Any obstacle can be broken by adopting a positive approach. Written by Olajide Abiola


In my final year at the University of Ilorin, I had a missing result that had eluded finding. It was a physics course from a previous level. I was 100% sure I passed it but without an idea of the score. This was why I never bothered reregister for it. I was so sure I passed. That’s the same way I always knew if I would fail a course. I don’t know how to set unrealistic expectations with low input performance.

The search for it up until the last semester in my final year could best be described as passive. This was because every attempt made at searching for it were met with strenuous and time wasting administrative processes. So, I simply kept postponing until the time of clearance was imminent. The frenzy to tidy results and other documentations amongst final year and even other students if often high. No one wants to spill.

On one of the school days, I went to the physics department to see the physics lecturer who took the course. This was in line with the instructions I was given. The sea of heads I met at the man’s corridor was a large one. Just as I was arriving, the lecturer opened his door to address the students who were there to see him for different reasons. He was visibly overhwelmed and even angry at the disorderliness and nosiy chatterings of the students. He bellowed out, “I won’t and can’t attend to any of you today, I have told you to come around tomorrow”. After saying that, he shut the door behind him. The students began murmuring and grumbling, expressing their disappointment and frustrations.

On seeing this, on a hunch, I just knew what to do. I moved to his curtained​ but opened window and gracefully said “Sir, I understand you presently have a crammed schedule with urgent and important task, but I have a perculiar situation which requires only about 5 mins of your time, and I will appreciate if you obliged me audience”. A few seconds later, this man opened his door, pointed out to me by the window I was and ushered me in. Once in, he motioned me to the guest seat opposite his. Those who were already giving me that look of ” what is this one feeling like” were jaw dropped when this happened.

I introduced myself as a soldier and student, explaining how difficult it had been combining being a soldier and student and why finding my result was very urgent and critical. He took his time to listen and without any questions began browsing through his archive folders of results. Within minutes, he found my name and my result on the list. I deservedly scored a D. He quickly wrote a note and signed it and had wanted handing it to me to go give my level adviser for update before he realised how risky that was and assured me of liasing with my level adviser himself to have the result updated. Afterwards, I stood up, thanked him and gracefully stepped out. Some curious students who didn’t pay attention to what I said to have earned me the special audience swarmed around me to know. Well, I was the only person he attended to that day.

Presentation and approach matters. Following the crowd to murmur and throw tantrums will never help your situation

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