Beyond The Tale: Students Can and Should be more than “Students”, By Iruoma Osonwa


Beyond The Tale: Students Can and Should be more than “Students”

Putting a pen to paper in the last few months has felt like an arduous task my dear friends, the flesh is indeed weak (covers face)! Going through the journey of the second part (I look forward to sharing that with you guys at the end of it all – winks), I have realized one cannot just be a student alone especially in this country.

What do I mean?

Remember that popular phrase of “passing through school and letting school pass through you”? When you’re having classes every day, daily eating food that makes your digestive system cringe in fear, waking up early and sleeping late constantly, trying to read your books so as to have an idea of what that lecturer was saying that hot afternoon, reading ten to fifteen slides of notes before a test sometimes three days ahead (try not to do that anyways, laughs) and more, having another activity besides being a student seems a herculean task. It seems but guess what? It isn’t.

In my close to four years of being a student, I have been privileged to be friends with senior colleagues (and even junior colleagues) who not only motivated me academically but in other spheres of life – of particular interest after “spirituality” for me is building a good market value even while being a student.

Before I became a medical student, I always heard in high school how “difficult” medical school was and how they never had a “life outside their books”. LOL! Assumptions have never been more wrong. Considering this is an article that would be read by students across different departments, I believe this is a relatable issue we have all encountered or would soon encounter.

Why all these words? It is because that notion isn’t true. Is it possible to be so choked up with school work and still delve into a business? Yes. Is it imaginable to be a tutor with a syllabus of topics to teach others and still pass your own exams? Yes. Is it possible for you to be an advocate, volunteer, student leader, fashion designer, hair dresser, and journalist? Yes!!! Look, I have seen some individuals in the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos who have decided to not just be about the degree and it doesn’t affect their grades. Truth be told, there are situations where they had to go the extra mile with studying due to being busy and as to not fail but that is the whole point! Sure, it isn’t an easy thing to combine learning – in a not so favorable condition – with big dreams but I have not heard it’s impossible.

The truth is, spending such a long time in the academic environment – more than 6 years for some of us – just being a student alone without learning a skill or exploring beneficial social activities would not be an advice you would catch me giving my own kids.

Lest I forget, there is a time to do things. Even King Solomon writes on a time to sleep, a time to work and a host of others and that’s why the argument of not engaging in any other thing beyond your school books is not one we should even be for. Why? Because being a student provides you the opportunity to learn, glean from others and be a voice of change in the society. Or would you rather do that after you’re done and become more busy with real life and family (trust me, there won’t be more time per say).

While it may be close to impossible to participate in an event or volunteering or making a business or— (insert yours) during the school session, don’t “waste” the holiday! Apply to learn a skill, go for a camp meeting, apply for a holiday job, be involved! It helps a whole lot (This paragraph is to exclude excuses so please don’t make more).

So what are you waiting for? The next time you get a message on an application, check the eligibility and apply. The next time you get an opportunity to be involved in a team project, a debate, an event planning, a skill acquisition program, learning a programming language, joining the sports team, programming, a book reviewer, etc, don’t give an excuse of just wanting to read your text books and there being no time for any other thing (rolls eyes). Go for it!

Disclaimer: This is not an article to encourage abandoning your academics due to involvement with other activities but one to inspire you to know that it is possible to be beyond a certificate in this society.

Till we “meet” again as you glance at my next article, I wish you all well in your different endeavors.




Discussion116 Comments

  1. Eziaghighala Chinaza

    Beautiful write up dear. I like the advice but would have preferred a specific first hand account of your experience. It’s better to connect when you are coming from a personal angle so that people will know you are legit. There are too many people using broad assumptions nowadays. Cheers😀

  2. I’m literally reading this again and just saw your comment dear. Definitely have realized the importance of examples and would put into practice. Thank you!

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