I Stayed Alone For Four Years To Avoid Distractions — Best Graduating Student

Ibraheem Kabir Adeyemi, a graduate of Computer Science from Oduduwa University, Osun State, emerged the best graduating student at the 5th convocation ceremony of the university recently. 20-year-old Adeyemi, who claimed to have lived a “triangular lifestyle” in his days at the university, spoke to The Nation’s Gbenga Aderanti about the secrets of his academic success, among other issues.

You emerged the best graduating student of Oduduwa University. What was your CPGA?
I graduated with a CGPA of 4.94.Why did you choose Oduduwa University?
I chose Oduduwa University because I could see the potential in the school. Being a relatively young university, the kind of structures which the school management had been able to put together in such a short period of time, really impressed me. I also had a family friend who graduated from there, and he really convinced me that the standard of teaching was excellent. He got a scholarship to study in the UK after he finished.

How many times did you sit for university entrance exam before you got admission into OUI?
I sat for the Joint Matriculation Examination (UME) once before I got admission into OUI, though OUI was not my first choice.

How was the experience waiting for admission?
Waiting for admission was a real turning point for me. That was the point I realised that in life, you can only depend on yourself for support, and you will only get what you work hard for in life. I was really anxious during that period, but I thank God everything worked out for the better.

At what point did you decide to apply for admission into OUI?
I decided to apply to OUI as my backup school in case my first choice school did not work out. Though I was picked in my first choice school, I was not given the course I wanted. OUI gave me the chance to achieve my dreams and took it.

What were the reactions of your parents when you told them you were going to study at OUI?
My parents were really supportive of my choice. They understood that it was what I wanted. I had to convince some of my siblings, because I come from a very big family and my parents always encouraged us to share ideas with each other.

What was your preferred course and why?
My preferred course is Computer Science because I have always had a flare for computing as a kid. I always had interest in how this device has been able to revolutionise the world as we know it. Growing up, my uncle had a cyber cafe where I would go every weekend. He would allow me to surf the web, play games and solve problems online. I guess that is where I first developed my love for computing.

What were your experiences at the university?
My experiences in Oduduwa University were really memorable. I had lot of good experiences in the school. I guess my best experience was going to check my result at the end of each semester. Most of the time, I knew I was going to have all As, so it was self gratifying for me because I believed that all my hard work for the semester had not been in vain.

I guess my worst experience was in my third year. I lost one of my very close friends. It was a really tough period because i didn’t have a lot of friends. So, losing one of them really made me sad.

How did you manage to come tops in the school, considering the distractions one faces as an undergraduate?
When I resumed in my first year, I had my mind set on being the best that I could be. I made up my mind that what was important was my studies only, and I was not going to allow anything hinder me from achieving my goals, no matter what. I had friends, but I have always been blessed with the ability to see through people.

I always knew when someone was a good influence or not, and I thank God for the few friends I had in school. My resolute rectangular life (class, hostel, mosque and library) kept me away from all forms of distractions. I always stayed alone throughout my four years, because I enjoyed my privacy a lot.

At what point did you resolve that you were going to be the best graduating student?
That would be in my third year. I met this lecturer who took a real interest in me. He made me to realise that although I was a really brilliant student, being brilliant is not enough to achieve success in life. There is a difference between being able to excel in academics and being able to excel in life. He explained to me what it takes to be a computer scientist and the need to excel in whatever I lay my hands on.

How did you achieve this feat?
Hard work, God’s favour and determination really helped in achieving my goals. I also gained a lot from tutoring other students, because this helped me in refreshing the things I had read a long time ago and also made me recognise the aspects I needed to improve on.

Tell me the challenges you faced as an undergraduate of OUI?
I faced a lot of challenges as an undergraduate, but with God’s help and grace, I was able to overcome them. One of the most important was changing the general cliche that smart people are not sociable. I engaged in other projects apart from academic work and picked up other hobbies apart from reading. I thank God I was able to balance them all.

What were the factors that helped you to come tops?
I would say the major factor was being resolute. I was extremely determined to achieve my objectives, no matter what, and this helped me a lot in achieving my goal.

Do you have any plan to lecture in the school, considering the fact that the institution is willing to absorb its best students?
If given the chance to, I would like to impact knowledge and I would also like to apply my skills in the emerging start-up sphere in Nigeria in order to make our country a better place. I have a secret passion in helping others achieve their goals. That is why my friend and I are launching an online tutoring platform where students can meet capable tutors in various skills they have interest in, such as programming, academics and the likes.

What is that thing about OUI that you are not going to forget in a hurry?
It has to be the lecturers. I met lecturers who changed my orientation and made me think differently every day. The mosque too. It was always my safe haven; always very quiet and serene.

How easy was it for your parents to pay your school fees?
My father is a businessman and my mum is a retired teacher. My parents are the most remarkable people even though they don’t have much. They are willing to do anything for their children so far as it is for their education. it was not easy but they always found a way. I thank God for them.

Was there a time you felt like quitting the institution?
Not really. My understanding of education as a whole changed a lot when I went for internship. I realised that especially in the field of IT, most of the skills you require are in the outside world; they are not taught in the classroom. Even people who are not IT majors can pick up those skills and become more relevant. I realised that I had to be focused on academics and also learn relevant skills like programming and the likes in order to be relevant in the industry.

What is your plan for the future?
I would like to be successful.

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