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Tips On Extra-Curricular Activities and Reading the Rule Books



Tips On Extra-Curricular Activities

As you must have heard a million times, school isn’t just about classes alone. Just a little heads-up: the world is not as obsessed with degrees/certificates the way it used to be. The world needs more skills than it does degrees. In the olden days, civil service was the real deal. Everyone went to school knowing very well that there are jobs waiting for them in government institutions. It is no longer the same today. Nowadays, it is all about what you can do and not what you learnt in school. And as I mentioned in previous articles, our Nigerian syllabus is yet to make accommodation for all the new revolutionary courses that is changing the world. It is, then, up to you to learn all those employable skills that’ll help you after school.

Unless you have family connections that’ll guarantee your employment immediately after school, I suggest you start planning your life after school early. In most schools, there is free internet for students’ use. How are you making use of such unique opportunity? Is it just for the download of all the new episodes of your favorite series or are you also using it to learn useful courses online? There are free courses available online. YouTube should be your partner for visual/practical lessons.

Employers are looking for a lot more than just degrees. It is not surprising that most Nigerian students cannot handle real work in a corporate setting because all we’ve been taught in school are theories that sometimes no longer work in the present world. Skills just as communication, people management, leadership etc. are a few of the important skills needed to survive in a corporate setting. So utilize every opportunity you get while still in Uni. You never can tell what you’d learn and how useful it’ll be in the future. Some schools make provision for Industrial training as part of the school curriculum. IT is a wonderful chance to go into the corporate world and soak in as much as you can in preparation for what’s come. But unfortunately, for most students, this is the chance to go “hustle” and make quick money. The purpose of internship is to learn, garner experience and network. Not making use of such opportunity is risky.

During school breaks, you can still look for such learning/working opportunities in corporations instead of just staying home and “resting”. If you can find any opportunity, seize with both hands and never let go. In school, sometimes skill acquisition programmes are organised. Attend all of them. Go to all the conferences that interests you. Make use of every learning opportunity you can get. Garner as much experiences as you can. All of it is preparing you for the world outside school. Don’t procrastinate. You can start from First year, don’t wait till you’re in Final year. Set up a LinkedIn account to follow up and read all the useful articles there. You can start practicing what you learnt early. Set up a blog, start a business, code, invent, do something, anything. Don’t worry about failing. Failing is part of learning.

Reading the Rule Books

One time, an entire class were in “trouble” with this lecturer because of something he did to them. Thing is: he was bullying them because he could and they didn’t know how to fight him because, well, he was the lecturer and they are the students. Until one of the classmates chanced upon the department’s rule-book – a handbook dictating all the rights of students. It states where the power of lecturers ends and where the students’ starts. They read the handbook and realized that they actually had rights and that what the lecturer was doing to them in the name of “punishment” was ethically wrong. So they made their move, together as a class.

The importance of written laws is to protect everyone and discipline whoever fails to uphold his/her own end. The fact that you are a young student doesn’t mean that you don’t have your rights or that the law neglects you. When you gain admission, most schools share handbooks to their students. Those handbooks tell students everything they need to know about the school, all the laws/rules they expect the students to uphold AND their own rights. As a student, you should know when you are being violated by a person in power. You should also know where and how to report such persons to the right authorities.

I know how hard it is to get justice in Nigeria but it’s worth a try rather than just cowering and taking whatever nonsense the abuser throws at you. Knowing your right and making a move to demand justice is the first step towards telling the abuser that you are a HUMAN BEING and that you are not a coward. Most times, you don’t even need to follow the entire process through; sometimes the abuser drops his antics simply because you’ve shown him that you are not going to take his attacks.

Reading the rule-book is one of the earliest stages of settling in. You never can tell when it’ll save your life. But let’s hope you don’t ever have to use it.

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