By Bolarinwa Roqeebat
It’s no longer news that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, based on their discussion with the federal government on Sunday, 13th March, have extended the Universities strike by additional 8 weeks. Disheartening, painful, heartbreaking…I know right?
For the Nigerian students affected, it’s mostly complaints of having to spend over the specified number of years studying a course.
But there’s no need to cry over split milk, as we can’t decide for ASUU. Thousands of students, if not millions, are affected by this strike.
Now, there is a general strike, Lectures are on hold. What next?
Stay in your hostel all day and attend only to your psychological needs of eating, sleeping and drinking?
Spend the 8 weeks lamenting on how the tertiary education system isn’t fair to Nigerian students? Or how your dream of graduating in __ year has been aborted? Or cooler, travel back home, sleep and watch movies all day? No. No. No.
Certainly, you’ve got a lot of time to rest your frayed muscles and limbs, sleep without much pressure of waking up early unlike when there were classes. But, that’s not all.
On my way back from College yesterday, I overhead a girl rejoicing over a phone call. She was talking about the strike would favour her and assist in the achievement of her goals while classes were on hold. According to what I heard, she didn’t feel too happy about the strike, but now it has happened, she’s going to do all she could to make the best use of it. “Two months of grace”, she termed it.
Over to you. How do you intend to spend the 8 weeks?
Take a look at mine. At the beginning of the year, I had a goal to read 80 books. I mean non-academic books. Mostly biographies, nonfiction, histories, self helps and religious books. Before school resumed in January, I had read 12, and could only read 4 books completely from February till this moment. Why? I have lots of studying to do, and in terms of priority, it comes first.
Now, I’ve got 2 months to myself! (Not totally though.) With a determined and focused mind, I can read 10 or more books within the two months, which wouldn’t affect my studying, too.
Enough of me, now YOU.
It’s not too late to set your reading and studying goals if you haven’t done that before. Through strategic planning and actions, you can do it.
I’d be glad to know your thoughts about these in the comments section below.
This, I’m about to say isn’t new. It’s widespread advice to every Nigerian student now. “Do not depend on the government for everything. If you need to get things done, you have to move out of your inner space; your comfort zone. Get them done as no one would do that for you. You have to go chase opportunities as opportunities come to those who go for it.”
Learn skills in addition to your academics! Rings a bell? You get! Grab this chance and enrol for your desired skill.
Do not procrastinate! You’ve been waiting for the right time all this while. There’s no perfect time. Pick a convenient time, make it a ‘right time’ by doing the needful; by going the extra mile to get it done.
Confused about the skill to pick? It doesn’t have to be handiwork. Digital skills are the hot cake now. The world is rapidly evolving. It’s now getting to the point where everyone has to be computer literate. No matter your course of study. Even if it is just basic knowledge.
There are varieties of digital skills. They include creative writing, article and abstract writing, content creation, video editing, digital marketing, copywriting, affiliate marketing, graphics designing; tech skills like data science, data analysis, font-end development, website development, coding etc. You can make your research.
Do not use the excuse of not having enough finance or a laptop. Some websites offer these services for free. Yes, free.
There are also courses you can enrol for that wouldn’t require a laptop. Your mobile phone, a stable data supply, commitment and dedication, Viola!
For free and amazing courses, you should check www.futurelearn.com, coursera.org, Allison courses, Udacity, EdX academy, HavardX etc. Not all the courses are free. Some courses also offer certificates for free, while you pay for the others. A novice in any of these? Do not worry as they are amazing courses for beginners, too.
Mend broken fences: Use this opportunity to reach out to old friends. Call the people you haven’t spoken within a while. Your little act of kindness by checking up can go a long way in accelerating their mental health.
Finally, ensure you are:
• Committed and determined.
You can do these without it affecting your overall academic performance and studies, and still have time for social engagements. You’re adding value to yourself in this way. The keyword here is EFFECTIVE TIME MANAGEMENT.
The strike isn’t pleasing as time waits for no one. All the same, do not allow it to get to you. Shake it off. Protect your mental health. Do your best to be fine.
Have a fulfilled break!
This opinion story has been published on PROUDLY LADOKITE with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author. All views or opinions belong to the author.