Joy Toluwani Ojo made A1 in all the 9 subjects in Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination at the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, Ogun State in 2016. He sat for the UTME and scored 306 gaining admission to study Civil Engineering in 2016 at the Federal University of Technology Akure. Ojo demonstrated excellence all through his stay in FUTA graduating with first class with a CPGA of 4.73.
Read his inspiring story:
When you got admission in FUTA, did you set your mind to graduating with a first class?
When I got admission to FUTA, my goal was not just to graduate with a first class. I actually hoped to get nothing less than A's in all my courses (that is, a 5.0 CGPA), just as I was privileged to have in my WAEC exams. I pursued this goal because I felt that I had the capacity for reach it especially when I started out with a 5.0 GPA in my 100L 1st semester result.
But as it turned out, setting the stars as my goal ensured that I at least, went past the sky. I didn't finish with a 5.0 eventually, however, striving to put in my best efforts and leaving the rest to God, I graduated with a 4.73 CGPA to the glory of God.
What set the foundation of your academic success thus far?
Beyond anything, God Himself set the foundation for my academic success when gave me a passion for excellence and He surrounded me with people who were intentional about my success.
I believe the most important people among these were my parents who strove to bring out the best in me and my siblings from childhood through their counsels, disciplines, creating a conducive learning atmosphere at home, minimizing distractions as much as possible and sacrificing their time to help us study, among others. Their prayers in the regards of academic excellence also went a long way.
Finally, even when they were not actively there to ensure dedication to my studies (particularly when I entered university far from home), as a disciple of Christ, the mindset was already built in me that: "Whatever your hands find to do, to it with all your heart" and "Whatever you do, do as unto the Lord Jesus Christ."
Did you have a definite reading pattern?
Yes, I did. It was quite useful to understand what worked best for me in studying, rather than copying the style of another person.
I quickly understood that cramming (that is, memorizing books without understanding) wasn't the best for me because I found it very difficult and I also knew that cramming will not truly impart knowledge.
So, I knew that I needed to thoroughly understand each topic or course in order to excel in it (both regarding gaining knowledge and excelling in tests or exams). Thus, I ensured that I attended every lecture while paying keen attention to explanations and taking notes to for reference purpose. I then personally studied the topics of each course well enough to understand the concept, and practice questions: examples and exercises (in case of calculations). Whenever class explanations and handouts didn't give sufficient understanding, I often refer to online textbooks, youTube videos or get a colleague/senior to tutor me for better understanding.
Then, in preparation for tests and exams, I revise and practice more questions, having already gained understanding of the course.
However, at the times when I don't follow this pattern, excellence in the course wasn't always assured.
What were your best moments in FUTA?
One of the best moments I can remember having in FUTA was when I was celebrated and awarded a plaque by my departmental mates (after our final 500L project defense) for "helping us achieve our goal."
I knew they did that because I usually took tutorial classes for those of my collegues (both individually and as a group) who didn't understand a particular topic or course.
Being gifted to teach, it was always my joy to see others understand and excel in their exams, just as I desired to.
Did you have any low moments and how did you overcome them?
Not much. Though I usually felt bad whenever I see unexpectedly bad grades especially after putting so much efforts to excel in them.
My consolation usually is that I put in my best efforts and I've gained the knowledge I needed from the course.
Were there distractions you had to overcome?
Not really. What usually posed as distractions to most didn't usually attract me based on my home background, personality, natural interests, pursuit for excellence and my pursuit to please God.
Also, the kinds of friends I had and the Christian fellowship I attended helped me focus on what really mattered.
Who did you look up to for inspiration?
I looked up to God for inspiration as I never want to be less than what God has planned for me.
More so, my parents inspire me to move forward with their love and encouragement towards this pursuit.
The expectations of many for my academic success has also helped me thus far.
Did you learn any additional skills while on campus?
Yes. During the course of my Student Work Experience Programme (SWEP 2), I developed my skills in software related to my field of study such as AutoCAD and ORIAN. I also developed myself in basic skills needed in data analysis for research purposes
What Next for you?
It's not very clear what path God has prepared for me in fulfilling His purpose for my life. However, I believe a part of it involves entering the academia space especially in the area of teaching and research both to revolutionize the academic sector in Nigeria and to guide young lives into the bright future ahead of them.
I thus plan on furthering my education after my NYSC to achieve this.