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Name: Odunsi Olusola Eunice
Campus: Yola Campus (First Class), Director General’s Prize for First Class Students.
University: Afe Babalola University, First Class
About: I am Odunsi Olusola Eunice, a graduate of Afe Babalola University. I am the first of four kids. Right now, what I have on my mind is playing with this law in reality, working with it and see how it really works in the real world. Everything still looks abstract and out-of-place to me at the moment but I hope to sing a different song some years down the line in my career. I can be reached at email@example.com
THE NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL: THE WEAKEST POINT OF MY ACADEMIC SOJOURN
I recall so clearly when I saw my result; I wept! I don’t just mean cry! I actually wept with loud sobs (you know that kind where you’ve got your ugliest face on). And my journey through the Nigerian Law School explains it all.
My time at the Nigerian law school was my weakest point in my academic sojourn. The weakest of all! I was tired of keeping up with grades! I was tired of proving my worth by exams! I was just so tired! But then, I also didn’t want to fail. I didn’t want to let down my family, friends and alma mater. I wanted to make people who know me proud. By Gods grace I made a first class from the university and always dreaded this newspaper headline: “Student with first class from university fails at the Nigerian law School”. I had heard people say such scary things and I was filled with so much fear.
I am not sure if the paint of words could actually ever express my fear to anyone. I recall one Saturday, I was reading and then the next thing I was crying profusely. Thank God a friend called me almost immediately, noticed I was crying and encouraged me. I cannot count how many times I cried, I just know I did cry. I just wanted the cup to pass over me but it surely didn’t; I had to drink of it.
So you can see, I wouldn’t say I was that lady who gained admission and said, “Sola, its time to do this!”
No! instead I said “Do I have to go through this? I’m tired of reading for exams”.
I prayed and prayed! I dreaded the Nigerian Law School because I was weak. I could feel the sore of weakness right in my mouth.
This continued down to the time of the exams. In fact, after property law practice, I was wailing. I had so many cancellations (I think because of the anxiety as it was my first paper). After corporate law practice, I cried so much too. I hadn’t answered number 4 properly. In fact I had no 4(a) in my answer sheet. That’s a whole 5 marks o! Not to think of the other subsections where I just scribbled stuff down.
But I must say, despite my weakness, I put in the best I could. I fought for it, spiritually and physically! I prayed about it at every opportunity I had!
Here, I’ll state what I did. Not because I want anyone doing it but because I always wanted to read these when I read testimonies of others but never actually saw it. I guess one could say I’m doing to other what I’d love others to do to me.
- I engaged spiritually for it. I prayed and served God believing for a first class. But I must say my weakness affected my prayers. But I thank God for one book by Dr. David Oyedepo I read before my results were out which strengthened me to pray about it like never before. I can’t state all the spiritual mysteries I engaged in but I surely did.
- I called those who had gone before me for directions. I wanted to know what they did, or better, what they’d advice me to do.
- When I got discouraged (which I did a good number of times) I read online testimonies of people who had excelled at the Nigerian Law School and called encouraging friends.
- I tried to read every day. Well, one of my lecturers said we should ensure we read everyday. I didn’t read every day but I planned to. During the Christmas break, I however ensured I read every single day including Christmas day. I used the period to make my notes that I had been unable to complete while in school and tried to go ahead to make one or two we had not treated.
- I tried to make my notes before the class. This was very stressful and I seemed to use the whole time making notes. I was advised to focus on note making during the lecture periods and then study during externship. I got frustrated sometimes and didn’t make notes. I just read from my textbooks! I think this affected me adversely during externship. I wish I made the notes during my lecture period because it made my reading drag longer.
Note: I heard of someone who never made notes; he read from his textbooks and made a first class. A friend of mine also never made notes but read from a compiled note and made a second class upper. So as a friend of mine would always say, to each his own.
- I asked questions in class. I never wanted to leave the class without understanding so if anything was unclear to me, I put the shame aside, rose my hands up, and asked my question during the question session. This is because I have always learned by asking questions so I had to go with what I believed will work for me. So not everyone who participates in class is doomed for failure (I always heard people say all those who ask questions and participate in class are out to fail).
- I attended those mentorship meetings. In fact I attended mine and that of another mentor. They usually have a lot of encouraging words and that’s also where I actually learnt to answer law school questions.
Please just go with what works for you. Don’t be moved by how active or non-active your mates are. Don’t be discouraged! Please always take the effort to encourage yourself! Get yourself encouraged; it’s the least you owe yourself!
Wish you the very best! God bless you!