The Ultimate Graduation Letter: Life Begins Now

Published:29 Jun, 2011

While work is the fundamental means of starting and sustaining a responsible life, hard work is the aura of adult responsibility, the reason why respect and dignity follow matured persons. And since late Pa Adam commissioned the need for hard work, every man who would live has found no reason to ignore it from the core days of their youth. But then, hard work does not guarantee the possession of a big and fat account, if all other factors (honesty, due process, taxes, tithes, continual education, social responsibility, family growth, asset management, etc) are considered. However, it is certain that appropriately channelled hard work delivers prosperity and in this regard prosperity means consistent increase in the good tidings one’s life brings to their environment overtime; the positive condition of not remaining the same again. It is not when you suddenly ‘hammer’ and subsequently ‘simmer down’. It is when you do what should be done and get what should be gotten. Adults increase in human value and gain innate fulfilment when they earn a good living and are able to contribute to the betterment of other lives around them. This inward feeling is the reason why you are reading this article; the cause of my writing. When times are hard, as they sometimes are in Nigeria, ordinary work may not be enough. So, wise adults subscribe to hard work. Without work, we are unfulfilled, the society decays and the future is colourless. Even when the times are not hard, hard work further ensures that a good legacy is left behind. Our lives have begun, so friends, the hard work must begin.

In December 2010, we, the final year students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (2010 set) concluded our final semester examinations and graduated from varsity. Oh, we graduated officially in 2010! But unofficially, it was January 2011. And when we did, it seemed like we had just won a war- a war that had lingered painfully for years. For most, it marked the survival of a seemingly everlasting pain; a pain created by the burning of candle wicks, charging of rechargeable lamps and fuelling of kerosene lanterns to study on cold nights in the midst of hungry mosquitoes at distant lecture theatres and the compulsory choice to survive diverse institutionalised improprieties; a pain sustained by intermittent strike actions, unfound results and wide tuition fee increments. For them, it was a mixture of joyful and hellish experiences. For others, among whom I membered, it was the ignition of new fire for a different phase in the same race. On the day we had our final common (telecoms and power combined) paper, everyone looked gay and our strict lecturers seemed friendlier. They referred to us as their colleagues but the conservative part of us listened to the kind remarks unbelievably. Personally, I was just thinking about Entrepreneurship, my final paper after Electromagnetism. I should have it three hours later and knowing well that the management faculty had proven to not regard good practice of time management, I bothered myself with when the stipulated venues would be pasted- if they were ever going to be pasted. The thing is, during our time, MGS lectures were never certain. If we had them, we must have started late. Mayowa Adewumi, Segun Alawode, Gbenga Adedeji, Olaide Olawuwo and Seun Kupoluyi could perhaps bear witness to this. We were the only folks from EEE. Every other “fire fellow” had been wooed by the Civil Engineering Practices course. Nevertheless, now that all the MGSes, EEEs, MEEs, SWEPs and SIWES etc, have been exhausted, what’s next? Time has flown and in 5 years of undergraduate EEE studies, no less than 98 courses have been done with almost 234 units being fought for. But then, life has really begun.

In reminiscence of my studentship in LAUTECH, I recall that school was once the 7th best University in Nigeria after being the best state University twice and the most rapidly developing Varsity once. Ah! Maybe that was why two grown-up governors had suddenly unsolvable ownership problems over us. Well, all those ratings should matter but somehow, they did not mean much. About that time, people studying in Harvard, Caltech and Oxford had described to me what their curricula looked like. And one time, after browsing through MIT’s online courseware, I realized that to catch up with someone studying there, LAUTECH students would have to neglect many of the things they were taught in school, and/or read more impossibly. Yes, “more” is made up four alphabets but if you were to do a personal upgrade, the depth of what you would read was bulkier. Added to our many aged photocopies, you’d probably be doing a PhD study as an underGrad. It is at this point that wonderful folks like Minister, Sister Mary, Bro Laide and Ozone should be thanked for sparing time to administer the much-needed photocopies provided. Yet, that final day after EEE508, as we chorused, “Congratulations” to one another, taking pictures, laughing and saying prolonged goodbyes, I briefly recalled that indeed, it was an occasion of victory at last.

The victory had come and it was well-deserved. Our triumph was over the seasons when untimely lectures and unclear photocopies were served on our academic plates. It was over the strikes which had occurred each year we spent in school, starting from PDSP. It was over the need to understand theories at night classes when timetables were doubtful and necessary lectures ate out of our pre-examination time. It was over the occasional misfortune of having to cram ambiguous worked examples into the exam halls and being fearful when Minister distributed our results. There were times when you wrote exams with your heart in your mouth and your mind in the past, trying to remember faded and lengthy formulas. I know we have had several other victories but really, these triumphs seem most glorious. Our lives have begun. We have finished the saga of theory with inadequate practical. We have heard and read about fibre, microwave and transmission lines, now I pray that we will improve them. We have learnt how to use Smith’s chart so if we find ourselves in places where they’re used, I hope we’d apply the theory.

On a benedictory note, let’s remind ourselves that self-education is now the key to relevance. In this environment where many facets of leadership favour corruption, a Nigerian university graduate who does not value self-education will self-destruct quietly. I say quietly because his colleagues may not even know he is decaying, if his job is basically an unchanging routine work. So, beware! Guys, invest in yourself and your future. Ladies, plan more for your marriage (which should last forever) than for your wedding (which will last no more than many hours in one day of your long life). And, need I remind you that the government of our land does not have an adequate plan for us? No, they don’t and probably can’t for now. They can’t because Manslaughter, Kidnapping and Bombing are almost becoming some people’s hobbies while mismanagement at all ramifications has been added to our culture. As the bad examples among our leaders age away, these problems are the heritage they leave behind. These created problems are your challenges and my challenges. To solve them, we must know more than they knew and avoid some of the things they did. That is a Herculean task. But, may God help us all.

Our generation is the unlucky one posed with the challenges of a stunted educational system, non-functional research facilities, institutionalised corruption, extreme insecurity, decadent moral system, phoney religious parastatals (in their thousands), unbalanced utilization of natural resources and a tendency to have always have diverse misunderstandings with the woman you love. LOL! Friends, whatever path you choose, begin with honesty and have a good legacy at heart. But against the many identified and unnamed odds, I beseech you to fear God and always be someone we will all be proud of. Knowing that the times are hard and the country looks bad, I pray that tomorrow will open greater doors unto us all. Yesterday, we were Ladokites. Today, we are alumni and alumna. And tomorrow, we will be in the deep of our lives. So, I invest this moment in saying, “Best of luck! God bless you all! And God bless our country”. Kudos to my favourite lecturers: Engineers Electrode, Busta, Mummy Agunlejika, Oseni, Dr. Ojo, Dr. Adeyemo and Engineer Seye. And to my many wonderful friends, may jollification occur when next we meet. But now, go and serve the land of your fathers! Go and live the much anticipated future! Go and live your life, it has begun. Ire o!

Penned by: Ayodeji Morakinyo (Moraks), EEE graduate LAUTECH, 2010 Set.

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Buhari Approves BoT For Ogoniland Cleanup

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 13-member Governing Council and 10-member Board of Trustees for the cleanup of Ogoniland in Rivers. The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced this in a statement by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Bukar Hassan, in Abuja on Saturday. The minister said the structures would ensure inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and sustainability of the exercise. Mohammed acknowledged the concerns raised by stakeholders on the perceived slow pace of...

7 Of The Best Places To Meet Your Future Partner

1. Don’t skip work happy hour Even if you’ve already determined that you will never date any of your coworkers, join in on every office happy hour you can. You never know who may bring an outside friend along or where you could end up after the happy hour is over. Chances are most of your work friends are pretty cool people so you can rely on them to broaden your network of potential partners.

Why We Deployed Air Force To Dislodge Arepo Vandals- Military

The military has defended its decision to dislodge vandals and militants operation at Arepo with Air Force strikes, saying it was due to the inaccessibility of the swampy hideouts of the criminals. It said the joint operation involving the Army, Police, State Security Service (SSS) and Civil Defence engaged the Air Force to capture wider latitude of the vandals’ shanties and nab suspected operatives. The military swung into action last Thursday following a directive of...

Buhari Appoints Five Heads Of Health Agencies

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved with immediate effect the appoint¬ments of five heads of strategic health institutions. The Director (Press), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi, said in a statement. The health agencies are, Centre for Disease Control, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and National Health Insurance Scheme, (NHIS). According to the statement, Babatunde Sa¬lami has been appointed...

Reps Say No Need For External Probe Of Dogara, Others

Members of the House of Reps Committee on Appropriation said yesterday that there was no breach whatsoever in the 2016 budget process that would warrant the probe of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, his deputy Yussuf Suleimon Lasun, chief whip, Alhassan Ado Doguwa and minority leader, Leo Ogor. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, deputy chairman of the committee, Rep Chris Emeka Azubogu (PDP, Anambra), who was accompanied by eight other members of the committee, said...

Lagos Urges Residents To Volunteer Information To Security Agencies To Combat Crime?

The Lagos State Government yesterday reassured residents of its ability to combat all forms of crime within the state just as it reaffirmed its commitment to prompt response to all crime incidents reported by residents to the various security agencies. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communication, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, spoke at the monthly interactive session held at Ikorodu with the theme ‘Securing our Communities’ organised by the Ministry of Local Government and...

Switzerland Pledges To Repatriate $321m Abacha Loot

The government of Switzerland has said it would soon return $321 million looted by late head of state, General Sani Abacha and kept in Swiss banks, as part of its commitment to fighting money laundering and other trans-national crimes in that country. The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, made the disclosure yesterday, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Legal Assistance on criminal matters, between the Swiss government and the Federal...

3 Militant Groups Accept To Dialogue With Buhari

Three militant groups in the Niger Delta region, Reformed Egbesu Boys of the Niger Delta, Egbesu Red Water Lions and Egbesu Mightier Fraternity have capitulated on their earlier decision not to allow the Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group, NDDCG, to represent them in the ongoing dialogue with the Federal Government. A former military governor of old Rivers State, His Royal Majesty Alfred Diette-Spiff is the leader of NDDCG, which is a member of the Aaron...

Another Chained Child Rescued In Ogun As Culprit Flees- Police

The Ogun Police Command has rescued   another child, 10-year-old Promise Udeh, found chained in a house at Saraki, Adigbe area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. She was rescued on Thursday around 7.30 pm when neighbours living close to the building where she was chained alerted the police. She was rescued barely a week after the police and operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps rescued a nine-year-old boy, Korede Taiwo, chained by his father,...

Nigeria Police Take Over #SaveMayowa Campaign Amidst Controversy

Despite the police announcing it had commenced investigations into the #SaveMayowa fundraising campaign, controversy has continued to trail the initiative which was aimed at raising overseas medical fees for Mayowa Ahmed, a cancer patient receiving treatment at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. On Thursday, police officers broke up a heated exchange outside the hospital between the patient’s relatives and some social media campaigners who helped raise funds running into millions of naira for Ms. Ahmed’s treatment.

Latest Update: Police Freezes #SaveMayowa Funds Account

The controversial Save Mayowa Campaign has added a new twist after the Founder of Lifestake Foundation, Aramide Kasumu, who was involved in the fundraising, alleged that the family of the ailing Mayowa Ahmed lied that only N30m had been raised while the correct amount was N85m.   The campaign was initiated to raise funds for surgery in a foreign hospital for Mayowa, who is suffering from ovarian cancer, but there have been allegations that the patient’s family was using her condition...

Wow: See The “Luxury” Prison Cell Of Brazilian Drug Lord, Jarvis Pavao. [Pictures]

Paraguayan authorities got a surprise when they raided a Brazilian drug lord's jail cell... and found a three-room luxury suite complete with library, kitchen, conference room and plasma TV. Jarvis Chimenes Pavao, considered one of South America's most dangerous drug traffickers, had been serving an eight-year sentence for money laundering at the Tacumbu prison in the Paraguayan capital, Asuncion. But little...

Bomb Shell: Dogara Gave Appropriation Committee Members $20,000 Bribe Each To Lie At Press Conference – Jibrin

MY RESPONSE TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY 9 MEMBERS OF THE 40-MEMBER APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES   All the accusations they leveled against me are not in any way different from the bunch of lies contained in the shameless statement released by Speaker Dogara and the 3 other principal officers through Hon Namdas which I have fully provided response to. But to prove my innocence, I have resolved that I...

Budget Padding: EFCC, ICPC Must Investigate Allegations Against Dogara, Others – Jibrin

Former chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Appropriation, Honourable Jibrin on Friday insisted that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) must probe the allegation of budget padding he levelled against the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and three other principal officers.   He said that, “This is a defining moment for the House of Representatives. It will never be business as usual”.   To this end, he urged members “to join...

You Can Now Work Only 3 Days A Week, Rochas Okorocha Declares To Imo Workers

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said that civil servants in the state are to work for only three days a week while the remaining two days will be  for other pursuits  to sustain their families.   Okorocha made the declaration on Friday while addressing newsmen at his residence in Owerri.   According to him, those that will not be involved in the  arrangement are hospital workers, teachers, fire service personnel and other essential workers.   He pointed out that after...

Our Citizens Aren’t Having Enough Sex – Swedish Government.

Swedish people might not be getting laid enough – and the government is worried.   In an attempt to tackle the issue, the country’s government will ask its people about their bedroom habits in Sweden’s first major sex study in 20 years.   Reports in Swedish media have suggested a decline in sexual activity, sparking the major survey on all things sex. The nation’s loss of libido could be a ‘political problem’ if it is linked to stress and other health issues, according to Public...

Budget Padding: “Audit Constituency Projects Allocations” – Pro-Democracy Group

A pro-democracy body, the Civil Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has called for an independent audit of all previous constituency project allocations to members of the National Assembly (NASS) to determine to make sure spending practices are held accountable to the Nigerian people. The statement was made in a press released signed by Auwal Musa Ibrahim, CISLAC’s Executive Director.   According to the statement, the recent revelations by the former Chairman of the Appropriations Committee for the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin...

APC Wins Imo North Senate District, 2 State Constituencies In Re-Run Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Mr Ben Uwajumogu of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of Imo North Senatorial District rerun election held on July 28.   Uwajumogu scored 56,076 votes to defeat Mr Athan Achonu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 43, 815 votes.   Prof. Arinze Agbogu, the INEC Returning Officer for Imo North Senatorial District, who announced the result in the early hours of Friday, said the outcome was a summation of scores of July...

#AMACThugs : How Thugs Extort Businesses in Abuja in The Name of Government – Japheth J. Omojuwa

If you are a resident of Abuja or a regular visitor, you’d have noticed this often fierce looking young men wearing bibs stand on select road points in Abuja disturbing motorists. They are often dressed in their mufti with a bib over that or dressed in green for those who chase after Abuja taxi drivers. The most notorious of this lot are the ones that go to offices looking to extort and obtain money from the business...

Japheth J. Omojuwa: How AMAC Thugs – Abuja Municipal Area Council – Make life Difficult for Businesses in Abuja – Investigation

If you are a resident of Abuja or a regular visitor, you’d have noticed this often fierce looking young men wearing bibs stand on select road points in Abuja disturbing motorists. They are often dressed in their mufti with a bib over that or dressed in green for those who chase after Abuja taxi drivers. The most notorious of this lot are the ones that go to offices looking to extort and obtain money from the business...

Arsene Wenger May Buy An “Experienced Striker” Soon.

Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, has admitted that he is trying to sign an “experienced” striker this summer.   The Gunners have already signed Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Tasumo Akano, but with only Olivier Giroud as their recognised forward, Wenger is still searching for a new player.   Speaking after his team defeated the MLS All-Stars 2-1 in San Jose, Wenger said: “At the moment I have not too many attacking options in terms of experienced players,” he said.   “But let’s not forget we...