How would you love to be  described by all who know you ?

Do me a Favour and picture yourself in the future. Say, maybe five or ten years from now. Good. Now I want you to picture your family and friends being interviewed concerning you. What are they saying about you ? 

Picture your neighbours being interviewed as well. What are they saying ? Now imagine there’s something in the papers about you ? What do they all say ? 

If you actually went along with the above then you must have connected with your true self. You must have identified some character traits/ attributes that are dear to you. 

Now you’re back to reality I’ll like you to know that all of that is totally possible. One of my favorite quotes is “if it would be, it’s up to me”. That quote gives me hope. It reminds me that all my dreams, hopes and aspirations are possible. 

That’s what I want to let you know. If it would be it’s up to you. Take note of what your friends and family were saying in the excercise above. Start working on those traits. 

My friends, how would you love your friends and family to describe you ? If it will be so, it’s totally up to you. 

Later. 

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What I would love students still in secondary school to know about universities. 

Having graduated recently from secondary school, a friend of mine says we’re living the post secondary school life. Contrary to popular opinion , it feels quite normal. Only of course, without the pressures of holiday assignments. 

One of the most important activities for any secondary school graduate is applying to higher institutions. In the course of my search, I’ve been exposed to information that i wish I had known while in secondary school. Other information I’ve seen, have made me express gratititude to God that I had known that. 

The whole point of this article is to bring to the notice of students still in secondary school some information I feel are vital. Here goes; 

1.    Never be satisfied with being a local champion ! – sometimes we look at our academic performance with respect to those of our mates. The disadvantage of this is that most times, a student might not be performing to the best of his/her ability but might be content with where he/she is because relative to his/her mates the student is doing fine.         The trouble with this mindset is that to be admitted into the university, you are competing against a whole lot of students from all over the globe. Putting In your best effort instead of being satisfied with being better than your class mates gives you a better chance of getting admitted . Remember, academic excellence is an individual thing and where your mates are should never stop you from giving it your all .

2.      Extra-curricular involvement is as important as good grades – it’s saddening hi way lot of students don’t know this. Most schools are not looking for geniuses and would like to see proof of all roundness in the students they would admit. If your grades are not so wonderful, your extra-curricular involvement might just be your saving grace. Now you have the chance, get involved in as many clubs, competitions etc that are of interest to you. In applying to universities, they matter ! 

3.     Start your search early – trust me , you do not want to see a school that fits exactly what you’re looking for, location wise and financially as well, only for you to find out that you’ve not met the admission criteria. If you were to turn back the hands of time you’d do some things differently. All of this can be avoided if you start your search early ! This way before you even get to SS3, you’ll be familiar with some schools (probably even have your first choice already) and what it takes to get in. You can now begin to make sure you fulfill the admission criteria through classes you pick, exams you sit for e.t.c 

4.     Get close to your teachers – and how does this affect your admission ?  You see a lot of universities require at least two letters of recommendation from teachers who were close to you. These letters of recommendation go a long way in telling the school the kind of student you are and ultimately in determining if you’ll be accepted or not. It’s up to you, what kind of letter of recommendation you’ll receive. 

5.     There are a wealth of scholarship opportunities that abound – even the ivy-league schools are willing to reward their students with scholarship. They are determined to make sure that funds are not a barrier for any good student . It all depends on your performance. Many schools give scholarships upon admission, the application for admission in many cases is the same application for scholarships. Your academic performance is what determines the level of scholarship you would be awarded with.

So there you have it people. The ball is in your court. I believe you’ve been informed. If you’ve graduated already, do feel free to add any information or tips you feel would be helpful to students still in secondary school. 

Later.

This is a write up contributed by my friend Somto Maha . Do look him up, he’s an upcoming writer / poet . 

Hey black. We both black. Black skins, black hearts, black minds. Lets take two or three to redefine black power. Super strong, but yet still super friendly. Apparently, we’re still at the receiving end of the hate. Racism, apartheid, we’ve been through them both. But history records us as white people’s trash. We can’t forget about the scars, but pray the cuts heal. And as they do we can’t help but feel insecure. Unsure of the timing of the next attack. But we are sure that we won’t be fighting back. We are too smart for that, we are not proud we are just BLACK.

On getting the discipline you need to do great things : don’t try, just do it ! 

On more than one occasion, I’ve had to search online for how to develop discipline. If therefore, that is how you found this article , you’re not alone.

If not , you’re still welcome!

I’ve seen many suggestions on developing discipline. Funny enough, you need discipline to carry out most of them.

Thinking about the situation I began to wonder how then can you really develop discipline.

It worried me because I knew If I wanted to be fit, I needed discipline to stick to the work out routine.

If I wanted to be a better football player, I needed discipline to stick with constant practice and rigorous training.

Virtually everything one needs to do in this life, that is good, requires discipline of some sort.

Lately, my thoughts were turned to the words of my youngest sister Oluchi. As a small child whenever she made a request for anything from my dad and he answered with “I’ll try”, she’ll always  respond: “don’t try, just do it !”.

That I’ve come to realize,  is the key to developing discipline in any area. Just do It ! So next time you are faced with a task that requires discipline, make like Nike and just do it! 

Never do once what you don’t want to do always . 

I came across this quote, while reading the section on addiction in Sean Covey’s book: The 6 most important decisions you’ll ever make.

I suggest you read that book if you’re a teenager who wants to be highly effective In your teens and in the later years. 

Anyways the point is the statement really does hold water. I’ve found out whenever I do something for the first time. It’s like my ability to do it has been unlocked . 

Just like my physics teacher used to say concerning our practicals, the first time is always the hardest. Once you’ve done it the first time doing it again is no more a problem. 

Given all the above , one has to be careful what one does. Even once can hurt. Why? This is because once you’ve done it the first time , you are going to do it again and again and again. Unless maybe some external force intervenes. 
The moral here is careful what you do. Never do once , what you don’t want to do always. 

Are you living for now ? 

Make hay while the sun shines, the old saying goes. A modern phrase on the same value as developed by Stephen covey author of 7 habits of highly effective people is “begin with the end in mind.”

A lot of times people live their lives without taking thought of where they want to go or where their actions are taking them. All of a sudden they arrive at a dead end and begin to regret and think: “if I had known.” 

Trust me on this, that is one place you don’t want to be. The knowledge that you had the opportunity to turn something in your favour, or to make decisions that would have made you qualified for a once in a lifetime opportunity , but you failed to utilize it all because you didn’t stop to think or plan it out can be at times suicidal. 

That can be avoided. All you have to do is stop living for now and take time to check where your actions now are leading you too. Decide the kind of future you want for yourself and consciously make decisions that would positively shape and create that desired future. 

The choice is yours. As for me I’m definitely not living for now !