithfully use them, the society, the spiritual presence of the best and greatest of our race.

Channing’s remark from the above reveals to us that we have signed one of the greatest contract in life which can give us success by virtue of our admission here and all that requires is getting down to the books. If you therefore study well no doubt you will graduate well with a worthwhile result but if you don’t, like in our opening story chances are that you go home with the unexpected like the old man and woman. This is so as the end of it all doesn’t appear to us at the onset as we revel too long on the freedom we enjoy on campus. You therefore need to make a decision to be a successful person and work hard to become such a person.

There is therefore the need to put the following into consideration in order not to be caught unawares:

VISION: THE PROPELLING FACTOR (AID 1: SLIDES FROM BEN CARSON’S GIFTED HANDS)

The need to have an intact vision of what you want to become as well as grades you would like to graduate with cannot be overstressed. This is so because it will serve as your propellers as the desire to actualize them will become a driving factor for you. An advice for you is that the moment you get your course titles for each semester you put before them your desired grades for that semester and work towards it. Be conscious of the fact that hard work is the fuel to achieving this feat. A point for meditation at this juncture however is that “do you know that hard work is more important to becoming successful than brilliance?” The idea is that everyone is brilliant, but most people are too lazy to let their brilliance shine.

DETERMINE TO BE UNIQUE (AID 2: CASE STUDY: THE 3 IDIOTS)

Gone are the days of the hook, line and sinker kind of scholarship where lecturers/ Teachers only want student to download their notes during tests, exams and classroom interaction. The teaching process thus (must be built to) recognize(s) the multiplying effect of knowledge and the instinct of the scholar. Similarly you must take time to respond to your passion and ideas as they fly around you. Hear this:

Over 50% of graduates today don’t end up doing what they studied in school. Some identified their place while on campus and had started working on it before they left school without letting one to interfere with the other, while others do not until they graduate.

The point here however is that you don’t ignore what inspires you and you are passionate about as you never can tell if that is what will shoot you to limelight. This is important as many of you because of the bulk of applicants seeking admission into the university do not get your desired courses. That therefore must not signal an end to our utmost desires and visions.

Success and Scholarship: The Wrong Picture Perspective (using Slides from 3 Idiots)

The quest for fame, power, security and riches at the onset of this journey had swerved many off the path of success and made them entirely wanting. Success according to Cosmos Maduka, The Chief Executive Officer of Coscharis Motors is:

A progressive achievement of a worthwhile goal that fulfils your divine purpose in life.

Success In other words should be progressive. No wonder Anais Nin (Winter of Artifice) describes life as:

A process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through, (and that) where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.

There is therefore no need to be in a hurry to be famous or make money. Ignorance in this regard gives a picture of why many students join secret societies, become armed robbers and partake in other antisocial activities while on campus. This is unbecoming as it is a threat to our society and capable of truncating our beautiful future. Hence you need to reject invitations to such groups because as beautiful as their proposals are they are nothing other than baits. And the rest of it all is a life of regret.

Success and Scholarship: The Interpersonal Relationship factor.

Like I maintained in a lecture in 2007 tagged “In the Microcosm of our World” where I described the university as a small world that determines or encapsulates a bigger world. In this small world the relationship you share with other students and lecturers matter most. Never look down on anyone and try as much as you are to be your brother’s keeper. In future you will get to see how this plays out as the world is just smaller than how big you think it is. Similarly our lecturers in this smaller world are our fathers and mothers and we must accord them the necessary respect. It is not an absurd mentality or kindergarten approach but an excellent spirit to after a lecture approach your lecturer to say “Thank you sir/ma for the lecture.” This puts you in a good book before such lecturer and tells of your understanding of this discourse of success.

DESTINED TO SUCCEED

I conclude this meditation with a motivation for you that you are created to succeed in life. The path to that end could be a thorn strewn one but if you believe and stay connected to your makerand at the same time work hard you will soon see your dreams and visions come through. Consider these:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth3 John 2

Seest thou a man deligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean menProv 22:29

And this:

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways and be wiseProv 6:6

The obvious is that as the school authority has put all things in place for your success, the living God, your creator has even gone ahead to ensure that success is yours. It will therefore be foolhardy to think you can leave God out of the picture while on campus. Please don’t do that in order not to be cut off from the source of your success. So join the right fellowship on campus, do the right thing and be prayerful at all time.

APPRECIATION:

Gratitude they say is like a ponderous bell around the neck; until we remove it, it will continue to ring to remind us of the debt we owe.

Let me start, first and foremost, to appreciate all of you distinguished personalities who invited me here, especially, the Vice Chancellor and the Dean of Students’ Affairs as well as his wonderful team for considering me to deliver this lecture.

Please permit me also to present my gratitude to the Governing Council, the
Senate and the Principal Officers of the university, as well as the entire Management Staff, the workers, and our wonderful students for your rapt attention.

I am also indebted to my Web Manager and a onetime school son, Mr Seun Adebisi of Goshen Tech for quick upload of the text to my website: www.oyeagunbiade.com/

It is my belief that this meditation (lecture) will help us all have a better perspective on the discourse of success.

THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Lecturer’s Profile:

OYEWUMI AGUNBIADE is an Editor/Reporter with Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (Radio Nigeria), Positive F.M, Akure.

Oye as a Youth Development Consultant directs The Prospects, where he currently runs an outreach tagged: #Giving Back to the Nigerian Public Schools# to secondary schools in Ondo state.

He had since delivered Orientation lectures at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo state (2007/2014), Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA (2014/2015), Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State (2009/2011) and Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (2015)

For more about Oye’s lectures, essays and engagements, please visit: www.oyeagunbiade.com

Works cited:

Adelakun, W. 2011. 5d’s of Success: The Unfailing Principles of Success. Lagos: Fourth            Man Creations

Agunbiade, O. 2007. “In the Microcosm of our world: Student to student Relationship on             Campus.” A lecture delivered at the students Orientation Programme of Adekunle             Ajasin University Akungba-Akoko

Akanni, Gbile. 2013. Battle for the Young. Gboko: Peace House       Publications.

Udo, Williams. 2008. From Trials to Triumphs; The Coscharis Story. Lagos, C.G   publishers,

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