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How I Emerged As UNILAG Best Graduating Student

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Ibrahim Adedeji Alimi, the University of Lagos Best Graduating Student for the 2018/2019 set, has said that helping others to understand what was taught in class helped him to achieve his feat, The PUNCH reports.

Alimi and the Vice Chancellor of UNILAG, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe

In an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, Alimi explained that he neither had a fixed schedule for reading nor visited university’s library regularly.

According to the Mechanical Engineering graduate, he was also motivated by scholarships and endowment fund made avaible to first class students by the university authorities, Muslim Students’ Society and corporate organisations.

Alimi, who led the pack with cumulative gradient point average of 4.98 out of the possible five points, said he was kicked out from a social organisation for being inactive and missing meetings.

After graduating with a near-perfect 4.98 CGPA, Alimi said “nothing is too difficult to succeed at”.

He said, “I won’t say it was easy, it was not. In my Primary school, I was always the first or second best student and in my secondary school I finished as the second best student, both which already gave me a good start. Then, my JAMB score was not as high as I would have expected. I had 205 in JAMB and getting admission into University of Lagos with 205 felt like impossible but I still got the merit list because of my excellent performance in my post UTME. I had a good foundation, coupled with the fact that I believe that whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. It was not like I had it in mind to be the best graduating student from the start. I only wanted to finish with a very good grade; a first class.

“I attended a couple of orientations in my first year and that was where I learnt there was an endowment fund for students that made first class CGPA every year and it was N50,000. For a young boy like me, it was a lot of money and it was my motivation to do better. In my first semester, I took like 7 courses and because I prepared really hard, I had a 5.0 and also a 5.0 in second semester. I am a student that learns a lot in class so I took my classes very serious.

“I am also not a fan of the library. In my entire years in the University, I visited the library only two or three times. I prefer to read in my room. Another thing that helped me was helping others. Helping my coursemates understand what we’ve been taught was a motivation to read for me. I also engaged in some extracurricular activities, but when I noticed it was becoming too much, I decided to cut it off because I knew my primary aim in the University was my academics.”

He explained that there were days that he woke up at 3am to catch up with 08am classes from Sango-Ota, without an assurance of getting home until 12 midnight – as he was not given a bedspace on campus and had no relative in Lagos.

“I won’t say I am from a rich home neither would I say we are poor. Let me just say we’re an average family. We’re not struggling, we’re fine. During my undergraduate studies, I also got scholarships so I could help out. My parents’ income was just sufficient for our needs,” he added while speaking about his family background.

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