Matriculation, Convocation and the Significant In-Betweens

Hi guys,

So for some of you who don’t know, I finally had my much-anticipated convocation from the Obafemi Awolowo University on the 7th of December, 2016. It was a day of mixed emotions for me. I was glad, proud, glad that my parents were proud, sad, tired, dissapointed and grateful. There was just too much to deal with. Now, I’m going to share the most of it with you guys, trailing it from the very beginning. If you are up for some story-story, hang in here. I’m very certain you are going to find some lessons to leave with.

August 2011:

By this time, I had finished secondary school and written most of the exams required for me to get into a University. For my first choice, I had picked OAU for Law. For the second choice, I had picked the University of Osun State (UNIOSUN), also for law. I wanted law. Growing up, I had always liked professions that came with prestige and a uniform. So, one time, I wanted to be a doctor, another time an engineer, another time, a lawyer. I ended up going for the third when I realized the sciences were not made for me. (All thanks to Integrated science and Intro tech … ooh, and maths.)

Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) would I have thought I was going to study English. Didn’t even know it was a course. My other alternative to Law would have been Mass communication. (I had always thought those two were the ‘most important’ courses any art student could study.) I didn’t bother about it much though, I knew I would get law, considering the fact that I really passed the exams for both schools.

When OAU however started to release their admission lists, my name was not on them. At this point, my dad decided we took UNIOSUN seriously but even they had closed their admission for the year – without picking me. I was lost. Anyway, I was immediately enrolled for an open diploma course in UNIOSUN. The course didn’t offer Law or Mass comm, so, I had to choose the next available option – English. The entrance exam of the course had also closed, but I was told if I paid the school fees on time, that would not matter. The next day, my dad sent my fees. It was over 200k. I paid and immediately joined my mates in Ikire on the promise that if I passed the course, I would join my other colleagues in 200L.

Back in UNIOSUN. Please, don’t let me even start on my horrible fashion sense.

Trouble, Tears & OAU:

I schooled in UNIOSUN for a span of three months. It should have lasted longer. The course was for a year, but towards the middle of the third month, just as we were about to write the first semester exams, the issue of my admission letter came up. To write the exams, I needed to submit my admission letter, but I didn’t have one because I didn’t write any entrance exam. The provost had promised that as long as I had paid, I won’t have any issue, but I was having issues, plenty and my studentship was being threatened. I made frequent back & forth trips between Ikire and Oshogbo to rectify the whole thing but it kept getting worse.

On the day of the exam, my pass was withdrawn and I was sent out like a dog. This period of my life was very sad. I always spent the nights crying. I thought I was going back home and I started to prepare an answer for when people who knew I had gone to school saw me back. My parents were sad. They had paid all that money, out of their inconvenience and now, it was going to waste. We thought about writing another JAMB and when the form came out, I immediately filled UNILAG for mass comm as my first choice and UNIOSUN for Law. I didn’t want anything to do with OAU again and I thought I already knew people who would help me get into UNIOSUN this time.

The trouble and the tears lasted for a month. We were approaching Christmas and I decided to take a resigned trip with my friend to Okuku, Osun State. (*Resigned meaning that I was tired and didn’t care anymore). It was while in Okuku one morning that I received 19 missed calls. 15 from my uncle and 4 from my cousin. They were both in OAU. what could this mean? I called back immediately and was greeted with congratulations. OAU had just admitted me.

Everyone who heard the story thought it was the miracle of the century. My friends in UNIOSUN were happy for me. One guy said I was now going to a proper university environment. My dad was more than eager to pay my acceptance fee. Uncles who didn’t call when I was in UNIOSUN called to congratulate me. It felt like I was just going to school. Though I was also offered English, I didn’t mind and gladly I left for OAU some weeks later.

February 2012; Matriculation!

My matriculation happened sometime in February 2012. It was my official entrance into OAU. Nothing much happened, but I was told by those I knew that OAU was hard, that English department had not graduated a first class student since 1980-whatever and that if I ever had an A in a course, I should thank God.

Matric day!

That night, I also said yes to my first boyfriend ever. He bought me a big bowl of ice-cream to say thank you. (Please when did I enter school that I’m having boyfriend?) I later found out that about 70% of relationships entered in the first year at school don’t last. I was naive but I also wanted to test my ‘freedom’. haha. We broke up 8 months later.

Major throwback. Never used to smile in pictures.

Some nights after my matric, I took the grades I wanted for my first year before God. I wrote all As and few Bs. When the results came, I had exactly what I had asked. I smiled at the pessimistic sentiments about my department. Life was good. I was a first class baby.

Throwback to one of the DRA 101 rehearsal meetings back in part 1

I also forfeited the second JAMB I wrote cos I didn’t see the need for it anymore. I took my grades to my part adviser with the intention of crossing over to Law. I was told that it had just been cancelled but I could cross to any other department I wanted. There was no point. OAU didn’t offer Mass Comm, so I took studying English as God’s will. I learnt during this period to do my part and leave the rest to God where my studies were concerned. It was with the truth that God will always have my back that I entered part two.

Part two;

My first class dropped in part two first semester. Till today, I still blame it on the fact that I moved out of school hostels and spent the semester crushing on a particular boy. By the end of that half, I was determined to build my GP up again, so, I threw my feelings to one side and moved back to school.

(Related post: 5 Lessons I learnt from an Unreturned Crush)

One significant thing that happened this year was praying for the right association. You see, it is good to pray about everything, no matter how fickle your request might seem. I remember dropping off some people and picking on new ones, with whom I am still friends today.

A show of eyes

Another significant thing that happened was being threatened by two of my lecturers. In my second semester, with the resolve to build back my GP, I supposedly stepped on two of my lecturers’ feet. Angry, they threatened to fail me (we get that a lot in Nigerian universities, don’t we?) Anyway, I have heard cases of lecturers being true to such threats or they demand other things in return. I couldn’t risk both options but I couldn’t do anything either, except to pray. I remember telling God how scared I was and how I wanted Him to help fix things. Even with that, I would still go to their classes, expecting the lecturers to call my matric number and tell me to wait behind.

Few weeks after, I didn’t see them again. I asked around and was told both had gone on sabbatical leave and weren’t due to return until the end of the semester. Some lecturers, who also went on leave still attended to their students, but these ones handed us to entirely different lecturers and by the end of the semester, in the same course I had been threatened, I had an A.

Boys, Finances, Part 3:

For this post, I will intentionally leave the boys part out. Maybe, I will write on that later. Also, you can see how I lived through an allowance that was barely sustainable here

Anyway, part 3 was very eventful and eye-opening. We lost a colleague and we held an all-black day & candle night procession in his honor. Because of this, I became more aware of the lumps I had found in my chin a couple of years back. I was really really scared but that phase passed soon after. I will share how it did in another post.

By the second semester, most of my secondary school classmates who went to private universities had graduated but anytime I tilted towards complaining, I was reminded that entering OAU was by Grace.

Part 4:

In part 4, I still held unto the hope that I could graduate with a first class. My GP was so close. I devoted myself to teaching classmates and junior colleagues who came to me for help. I learnt during this time that the more you teach others what you know, the more understanding you get yourself. 

I watched some of my classmates switch departments, some for unavoidable reasons. I watched a friend almost run mad to drugs. I saw some others start again from the top, I saw some who compromised to pass, I saw some hanging by a thread, even though they did all they could to excel and I saw some who failed.

I realized that ‘to pass is not just a function of how smart you are’. Lecturers sometimes misplace scripts or record a wrong score, the time to answer exam questions may be too short, and the possibility of missing a test that really counts is there. In spite of these scares, I still did all I could – I was very deliberate about my books, I read when exams were close, missed classes only when it was necessary, attended all my group tutorials for fear of impromptu tests, submitted assignments on time, borrowed library books, did overnights and took plenty coffee. In the middle of all these, I handed everything to God.

In second semester, I was faced with my project. It was my first contact with the supervisor I choose but I was always favored when I went before him. He didn’t change my topic and he always granted me audience. The boys in my group said it was because I was a girl. The girls said it was because he liked my topic. I didn’t care why. Till today, he still keeps in touch.

When my final results came out, I knew I wasn’t going to graduate with a first class, but I was grateful I was even graduating at all.

sign out day!
Sign out. PS: Do not wash your sign out shirt. That permanent marker is not permanent.
Costume day

PS: My roommates in Part 4 were the best I had in OAU.

December 7, 2016: Convocation!

For some of you who know, my colleagues and I almost did not convoke with the rest of the school, but eventually we did. I was so glad. When I went to pick my graduation gown, I intentionally selected a dry-cleaned one and I still ironed it twice so it could look new. I spent a lot of money on frivolities though and I still regret that as I write this. Some expenses seem necessary, but they really are not. I knew if I didn’t have, I would have managed but my salary had just been paid and ooh well, you guys can guess the rest.

The hall was full. We sang anthems, got our degrees conferred on us by the chancellor and we danced. When it got the award part, I was quite sad. You see, some weeks before the convocation, some people started to spread a rumor that I was graduating as the best student in my set. Not that it couldn’t happen, but I had never given a thought to it until some started texting me to say congratulations. Then I let hope flicker. When I saw in the brochure that it wasn’t me, I was sad and angry at those who had brought the rumor to me. They should have just left me in peace.

I remember leaning towards a friend just before the award-giving started and telling her that this was the sad part. She looked at me, smiled and showed me a name in the brochure. The guy was going to get an award but he was dead. She asked me then ‘do you still think it’s sad that you are here but not getting an award?‘. I didn’t have to answer.

The rest of the ceremony went well. Some of my friends (in other departments) got awards. I gave each of them a standing ovation. I was very proud. One girl in Law collected eight awards. Her mum was called out to take pictures, but the music department didn’t help matters. They started playing a touching music and with the standing ovation they got again, both mother and daughter started to cry. When the mother got to the front, she even knelt before her daughter. The whole thing was just emotional. Personally, I was glad my parents did not enter the hall. I trust my mother. She can be crying like that.

Anyway, the lesson I took from there is this: ‘Never let anyone tie you down with their own failure story. Some people can make failure look good and you think ‘well, it’s not necessary to put in my best in this thing. It’s not prerequisite to my success in life’. Truth is, whatever your hands find to do, do it well, whether or not is prerequisite to your life’s success. There really is no success story that is wasted. So, while looking posh and tush and living life as you want it, still put your best in everything that you are doing. It will pay off eventually.’

That’s all for today guys. This is not all from my academic journey in OAU but I hope that you learnt some things you can apply, whether or not you are a student of any school.

Writing this post made me reflective and even more grateful about the year 2016. Can you guys think of one reason why you are grateful for the year? Share it with me in the comment box below. Also, if you are having problems planning towards the new year, you can let me know too. Would love to be of help.

Still gonna share a couple of more posts before the end of the year and I’m also giving out some things for Christmas and New year. So, stay in touch. 🙂

With love,


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Author: Seun Olagunju

I'm just a simple 24-year-old girl, living for One and working to make the world a better place than I met it. I love to teach and tell stories, which is what I do as a blogger. I'm also the founder of Beyond the Surface Development Initiative. There, I reach out to teenagers by educating and empowering them, with an aim to curb the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and school drop-outs in Nigeria. When I'm not writing or involved in a social project, I work as a Product Manager with a tech firm in Lagos, Nigeria.

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  • WOW!! I’m completely thrilled. The beginning of your admission story kinda relates to Mine. Anyway I was one of those few people our parents chose what course we were to study. Reading this right now reminds me of how much I always wanted Law. But wishes weren’t horses and I had to settle for the sciences (of course my parents choice). My parents wanted me to study Medicine. The story is quite a long one but I’m just glad at the end I’m finally getting to pursue my day one dream. It wasn’t easy. After studying in the sciences for two years in OAU including pre-degree, I had to leave school, abandon the course I was studying, There were fights, threats flew in and out, I can’t OF course forget the sleepless nights praying in tongues, catching hands with those who cared and taking matters to the lord, the discouragement that came from several people and everything else that made me strong all through the challenge. But At last, I’m here. And all that happened in the past doesn’t even matter anymore. Matriculation into the Law faculty in few months. I’m already counting down

    • Oh my God. That was some steps you took to start over. Must have been really hard but I’m glad you did. Congratulations, Victor! I’m counting down for you.

  • Lol @”He bought me a big bowl of ice-cream to say thank you. ”
    Also @” the more you teach others what you know, the more understanding you get yourself.” I learnt this way back in school too. It’s sad how we have to go through so much stress and even fall prey to swindlers to gain admission to the university. I personally fell prey to these swindlers. My parents paid for me to gain admission into University of Abuja. I got it and my mum in her euphoria gave a testimony about it in church. Our joy was short-lived though because a lot of hiccups along the way ended that phase quickly. That’s a story for another time.
    It is also great that we do the best we can wherever we find ourselves. The Bible says we should sew in the morning and in the evening because we don’t know which will be successful. At least you can produce a good degree anytime you are asked for it. Congratulations dear. On to the favor market now… Blessed be.

    • Wow! Thank you Damilola. Can’t believe you too fell victim. Would you believe my parents never got the school fees I paid in UNIOSUN back? When I remember those times, I can only thank God. I know all things are working together for our good anyway.

  • Reading through everyone’s testimony, i feel the complusion to share mine. After 9 years in 5 different schools at my secondary level, i applied for Biochemistry in Unilorin but was offerred Zoology. My dad felt skeptical about this, cos i was suppose to be the “Doctor of the house”, My brother was ‘Ordained’ to be an architect, immediate sister ‘Called’ to be a Surveyor, and my younger sister was to choose between Nurse and teacher. Interestingly, most of us were doing ‘strong head’ trying to study different things, but we are all now back to what was ‘Prophesized’.
    Now to my Unilorin story, after going through the stress of getting the admission, someone discouraged my dad about zoology, he was like, “Baba, so you will allow your son to study zoology, zoo -o – logy????” That was the end of the story, i’m sure you know what i mean.
    The next year, i applied same Biochemistry to University of Ibadan, after long wahala and things i could not explain, i ended up getting zoology again. My dad this time was like “If you are cursed with this zoology, the host of heaven won’t allow it” that was the end too.
    So, i ended up with studying Science Laboratory Technology in Yabatech, my mum was so pleased with this cos i won’t have to study outside Lagos and i’ll be so close to the family. Yabatech really opened my eyes, and i somehow still feel i wont be where i am today if i had gone to one those Universities. i lived my ND life as an average student, trying to imitate the people who i thought were brilliant, but it only helped me to become a mediocre. After my SIWES training at Military Hospital, One year of Industrial Training at Skye Bank, God helped me start Gospel Redefined, (one of the reasons why i will always say if God doesnt do anything else for me, I am more than grateful for what he has done).
    Unlike you Seun, I specifically told God I want Upper Credit cos i didnt want to sacrifice my spiritual growth for excessive reading or academic activities. I Thank God for helping me achieve what i prayed for in Yabatech, although i wasnt the best student, i was everyone’s favourite, most influential, most unserious yet with good grades, Leader of all groups i found myself in from the first practical to final project and best of all, i am proud to say i was the most fulfilled. BUT just like the one of the comments above (*Clears throat*), i’ll soon be on my journey to study the medicine sha!
    i couldn’t escape it ooooo

    • Wow, Olubunmi. I do not even know where to start from replying this. The issue of admission in Nigeria is indeed a serious one and sometimes, I wonder why it has to be so hard for some. I’m glad you didn’t give in to resignation and you maximized the time spent where you eventually find yourself. My prayer is that You continue to trail the path God has put you on and all these will eventually come together as testimonies. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hello love, tanx for dis piece, d same thing happen to me in part 1 n m still blaming myself for following boy around*first love*…lol, but thank God m a proud graduate at last… Seun I will forever remember how u help me with group assignment n all….More grease to ur elbow, God bless u darling.

  • Talking of getting in the wrong relationship, I was in one in my second year… I was struggling to build a GP of 3.38 to a 4point. I fell inlove and drop drastically… I’m glad I got out anyway… Now I’m in my finals and I still hope with hardwork to graduate with a 4point. Prior to your story, you make feel like I’m in the wrong school. I’m also a student of UNIOSUN . You know when life leave you no choice,what do you do? You reckon with the available… Would have love to share my story on this platform but time do not permit me. My mistake was that I reckoned with the available… On my note; “when life leave you no choice, create one… And do not let life choose for you”.

    • Ooh Folashade. Thank God you got out on time and I really wish you all the best as you try to build that GP.

      About being the wrong school, so sorry I made you feel that way. I do have a couple of friends who finished from UNIOSUN and they are presently doing very well. So babe, try maximizing the time you have left in school and of course, start making decisions that will rightly influence your life when you finish school.


  • I would one day share but not today… It’s nice getting to talk to you again. I’m glad you are doing well, thumbs up and kudos to you. You are doing a great job . More power to your elbow,more grace and knowledge and lot of achievement. From me to you

  • Thank u for letting me know things l should pray about and how much God is involved in all our lives. Congratulations!