University of Lagos

What does it mean to study at a university in Nigeria? There is no comprehensive answer, so to say. However, we can all agree that the university is a world of its own, one where your existence hardly matters to anyone but yourself – and if my 4 years of studying in one taught me anything, it’s how the university will try to bring you down, but you have to fight, and more importantly, survive. 

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It’s a struggle (as everything in Nigeria is) and you need every help you can get to make sure you live your best life and get out with your sanity intact, hence this article. Chances are that you’ve seen these in other variations. In that case, they can serve as a reminder of what you’ve got to do.

Accept that everything won’t work out the way you want

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If I’ve realised anything from writing Aluta and Chill, it’s that the university has a powerful hold on students and try to drag them down as much as it can. Yes, the university will deploy many means to bury you and leave you for dead, but if you take a moment to anticipate its moves, you can protect yourself. A basic, yet important thing to do is to embrace the fact that you might record a couple of Ls along the way, but you won’t let them be the reasons that you snap.

Prove indispensable to your lecturers

Dealing with Nigerian lecturers is a stressful affair because you don’t know who is sane and who is not. But if you find ways to make yourself indispensable to them, for example, become a class representative; you will be putting yourself in a prime position to have it easier than others would. Don’t forget that this is Nigeria; the people you know matter.

Get yourself a squad 

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In a scene from the first season of Game of Thrones,  Ned Stark, a couple of episodes away from his execution, told his daughter Arya, that “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives” You might find this useful during your time at university too. Everything becomes a tad easier when you have people to share it with. Find people with similar interests as you and stick together. Chances are that you will get into trouble sometimes, but at least, you will figure out how to finesse your way out of it together.

Build a network

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Again, your university experience is a sum of the people you meet and the relationships you build with them – and a great way to do this is to be a part of groups and activities that are not entirely related to schoolwork like campus press clubs, politics, the literary and debating society etc. For starters, these things help you to nurture and hone your skills. Also, think of the pool of people and resources you will have access to.

Just have fun

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Let’s be real; no matter how many ‘hacks’ you read about how to live stress-free in the university,  there will still be roadblocks on the path to living your best life. The best you can do for yourself is to hold on tightly to the positives and make as many fun memories as you can. As a kid who would later become king once said “Ha, I laugh in the face of danger”

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So yeah, the university will try to end your life, but it won’t. Laugh at its futile efforts and continue to slay.

One more thing

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.