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There's no limit to what we can achieve in Life if we set our minds to it - Babcock's Best Graduating Student

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By Tunde Gbotemi (One Class)

Olayemi Oluwaseyi Olayinka

Olayemi Oluwaseyi Olayinka, a graduate of Christian Religious Studies, was announced as the best graduating student of BABCOCK University, Ilisha-Remo, Ogun state, a private Christian co-educational Nigerian university, during the recent convocation ceremony of the university. In this interview, he speaks with Tunde Olorungbotemi One Class on Flash point's programme on his experience and perspective of education in Nigeria and how we can achieve greatness in life if we set our minds to it.


Tell us Something about yourself and Background?

I am Olayemi Oluwaseyi Olayinka. I'm a graduate currently waiting for my NYSC. I hail from Otun Ekiti area of Ekiti State but grew up in Akure, Ondo State capital. I was born into a family of 5, later 4 after the demise of my dad. I'm the only male of three children. Seyi is a man of integrity who likes calling a spade a spade. He also likes inspiring people into believing in themselves.


    Course studied, graduation year and graduating CGPA?


Studied Christian Religious Studies, graduated 2020, cgpa was 4.92.


      Why do you choose that course of yours and can you please share any difficulty or hurdle you faced while being a student and how you overcome?

I was studying Industrial Chemistry before in FUTA, after my 200l, I was convinced that God was calling me to something different and wants to use me in His work. So I had to leave to study Theology to be a servant in God's vineyard.


Trying to merge responsibilities with school activities was difficult. I was acting in various capacities in school starting from my 100l, by my 200l it became more tense and 300l I was made the president of one of the largest associations on campus. But I was able to overcome by planning myself and making sure it doesn't affect me, even though sometimes, mentally it does cos I like getting results, but I try to keep my head straight.


      From your background, Did you plan to come to Babcock University right from your start(i learnt you were a product of public secondary school at Aquinas college Akure, Ondo state)?

No, it was never in my plan. I am a seventh day Adventist, and Babcock is owned by my church, but the school fees is so high. So it was never my intention. Right from Aquinas I always wanted to study medicine, I tried the then University of Adi Ekiti but wasn't given admission before coming to FUTA. Even though the challenge of school fees was still there for Babcock when I was convinced I was going to go, but God saw me through.


     Wonderful! Would you advise students to combine academics with other activities while on campus, Your advice to them?


Once you're smart, responsibilities will come. I will advise students to combine them but they should know their limit. These activities builds students in what they won't learn in classroom. Leadership and other lesson that I learnt in other activities is something I'm forever grateful for. So they should combine but know the limit they can carry cos there must be a balance with academics.


     God is indeed great. Did you see yourself becoming the best student a few years back and why?

No, I never saw it at first. I was inspired early enough, in 100 level. My first intention was to graduate as a first class student, if possible with 5.0cgpa cos I was so determined. Graduating as the best student later came in when I saw that I have what it takes in me, in fact it came through someone when the person saw my result in first semester, so I had to put my all into it, and I had the dream of my name being called out as the best graduating student in my head since the beginning of my 100l second semester.


     Then, how did you achieve your goals of becoming the best student, I mean what drives you to this success?


First was my Vice chancellor, he talked to us during 100l orientation about going for Gold and I took it personal. Second was a result (second semester result of the previous academic year) I saw pasted on my department notice board, one result there was 5.0 and the marks were so high. So I said to myself if a human can do this, I can replicate it. Honestly I never knew I could cos in FUTA where A is 70%, I never had an A (I could say I was never motivated for academics then, my ever best was a 60+ B), now in Babcock that A is 80% I laughed at myself. But when those two motivations came, I revived my inner man, it has always been in me all these while which I didn't utilize, my mind was determined for success no matter the stake.


     In your driving for success after you saw the vision of becoming the best, 

Have you had any challenge with a lecturer, 

If Yes... How did you overcome?


    If No, why?


I played my part well. I knew one of the ways to succeed is to study your lecturers as they have different approaches. I asked questions from my seniors on all the lecturers, I knew them all, so I didn't have much problem. But then of course, I had like three course I was convinced I should have scored higher than I got which I approached the lectures on, I overcame by settling for what I got and taking up the challenge not to be beaten twice. I made sure I did everything so well to avoid having issues with lecturers on grades and that helped me, if I need 80 in a course, I target 90 to avoid mistakes, that helped me. I hardly had issues with lecturers.


     Then, there is something peculiar about you, What are those things you denied yourself to achieve this?


I sacrificed my old self, first for God, then for my academics. Then I learnt to bring up others. I helped my struggling departmental mates by having time with them to teach them on some courses that are tough, especially language courses, by that I grew too. Academics couples with responsibilities, one thing I didn't have was time, so had to cut off some socials just to make sure I am up to the beat. One thing perculiar about me is my determination and commitment, I knew where I was going and what I wanted, I never let that out of my head irrespective of whatever comes my way.


      Old self to new self in Christ, okay... But, Were you in a love relationship with lady while in School?


No I wasn't. Even though it wouldn't have changed anything. In my 200l I was so close to a lady that everyone thought we were dating, in fact, we were the only two that knew we were not dating cos we were always together. That was the year I had 5.0 and she had her best result too. We actually built ourselves up in relevant areas, even spiritually. Relationships to me don't affect academics if it is channelled the right way. It can be meant to build yourselves up in every aspect that improves you positively.


    Wow! You are handsome chap, were there distractions from ladies?

Smiles.

There was. But there wasn't time, I'm always on the run cos there are works to do. But I made friends, a whole lot.


     People believe as a private school students that they get their desired results with money (huge school fees payment). 

Can you explain this motive and educate the public?

At least I can vouch for Babcock amongst other private University. You get what you score. I mean I've hanged on 76 before, just 4 marks to get A, countless people on 78, nothing can change it, except maybe some few lectures who saw your effort (which is so rare), but not for money. Being a Christian school, even if it's happening, it can't be 2% and that's because the lecturer isn't transformed. At least I know of a lecturer caught and sacked. The school has zero tolerance for such. When you hear school is stingy with marks, Babcock students can tell better.

      Have you ever been a Recipient of any Scholarship?, if yes.. How did you apply for it?


 Yes, was a recipient of a church scholarship in my 200l. I was recommended by my state arm of the church and I was given, I took care like 60-70% I think.


    Tell us a brief of your experiences in Private school and did you see any difference with public school; in terms of Equipment, teaching standard, connection with students, living standard, lifestyle and exposure? 


There are big differences. I could say private University is the best, or to be safe let me say Babcock. Facilities wise, yes. There is an improved teacher student relationship. It's more controllable too as about 85% of students stay on campus. And there are securities and cameras everywhere, so there's less count of bad doings and exam malpractice, we write exams with camera. Most especially in Babcock, there's atmosphere for improvement spiritually. We go to church 4 times a week, Wednesday evening, Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening. There are courses on Christian education unlike public schools. A lot of benefits.


During orientation which was even before we even start classes in 100l, we were told our convocation date (that's 4years in advance), that has been the custom since inception and it has never changed, even with our year that is Coronavirus lockdown yet, it changed for the first time, from June to August. Public schools can't promise that which the situation of the country.


Host: Your advice to Nigerian government on Education sector...


They just need to make it a priority. A lecturer in futa was telling me on Saturday that the way I left futa classrooms since 2015, it's still the same way with more crowded students, no renovation, no light etc. Government need to see a need for it and implement decisions to improve facilities. The best way should have been to privatize these school but that will surely tell on the students cos that will mean a huge rise in fees. Government should take responsibility, cos the resources are there.


Host: Lastly, Your counsel to the admission seeker and your advice to Undergraduate student who are discouraged of Education (probably they had tagged it as a 'Scam' in Nigeria)


A whole lot of advice. I am currently working on a book, "Graduating with a First Class". This book is a book I call a life changing book. It will change the world view of students as early as ss3 as to what education and being the best is all about. I didn't know I could do it, if I was told I would argue, not until I was motivated and I was triggered. That is what many students don't know today. I have seen it, I know what it's like, I've been there, and that was what motivated me to write this book. Students need to discovered themselves, there's no limit to what we all can achieve only of we set our minds to it. It's actually a passion I've adopted for my self, making people believe in themselves and start stretching unlimitedly. Education isn't a scam, it's about what you want to get from it not what others have said about it.  Lastly, education of the heart is the most important. In as much as we all go to school to learn, have first class, have the degree, a changed life, a transformed mind to make the society a better place is the best result one can get from education.


Host: In Addendum, Do your shout out...


Shout out

To my sisters Remi and Tosin Olayemi

To all Acaosa 04/10 set

To all Babcock Lynx graduating class 2020

To Dr Theodore Dickson, Prof Micheal Onyedikachi Akpa

To all members of Nigeria Association of Adventist Students Babcock University Chapter

To all my Living Spring Chapel Babcock family

To Religious Studies Department Babcock University

To my classmates, theology class of 2020.


Host:

Thanks for your time Mr Ola Olu Ola


Thanks too for the opportunity.

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