I Read For 12 Hours Every Day To Make First Class
Roheemah Arogundade, a 23-year-oldgraduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies at the ObafemiAwolowo University, Ife, breaks a record of over two decades, emerging one ofthe first two students to bag a first-class degree in the department.
Born of two medical practitioners who hail from Iberekodo in Ibeju-Lekki local government area of Lagos State, Raheemah in this interview with Adedolapo Abimbola, tells the secret of her success including reading for 12 to 13 hours every day; and remaining focused despite having a relationship while on campus.
How does it feel to be one of the two students to break a recordof over two decades?
Wow! I feel really great. While in school, quite a number ofpeople had the impression that I would break this record. I never doubted them,because I believed in myself. And I believe everything is possible throughGod’s help. To achieve something great, it requires a lot of sacrifices andefforts, it was neither difficult nor easy, but all I can say is dedication,hard work, consistency and prayers really helped me achieve this.
What practically, did you do differently to attain this feat?
I wouldn’t know if I had done something different butpractically, I had a plan for every semester. I had a senior colleague who Iwould meet at the end of every semester to make copies of her notes andmaterials in order to prepare for the next semester in advance. I also ensuredthat I attended every class, attended discussions and tutorials, met withlecturers and fellow students when I needed to understand some topics. Also, Iensured that I read all the topics treated in class in a day. And mostimportantly, I never neglected my prayers.
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What was your reading routine like?
I dedicated about four hours every day to reading except duringlecture free weeks where I read for about 12 to 13 hours. At least four hoursin the morning, afternoon and at night.
Generally, what was life in school like?
Life in school was interesting. Apart from academics, I wasinvolved in other activities. I was a member of the Drug Free Club and also amember of Association of Nigerian Authors. I participated in volunteeringactivities such as Nigerian Clean Ups and some others. I took a course inproject management. I was engaged in freelance writing and editing, and alsotutoring. While in school, I attended Arabic classes.
And how were you able to balance these other things you did withacademics?
This is where effective time management becomes important. Ihave a close circle of friends, so our social life wasn’t elaborate. We wouldhang out and have fun, watch movies together, gist and talk about life.Religion is an important aspect of my life. So it was never a thing to balance.It’s a part of my existence already so nothing as regards religion neededbalancing. And academically, I planned ahead and was consistent in my ways,which helped a lot.
Has anything changed about you since you attained this newstatus?
Nothing has changed. I’m constantly trying to improve myself andgather relevant skills and experiences and at the same time, learn more.
Did the kind of friends you kept while in school, influence yourresult?
Yes. My friends are equally committed to achieving success.We’ve been together since senior secondary school days and we’re used to oneanother. We would encourage, motivate and teach one another. And we all had thesame target – to be successful.
Were you in any relationship in school, if yes, how were youable to manage the situation and your time?
Yes, I was. We both knew the reason we were in school and thatmade it very easy to handle.
How was your relationship with lecturers and who was yourfavorite lecturer?
I had a formal relationship with my lecturers. I didn’t have afavorite lecturer
And what do you intend to do next after this?
Further studies and training, I intend to keep working on myselfto ensure that I’m ready for opportunities when the time comes.
What’s your advice for those that want to get this kind ofachievement you just made?
Be focused, determined, hardworking and consistent. Always seekfor help when you need it. Know what works for you, reading style or habit,study time etc. Attend discussions and tutorials. Teach others what you’velearnt. That’s a way to ensure you never forget some things. Use past questionsto practice well before exams commence. Do not succumb to the disappointmentsyou may encounter. Always remember that anything is possible. You can set outto achieve anything as long as your mind can conceive and believe it. Mostimportantly, never neglect prayers. It is only when we have life that we canachieve anything.