All that glitters is not gold. Similarly, a popular Igbo proverb says that because all lizards lie on their stomach, you will never know the one(s) that have running stomach. I wonder if lizards do have running stomach but that’s just by the way.
What’s my point?
OK. There are so many students in schools but then, there are students and there are students.
It could also be hard as well as confusing to identify those who are
really qualified to bear honorable status of student i.e. those who are
really the serious and those who aren’t.
What spurred me into this direction?
Just the other day, I was chatting with a very worried parent whose
child seem to be unable to graduate from the university 3 years after
the normal duration of his 5 year course.
I was alarmed because I immediately knew why this parent was going through…for the past three years, maybe.
I really felt for him because his worriment really showed.
How could I tell him that pooty things like that can happen…? I mean,
how can I tell him that it was partly his fault that things are the way
they are now simply because he rather left it too late with regards to
checking up on his boy’s academic progress up
until now…? How can I tell him that there is thing called “carry-over”
which is course/s that his boy must have failed and must pass before he
When he said that he is even more confused now than ever
because he is tired of hearing different version of the almost
impossible mumbo-jumbos his boy was regularly spitting out, I knew I
just had to tell him.
That was because I sensed it from something he said and from the way he
unknowingly hinted me that he now suspects his boy was an unserious
In case you are in the same boat like this parent, or maybe you really
want to rate your wards, or your friends and/or even yourself to know if
s/he is a serious student or not or to know how serious you are with
your academics, I will try to help you do so by presenting you with some
of these pointers with which
you can base your serious-student evaluation upon.
This is how.
A serious student…
1.Knows his/her Grade Point Average (GPA)
I don’t know any other better method than this with which to instantly
identify a serious student. In fact, I think it is the fastest way to
identify a serious student on the spot!
Your GPA is the standard used in ranking and rating students’
performance in college so any serious student is supposed to be aware of
this very important score.
Granted, it is not always possible for many students to know the exact
figure, but then when you come across any student who does not even have
any slightest idea what his or her own GPA figure is, like this
sophomore student that even asked me “what is GP?”, take it from me, you
are looking at a confirmed unserious student.
So do you know your GPA? You see?
2.Knows the nature of the question of any upcoming
This is so true because any serious students must have done his or her
assignment thoroughly and must have mastered all the “tricks” which the
lecturer or examiner is going to adopt in the exams proper.
A serious student knows that the exam questions are not going to be
much different from those of the assignments and past question papers
and as such s/he have familiarized as well as prepared himself very well
with them so well for the sake of what lies ahead.
3.S/he is never taken unawares because s/he is always prepared.
In fact, the real serious students are known to be able to complete ALL
their major school work one or two month’s ahead before the examination
timetable comes out! This is one of the reasons why some very sharp
students who don’t seem to be reading (that much) still stay tops in the
class at the end of the day!
But if you come across any fidgeting student who is confused and
sometimes completely lost (most especially on the exam day just some few
hours before the exams start), simply because s/he does not have any
inkling what the exam questions may look like, my two cents, s/he is a
very very unserious student.
S/he has failed to plan by preparing early enough and as such has failed
already unless “help” in the form of exam malpractice comes from
One other thing, a serious student usually has an idea of his
examination score even before the papers are marked once he is through
with that very paper.
I can almost hear you say, “…and so does the unserious student too!” but then I know you know what I am talking about.
4.Knows where to get help.
A serious student knows where to get help. The help I am about here is
not “expo” or “runs” which is just the slang terms used for examination
malpractice in Nigeria.
S/he has no need for such distracting things. S/he knows that there’s
dignity in labor and so s/he will always strive to achieve excellence
through honest labor.
Most times, you see some students complaining that they don’t know what
to read or where to get the reading materials they think they need.
The serious students don’t usually fall into this group.
And that’s because they already know how, when and where
they can get easily help. They know when the textbooks they need is
available in the library. They know the willing students and/or
lecturers who might be kind enough to give them such materials should
the need arise.
They know how to make use of the internet to solidify their knowledge in
a particular subject rather than wait for the lecturer to carry the
whole class usually at his ‘slow’ pace.
4.Encourages others to succeed.
This is usually because any serious student knows that there is no pride
in mediocrity. You may be tempted to think that being the best amongst
many who don’t know anything is good but is it?
There is no challenge. There is no zeal or need to keep pushing yourself
up to the limit. There is nothing to stimulate the brain. No way to
measure how good you are getting. Simply put, there is no fun in
So to avoid this, a serious student will have no other choice than to
encourage others to succeed. S/he normally does this either by
organizing tutorials or discussion class for a group of people or even
the whole class. He will also tell those students who are
seeking in truth where to get help.
This will help him kill two birds with one stone. First other students
will succeed and they will have no other choice than to attribute this
success to him. Secondly, he will have his real reason to be on his
toes, up and doing, knowing now that backsliding is not an option.
Besides, by teaching others, s/he is able to learn more.
I have heard many students who are often times complaining that the
serious/intelligent students will not easily want to disclose the
information on how to get through to others because s/he normally wants
to succeed alone.
In as much as I will not want to deny the possibility of
selfishness that could sometimes arise, I still know that such students
complaining may just be doing so for the sake of excuse. They might not
have even tried enough to get this help from the serious ones.
I have this to say to them.
Why are you complaining? Aren’t both of you students or are some
students more equal than the others now? See my friend, stop
complaining. Stop waiting for that intelligent student to come to you
and help you out because most likely, it won’t happen. S/he is not in
school because of you. If you need help, go out and seek it.
Get off that high horse of yours right now and put on the toga of humility and grab the all help you need
from him now that you still have the time…
5.Knows the full details of “what’s next?”
Many students don’t have any idea why they are in school. Some think it
is just normal to be in school while many others think they are doing
their parents some form of favor just by doing that.
Many others have come to the conclusion that going to school equates to getting a good paying job in the end.
Yes. I don’t know why you are in school but one good advice I always
give to people is to always try as much as possible to identify the
reason/s why they are in school or why they want to go to school in the
case of those who are still seeking admission.
By doing this simple check and evaluation, one can easily put him or
herself in the path of becoming a serious student by putting everything
in perspective in less than a minute!
This single action will also expose any student who really wants to
succeed in life (after school) to that very open secret that school is
not all about academics alone. It will also enable him to realize that
really “all work without play makes ….”
6.Never takes pride in missing lectures.
When he misses his lectures, he normally feels like he has let him down.
She knows the importance of lectures. He knows that some tricky
lecturers normally base their examination questions on what they said in
class more than what you copied down in your notes or what you can find
in the textbooks.
Quite unlike his opposite who even rejoices with the news that lectures
have been postponed or won’t even hold at all, a serious student never
takes pride in missing lectures.
Using Nigerian case as a very good example, school systems and academic
calendar are normally haphazard or disorganized because of frequent
disruptions mostly from labor strikes.
The unserious student is usually looking forward to such strikes so as to ‘relax’ his brain.
Please don’t make me laugh, okay…? But these strike normally cause the
school academic duration to be much reduced such that courses that
should have ran for
three months or more are rushed through in two or three weeks!
Lecturers may have to adjust by telling students not to cover the whole
study area they would have normally covered had it been there was still
Hooray! says the unserious student!
This may cause many exams to clash with many students having to write
more papers than they could normally handle. And sometimes to ease
things off, such papers could be postponed.
Another pleasing news to the ears of the unserious student who doesn’t even know or care that useful time is being wasted.
But all these bother the serious ones. And that’s because s/he knows that s/he is the one at the loosing end!
So with all these aforementioned, do you now know how to
recognize an unserious student? Or better still, are you a serious student?
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