WHAT DOES ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE MEAN TO YOU?
History cannot forget some names, these people worked while men slept, and they kept pushing when others sang the “impossibility” chorus in challenging times.
One of these people is Albert Einstein, the father of modern physics. Albert couldn’t speak fluently till he was nine years old, and he was denied admission at Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich, because he failed to meet the requirements. Albert, the young boy that couldn’t speak fluently later lectured in renowned institutions around the world.
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Inc., got admission to study Medicine at the University of Texas. In his dorm, he started selling upgrade kits for personal computers. Apparently, school was not giving him enough time to focus on his business, he dropped out to continue his business and 12 years later, and this decision made him a billionaire.
In 1992, aged 27, he became the youngest CEO of a company ranked in Fortune magazine’s list of the top 500 corporations. While Albert was successful in research, Michael made his fortune in business, this is incredible proposition that our definition of success should be different.
Academic success has been overtly discussed in schools, students have argued that academic success is a reflection of your GPA through this expression, ‘e ni too pass lo ka we’ meaning it is the person that passed that read. Mantra such as ‘let us just cram and pass, we can apply the knowledge again’ is commonplace.
There exists a dichotomy between those that have acquired knowledge through school and others that have found a way to cram and pour down, but we will know at the end of this article which path to thread or should students create their own path?
In today’s university, you will come across students that were determined to succeed like both Michael and Albert but have been influenced by negative energy which has resulted in mismatch of priorities.
Learning has edged pass just schooling, Nigerians need to realize that the goal of school is to train students to question knowledge and contribute to it.
Olu was an engineering student of a top university in Nigeria, he had survived secondary school through various thorough private tutorials and has just got admission into the university. It didn’t occur to him that academic success is how you define yourself and not what others say about you. He lived on his past successes and utterly failed in his first year. Olu realized that he couldn’t match up with his mate so he gave up his ambition of being an engineer, he said in one of his rendezvous, ‘I was not psychologically prepared for school, I have been trained to learn through extra lessons’
Non-realization of purpose is a severe cankerworm that has eaten up our educational system and redefined what you call academic success. Olu realized that he could pass through extra lessons but was not prepared to rise after failing instead, he embraced to self-pity and mediocrity. Comparing past achievements to project success of a challenge can be a game of deceit.
Rushing off to meet set goals can be the fastest way to failure, students can be so unrealistic with setting goals, how can a 400 level on a 2.2 GPA be thinking of making a first class? Get real with your goals! Connect your interest with your academics, that is a sure bet to keep motivation high in Nigerian schools.
Success is not luck, what people call luck is a series of unconnected actions towards success. Dangote, studied Business at Al-Azhar University, Cairo. Today, he is one of the successful black businessmen, he aligned his academics with his career goals.
Michael Dell, realized school will hinder his interest, so he dropped out and enrolled in the University of Life where he learnt how to run a successful business. Albert Einstein although failed to gain admission into Swiss Federal Polytechnic in Zürich but he made excellent grades in Mathematics and Physics, he later won a Nobel Prize in Physics and developed mathematical models that have redefined research in Quantum Physics.
Academic Excellence is not a function of your grade, it should be a measure of your ability to use what you have learnt in school to disrupt innovations, solve societal problems and add value to human existence. Albert Einstein contributed significantly to science, and created a space for himself in the sands of time. Michael Dell realized his purpose was to start a computer company and dropped out at University of Texas to be the one of the largest producer of PCs.
You are in school to acquire knowledge to fuel your interest, define what academic excellence means to you!
Thank you for taking time to read this. I hope you learnt well from it, kindly leave comments so we can know your thoughts/ opinion on this topic. Please share with friends so that they can equally learn and contribute to the knowledge we have already.
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