How I Made First Class


I Read For 12 Hours Every Day To Make First Class

Roheemah Arogundade, a 23-year-old graduate of the Department of English and Literary Studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, breaks a record of over two decades, emerging one of the 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.

Roheemah Arogundade

How does it feel to be one of the two students to break a record of over two decades?

Wow! I feel really great. While in school, quite a number of people had the impression that I would break this record. I never doubted them, because I believed in myself. And I believe everything is possible through God’s help. To achieve something great, it requires a lot of sacrifices and efforts, 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 but practically, I had a plan for every semester. I had a senior colleague who I would meet at the end of every semester to make copies of her notes and materials in order to prepare for the next semester in advance. I also ensured that I attended every class, attended discussions and tutorials, met with lecturers and fellow students when I needed to understand some topics. Also, I ensured that I read all the topics treated in class in a day. And most importantly, 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 during lecture free weeks where I read for about 12 to 13 hours. At least four hours in the morning, afternoon and at night.

Generally, what was life in school like?

Life in school was interesting. Apart from academics, I was involved in other activities. I was a member of the Drug Free Club and also a member of Association of Nigerian Authors. I participated in volunteering activities such as Nigerian Clean Ups and some others. I took a course in project management. I was engaged in freelance writing and editing, and also tutoring. While in school, I attended Arabic classes.

And how were you able to balance these other things you did with academics?

This is where effective time management becomes important. I have a close circle of friends, so our social life wasn’t elaborate. We would hang 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 needed balancing. And academically, I planned ahead and was consistent in my ways, which helped a lot.

Has anything changed about you since you attained this new status?

Nothing has changed. I’m constantly trying to improve myself and gather relevant skills and experiences and at the same time, learn more.

Did the kind of friends you kept while in school, influence your result?

Yes. My friends are equally committed to achieving success. We’ve been together since senior secondary school days and we’re used to one another. We would encourage, motivate and teach one another. And we all had the same target – to be successful.

Were you in any relationship in school, if yes, how were you able to manage the situation and your time?

Yes, I was. We both knew the reason we were in school and that made it very easy to handle.

How was your relationship with lecturers and who was your favorite lecturer?

I had a formal relationship with my lecturers. I didn’t have a favorite lecturer

And what do you intend to do next after this?

Further studies and training, I intend to keep working on myself to ensure that I’m ready for opportunities when the time comes.

What’s your advice for those that want to get this kind of achievement you just made?

Be focused, determined, hardworking and consistent. Always seek for 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’ve learnt. That’s a way to ensure you never forget some things. Use past questions to practice well before exams commence. Do not succumb to the disappointments you may encounter. Always remember that anything is possible. You can set out to achieve anything as long as your mind can conceive and believe it. Most importantly, never neglect prayers. It is only when we have life that we can achieve anything.


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