This is an Exclusive Interview with the 21-Year- Old Lady a First Class in UNILAG having upturned 7,799 others to emerge the Best Graduating student of her set
Elizabeth Ekeoseye was an alumnus of the University of Lagos(UNILAG). She clinched the 2019/2020 overall best graduating student. Here, she narrated her journey to become a first-class material to inspire those who are destined to wear the same shoes.
Elizabeth expressed herself about her road to success, the ASUU strike, how to hit a first-class grade, and other sundry issues. Excerps:
Who is Elizabeth Ekeoseye?
I hail from Igueben Local Government, Edo State, but reside with my family in Delta State. I am the sixth and last child of the late Chief Stephen Ekeoseye and Mrs. Penna Ekeoseye. I am a lover of God and find expression in all I do.
My parents a principal role in imbibing the reading habit in me. Growing up, my dad would purchase large numbers of books for me without complaining about the cost while my mum would sit with me as we studied together. As a result, I never saw reading as a forceful activity. I enjoyed it.
Apart from reading, I love to sing. I am a chorister in Souls Harvesters Ministries(the church my family attends in Delta State) and in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries Youth Church, which I attended while I was an undergraduate at UNILAG.
I did my Nursery and Primary School education at Highquest Nursery and Primary School, Warri, Delta State, from 2003 to 2010. I was awarded the best graduating student of my set. I did my secondary education at Delta Careers College, Warri, from 2010 to 2016. I was the head girl of my set. I emerged as the best female graduating student.
I partook in the Awokoya Memorial Chemistry Competition in 2015 and emerged as the Second Best in Delta State. After my National Examination Council (NECO) in 2016, I was presented an award of excellence for emerging as the third best candidate in Delta State by Learn Africa Plc.
Why did you choose UNILAG and your course?
It had always been my desire to attend UNILAG. The course I had in mind to study was Medicine. In my entrance session (2016/2017), there was no post-UTME examination and only an aggregate score of O-level results and UTME was used.
I had an aggregate of 76.75, which was higher than the entrance score needed for Medicine from the catchment areas but not high enough to meet the score given to people from other States. I was advised by a friend of my family to change to Zoology because of the career option of Environmental Toxicology, which I later majored in during my third year.
Can you give an aggregate of your results from 100 to 400 levels?
I had a 5.0 GPA in my first semester after my first B. in my second year, I had 5.0 in both first and second semesters, causing my CGPA to rise to 4.97. However, at the end of my third year, my CGPA dropped to 4.96 after having a second B in the first semester of my 300 level.
In my fourth and final year, I had a third B in the first semester and eventually finished on a 4.95, to the glory of God.
At what level did you realize that you were a potential first-class graduate?
I realized that I was a potential first-class graduate right from my first year, so I prayed and worked towards it.
How did you survive on campus during the ASUU strike?
During the ASUU strike and COVID -19 break, I returned home to my mother in Delta State. I did not let it weigh me down. I spent my time reading my Bible, Christian novels, and inspirational books. I joined my mum at her tailoring shop and assisted in her subsistence fish farming.
There are insinuations that it is easier to get a first-class in private universities than public universities, do you agree?
I do not totally agree with this view. Getting a first-class, whether from a private or public university requires you to put in the needed prayers and efforts.
Four of my elder siblings finished from the same private university. While they were there, I always admired their school system. It was well organized and not affected by strikes.
I entered the classrooms and hostels, which were well furnished and ventilated and they also had a cafeteria where they went for their meals. These all influence the performance of a student.
Give students in 100 and 200 levels tips on how to clinch a first-class.
The factors responsible for my attaining a first-class are God and smart reading. God really made studying enjoyable, guided, and easy for me. Smart reading is an essential factor as well. It is reading in a strategic way that enables you to achieve more without being worn out. It does not support studying when you are tired, stressed, or hungry because reading is a brain activity.
When the brain is well-rested, it will be able to retain more in a short time, than when it is stressed. Smart reading is doing what works for you; some people can read with music and noise and some need an extremely quiet place. I prefer the quietness of the early morning.