Guidance For The College Student
by Christopher Dzikunu
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Many of our old folks talk a lot about the absence of guidance during their early stages in life. Most of these excuses are supposed to be the reason for failing. Well, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. But we have all the opportunities currently to make sure this excuses doesn’t become our songs too.
It is true we need people to guide us. But in the absence of the people we can still let ourselves be guided by reading informative books.
Many students think the opportunities that they needed to add some value to their lives exist somewhere off campus. It is said that the best way to hide a thing from a man is to place it near him. The inclination to look somewhere else for it is very high in man. Foreigners are infiltrating the ranks and files of our nation every passing moment. They claim a lot of opportunities exist in our country. Ironically, we are also trying all possible means – including U.S.A visa lottery, stow away, walking across the largest desert in the world – to make use of the opportunities we also claim exist in their country too. Likewise, students think it’s all outside and those outside also think it’s all inside. Another man’s problem they say is another’s solution.
Campus is a world of opportunities which can never be exhausted. Yet, many have left it without exploring them. The eternal tragedy of every man is the opportunities he has lost. We normally realize the mistakes when out of the campus. He was right who said familiarity breeds complacency. The closer you are the less you see. Life on campus is not the same out there. It takes some extras to survive before daring to live. The opportunities of today equip us to make use of the future ones.
Making good grades is a must, but it is just a fraction of what it takes to make it outside of the campus. An upcoming businessman said banks give loans based on financial statement, not academic records. In this write up, I’m not going to dwell on how to make good grades. If you have been able to make it this far, then you would just need little additions and probably some subtractions to make it academically. We will devote the entire volume looking at some essential things that a vast majority overlook whiles on campus.
Vision is the destination. With a destination in mine direction can be easily determined. Those who went through life without a vision just took a long stroll. But strolls are not meant to be that long. That account for their extreme exhaustion at the end of life. A man without a vision is like a ship without a destination. Your vision determines the people you attract into your life. Before you board any bus that stops at the bus stop, you ask of its destination. No one invests into a visionless business unless the investors are visionless themselves. Dogs spend most of their time sleeping. They have no place to go. As soon as they see you going out they follow. When back they go and continue their sleep. Such is men without vision. For a few bottles of alcohol they will be ready to campaign for you. After that they go on with their idealness. May God grant you vision and deliver you from the miseries of idealness! You are not qualified for eternal life if you do not know what to do with this short period on earth. If you can’t handle one talent what are you going to do with ten cities? Are you having a hard time determining your mission on earth? You are either not sincerely serious about knowing or you are not making the relevant contact. If you are having difficulties with the operation of a machine, the wisest step to take is to contact the manufacturer. Who is your manufacturer? Please, do not tell me your parents. God is the maker of all things. He created with a purpose. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians2:10
Most of us do not take time to read manuals. We learn how to operate complex gadgets by fidgeting. But life, for that matter, vision is too precious a thing for those tries and errors we take gadgets through. Your struggle in life will come to an end when you discover your God ordained assignment and begin to walk in it. The earlier you do this the better.
PLANNING THE FUTURE
No one can be excused from the great responsibility of planning his or her life. It is very absurd to live without a plan for one’s future at such a level of learning. Yet, we should not be surprise to find out that more than 70% of tertiary students do not have any concrete plan for their lives on campus. A good number claim they have it in their heads. It simply reveals the kind of life they intend building. Mansions are only built after an extensive architectural work. Few hours in the market requires paper planning, how much more a life time.
It is impossible to skip planning on your path to success. Whatever you are not willing to plan you cannot have. There is not a more confused person in the world as the one who doesn’t know the path that would lead him to his desired destination. One common characteristic of men of speed is plan. With plan momentum comes with ease.
You are not a product of random accidents or were you brought out of chaos. So, it is a crucial breach of order for you to move around without any plan guiding your actions. In such a state, one can be described as tissue paper with which others use in getting rid of their dirt. Afterward they damp it in the dustbin. Sooner than expected they forget about it.
It is an insult both to you and the institution to go through it without a plan. The institutions were set up according to plan. Every activity within the institutions is carried out as was planned. The various associations on campus have drawn plans which they intend to run with the life of ‘aimless people’. We must applaud them for that, less they get themselves involved in the undesirable to the disadvantage of all of us.
Get a plan for your life within the next 24 hours. Ask yourself, “What do I want to be at the end of my four or less years in this institution?” If you cannot master the act of planning now God would have to double his grace upon you afterward.
If you are at a lost as to how to go about this, just go to the internet and type ‘strategic life plan’ in any of the search engines. You can as well contact any of the lecturers of your choice. I drew mine with the help of the current Head of Economics and Extension Department (UDS), Dr. Richard Yeboah. I still have the corrected version of the plan with me. He made relevant comments. God bless you.
The Disorganization Galore
I have been a major victim of disorganization. So, I consider myself a guru when it comes to giving a vivid description of how a disorganized student looks like.
Two things were mainly responsible for disorganization in my own life; false confidence in self and lack of discipline.
Although he has heard a lot about planning a day before stepping into it, he somehow thinks he is an exception to the rule. The conviction is even stronger if he had achieved some things of significance in the past without planning on paper. It will not be long; the symptoms would begin to manifest themselves.
He is always late for lectures and misses those that are scheduled outside the normal time. Initially, he feels bad about the lost but manages to convince himself with the thought of being a good student and will certainly make up the lost. Lecture times and his personal schedules are always conflicting. He frequently sends the wrong notes to lectures all because he does not have the time table. His lack of discipline doesn’t permit him to get a copy of the time table for himself. As examination draws nearer he is forced into duplicating the notes of others.
He is always taken by surprise; an assignment due for submission, a hand-out he doesn’t know anything about, an upcoming text and so on. Instead of admitting his own shortcomings, he rather gets angry with the lecturers and the course representative for planning meetings among others without consulting the class. He keeps postponing the completion of assignments until time catches up with him.
He hardly keeps to his promises. He is a living master when it comes to giving excuses. In the bid to keep his social image intact he ends up leaving his private life in a serious mess.
As he walks on campus, the thought, everyone is aware of my disorganized life frequently seizes him. His self-esteem is seriously affected. He tends to consider the genuine compliments of others as a mockery.
As he stands before his audience filthy thoughts begin to flood his mind – “look, everyone is aware of your weaknesses. Look at that lady. Have you seen how she is looking at you? Is she not a friend to your roommate? Certainly, she has been told something.” His effectiveness is affected as thoughts of this nature invade his mind. It won’t be long his relationship with that lady would be marred. He may gather courage and deliver his best but he does not leave the premises in freedom. Voices without a physical source begin to hooting at him, “You are just a showman! You are just a showman!”
Their judgment is affected. Don’t be surprised if their response to issues seems unthinkable. They tend to complain excessively about time during executives meetings. They are usually the ones who walk out of meetings not because they think what is being discussed is of no value. Just as a minor disorder in the feet can affect the whole body with time so does disorganization finds it way into every area of its victim’s life.
Disorganized persons get exhausted quickly. Never having enough sleep. It clearly shows in their dressing. They will put their shoes on before applying polish. Dirty clothes keep on piling up, dishes are left unwashed. This reminds of the story of a lazy man who packed all his unwashed dishes into his pick-up and drove them into the rain. Someone may ask, “For what”. That’s very obvious; to be washed by the rain of course. The disorganized is not far from such an act. Clothes meant for special occasions turns out to be lecture wears, books and papers scattered all over the place, always having a hard time locating relevant documents.
The disorganized spends a lot. He has to pay for his laundering. Why? He doesn’t have enough time. But take time and check his programmes and you will be shocked – he has never had one. In a week, he goes to town trice instead of once. Because he is always behind time, he hardly prepares his own food. He tends to be a regular customer for the canteen operators. Unwilling to be truthful to himself, he puts up the argument, “the canteen operator must make a living” He is known and liked by all the errand boys and girls around. Is it because he loves people? Not at all. Just because of the enviable amount they make serving him. Being organized help you identify the things you need and those that you do not need. The disorganized buys an expensive phone on impulse and finds out later that he doesn’t need it. To afford what he needed so urgently, he’s forced to sell the phone at a cheaper price – a complete waste!
Getting It Straight
In his book, Releasing Your Potential, Myles Munroe defined time as a temporary interruption in eternity. I agree with him. The perishable nature of our lives on earth and the things around us is what gave birth to time. Without this (the temporary) time would have loss it essence. Time does not have a place in the vocabulary of the permanent.
Uncontrolled water eventually gathers itself in the valley. Bringing it up the hill for the purpose of irrigation doesn’t come with ease – you would need a pumping machine.
The highlands and the valleys represent relevant and irrelevant activities respectively. Time is the water. Whenever time is left on it own it tends to move in the direction of irrelevant activities. Just as water must be guided to prevent the potential damages it can cause, so must time be guided to make sure it is not spent on unproductive activities. It is quiet difficult giving examples of activities that are relevant and those that are not. A political ambitious fellow would consider demonstration a relevant activity he should take part in but the priest is likely to cross it out as a time waster. Each person must have a clear understanding of where he is heading towards in life. Life on this earth is nothing less or more than time. Knowing where you are going informs the distribution channels. The distribution channels are the activities that you have to pour your time into. The distribution channels have different capacities. These are determined by the volume of water that each is to discharge. The politician would allocate an ample time reading all the newspapers he can lay hand on. For music, it is certain he will spent relatively less time which a musician wouldn’t do. It is not enough to know the relevant activities. Put them in writing and allocate time. Doing this would lay bare all the leakages - time wasting activities. Staying to watch a movie you just bumped into in a friend’s room may constitute a leakage. Getting involved in an argument that will not change the score lines for yesterdays match is definitely a leakage too. It is very pathetic. People can lay aside important assignments to watch a football match just because they do not want to be left out of the aftermath arguments which do not get anywhere. The painful thing is how they go about the argument – with all their emotion as though the team they support is their personal business.
Time in a day is limited likewise the activities that can be carried out in it. When you exceed the number of activities possible within a day, 24 hours would prove insufficient. The discovery that will bring tears down your cheeks as you try getting yourself organized is the abundance of time at your disposal to accomplish the essential things you want to accomplish in a day. I was shock at the surplus time left when the then Vice Chairman of the Students Christian Council (SCC), George Akanlo helped me planned my time. Until you critically analyze a thing, wrong conclusions cannot be avoided.
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