I’m an average student; I just disciplined myself —JABU’s best graduating student

Joshua Temitope Joseph, a graduate of Computer Science, was announced as the best graduating student of Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State, during the recent convocation ceremony of the university. In this interview, he speaks with HAKEEM GBADAMOSI on his experience and plans for the future

What kind of preparation or discipline went into the feat you achieved in this university?

Before I was admitted into the university, a friend of mine told me that university comes with lots of distractions, and that one has to be focused and determined. I had one goal in mind: to graduate with a good result. I wasn’t concerned about emerging as the best graduating student; I just wanted to graduate with a good result, a result that my parents would be proud of. And I put in the effort. I was determined that I was going to sacrifice a lot of things and deny myself some pleasures so as to achieve what I actually wanted to get; and that was what I did. I went to class early, listened attentively to what lecturers taught, revised my books after each lecture and did everything expected from a normal student. Thank God; here we are today. The dream was achieved.


What are those things you denied yourself to achieve this?

I denied myself so many things, like involvement in social events. When my friends went out to play football or have fun, I was always reading. Reading was my life style anytime I was in school and I was so determined that I was going to be among the best students in the university. Eventually, I emerged as the best graduating student.


Does that mean you didn’t socialise at all?

I do socialise, but not when I was in school. When I was in school, I made sure that I reduced all these social things or even avoided them altogether. This was to allow me focus on my academics alone to achieve my dreams. I was part of some groups in the school, like Google Developer Group (GDG), Enactors Group and my departmental group, but these groups are educational groups and not social groups where you gather to enjoy yourselves.


You are a handsome chap. Were there distractions from ladies?

Definitely, yes; but as I said earlier, I gave priority to my books as I remained determined and focused that I was going to graduate with a good result. I knew from the beginning that these distractions were going to come, but I had a mindset; I knew what I wanted to achieve, and I prayed to God to help me to achieve it.


Tell us something about your background.

I attended Binta International School in Lagos before we moved to Abuja. My secondary school was Metro International School, in Abuja. I am an average student. I wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) twice. The first time I just wrote UTEM for writing sake because I wasn’t prepared for it then. Initially, I had plans to travel abroad to study, but I was denied visa and some other things happened too. So, I just had to write UTME the second time, and I was admitted into this school, Joseph Ayo Babalola University.


Did you plan to come to JABU right from the start?

I never planned to; I came here by chance. I was at home when my mum called me that an admission was going on at CAC ground in Abuja. I was home then and I just decided to give it a try. So, I got there and applied for the admission and I got it. It was not a school I had in mind because I had other schools like ABUAD, University of Ibadan, OAU but, I don’t know, as luck would have it, I landed here.


When you got here, how did you feel?

Initially it was a new experience for me because of the way it (JABU) was organised. It is a faith-based institution and some things are not expected of you. There is a way you can and cannot dress; you are expected to attend church, and so on. All these were new to me. I needed to adjust quickly; and luckily for me, I adjusted very quickly.


What are you planning to do next?

The next step is to go for my master’s degree programme. I am actually doing my national youth service presently. After my national service, I want to go for my master’s abroad, God willing. Once I am done with my master’s , I am going for my doctorate.

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