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Name: Babafemi Tomilehin Folake
Campus: Abuja Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students.
University: Afe Babalola University, First Class Honours
About: I am Tomilehin Babafemi. I’m more of an introvert being. It had always been my dream to become a lawyer someday. I developed interest in company/corporate law during my final year in the university, and over time, my interest in corporate law turned to a deep passion for corporate law related matters. I am a deep lover of Christ and I know my ultimate purpose in life is to reflect His light and glory. I blog at tomeegal.wordpress.com and can be reached via Babafemitomilehin@gmail.com.
Like most people, my desire to make first class in law school was already in place by the time I was resuming law school. I graduated from university with a first class. And because I was well aware of the fact that most Nigerians tend to doubt first class degrees when such degrees are from private universities, I was more determined to make a first class in law school to prove to such skeptical Nigerians that my initial first class was not a fluke. I’m the kind of person that believes so much in making covenants with Christ, and knowing that my previous covenants with Christ played a major role in me graduating with a first class from university; on the resumption date to law school, I made another covenant with Christ.
To say the first week of resumption was discouraging would be an understatement. At some point, I started seeing people who had made ‘pass’ from law school as Albert Einstein kind of genius. The classes were really overwhelming. Even though I read before each class, it was still very hard for me to follow in class. If I’m to use one word to describe my feelings at that time, I would use ‘frustrated’. It was no wonder I fell sick 3 days after resuming.
I went back to God, I told Him everything. I remember telling Him that this was not what we both planned together. By the 6th week, I met a friend, ‘Eniola Opasina’ who had just graduated from law school. She had come for her clearance. She was one of the tools God used in answering my prayers. Though at that time, I didn’t know God was using her to answer my prayer. She gave me several useful tips to use. It was through the tips that I was able to find what worked for me. I came to realize that rather than spending too much time in preparing for the next class, I should spend time revising what I was taught in the previous class that day (which I did by making my notes on topics taught in the previous classes). The realization was like a cheat code for me. Everything afterwards began to fall in place.
Fast forward to the pre bar finals we were given shortly before we went for externship – I must say, I was quite impressed with my scores. This gave me more hope that my making a first class was very plausible. This hope however soon died when I got home for the externship, and something very heartbreaking happened to me. To say I was emotionally wrecked would not effectively describe the negativity of the situation I was in. I really struggled with studying at that time. That period was one of the hardest periods in my life. But now I’m more that grateful I passed through that period, it made me realize and witness God’s greatness in a greater dimension; even though at that time I didn’t realize it. When I felt I had studied enough, I also tried to prepare myself for the multiple choice questions exam. My scores were not consistent. At rare times, I had bad scores like 9/20 and sometimes average scores like 14/20. These score brought another wave of discouragement because I felt I had studied enough to get much more better scores. Butii kept studying. By the time I was about to resume back after the externship was over, I tried to spend more time praying than studying. I felt I had studied enough. By that time, I had already read my notes from the beginning to the end 6 times. I knew at that point that I’ve already done all I needed to do in the physical realm to get a first class. So I knew I just had to settle in the spiritual to make it a reality. There was a particular time I spent time praying to God about my exams, that was on July 9, 2016. I can never forget that prayer session in a hurry; because it was after that prayer session, that I became certain that I was going to leave law school with a first class. I could literally hear God telling me He had answered my prayer – one of the best moments of my life.
However, my human nature soon kicked in and after some days, I became anxious again. Now that I think about it, I wonder why I was that despite God’s confirmation of my success. I resumed back to school for the last lap. My externship portfolio presentation went okay; though I must point out that I was quite nervous about it initially because I’m a shy public speaker. The MCQ (Multiple Choice Exams) was pretty easier than I thought. Still after the exams, I was a tad worried because I didn’t have sufficient time to go through my work. I took it God and told Him to take control.
I’m the kind of person that believes that staying awake during the nights of your exams is not exactly wisdom. So for me, during the exams I was always asleep by 9:30pm and I always made sure that i had a good night sleep of at least 7 hours. One of my major plans when I resumed law school was that I would read enough to sleep throughout my nights of exams. I’m thankful to God that I achieved that. Of course, there were times I felt unprepared, but I still forced myself to sleep. For example, I didn’t feel I was ready enough for my civil litigation the night before the civil litigation exam; but I went to bed all the same and slept for 7 hours before I began my revision. All the exams went well for me except ‘criminal litigation’ exam. I was so confused and sad. I was so upset that I even cried during the exam. But at the end, of all the exams I wrote, I’m especially grateful for my criminal litigation. Had it been that I didn’t have that experience with my criminal litigation, I would not have prayed as much as I did after I was done with my exams. But because of my criminal litigation exam, I prayed a lot after I got done with my exams and I’m more than thankful to God it paid off. Two things I would like to point out concerning praying to God about bar finals:
1) DO NOT pray to God asking Him for a first class because you feel you deserve it. For example, don’t fall into the trap of praying like this; ‘O Lord, I have studied hard for this exam o, so I deserve this first class, it would be unfair if you don’t give it to me’
One major problem with praying like this is that praying like this exudes pride. And what does the Bible say about proud people? ‘A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit’ Proverbs 29:23. Another problem with praying like this is that it wasn’t by your power you were able to study in the first place. It was God’s grace that helped you to study. So the fact that you studied well does not mean you deserve a first class. Instead, ensure you come to God with a humble heart, and God in His faithfulness will surely give you your desired grade.
2)MAKE SURE the reason you want that particular grade is because you want God’s glory to shine through your success. Each time you pray to God about your success in bar finals or even any other issue, check your heart and sincerely determine why you want Him to answer that prayer. Why is this necessary? The answer is in James 4:3 ‘Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts’.
In summary, my law school’s success is a product of 3 major factors: desire, determination and God’s grace. God bless you all and give you all outstanding successes in everything you all do.
See y’all at the top.