Surviving Unilag 101

By Okpor Elishama and Adiefe Olisemeka.

University life is not as easy as it’s portrayed on Grown-ish. You don’t get to be Zoey Johnson with the celebrity best friends and lots of free time on your hands. 

You get to be a Great Akokite, and we all know how easy that is (sarcasm intended).

For you to survive as a fresher in the University of Lagos, you will need speed similar to the DC superhero ‘Flash’ (because those 8am classes wait for no man), resilience, and perseverance 

Knowing the obstacles that come with being a university student is one thing, experiencing them and surviving is a different ball game.

Here are some tips that could help you survive your first year in the University of Lagos:

Make your first year your best year

One thing you’ll hear often in your first year in the University of Lagos is to work extra hard in your first year, so you don’t have to work as hard in the future. There is some truth to that, but not entirely. 

Working super hard in your first year basically means you should set a good foundation for your cumulative grade point average in your first year, because nothing gets easier in the following years. On the contrary, it gets tougher. 

The higher you go, the tougher the level. Having a good grade point average eases some stress off you in your second year. However, maintaining your CGPA is a whole new game.

Finding a balance

School isn’t all work and no play. It’ll be extremely monotonous and boring if all you do is go to the library or study all the time. Having a social life is essential in the life of a student however, and finding the balance between your social life and academic life is key to survival.

Do not work too hard, but don’t play too hard and forget you’re still a student. Go out and have fun, but don't let your fun affect your studies and your grade point average.

Get involved in departmental activities

It’s no secret that the University of Lagos is a pool of networks. Taking your studies seriously is important, but making connections and making a name for yourself is also necessary. Your education is important, but making a name, building a network is also essential because Nigeria is tough. 

Accommodation outside campus vs on campus

Prepare for the worst because unless you’re dropping a large sum – and I mean large – you’re most likely not going to be as comfortable as you’d feel back home. If you successfully acquired bedspace in school, prepare yourself for some discomfort. 

Living outside school has its perks, but it’s not as easy as it seems either. Prepare yourself for the bills that come with having an apartment of your own, and extra transportation fees especially if you live a bit far from school.

All in all, these tips are probably not enough but as they say, experience is the best teacher. Your university experience is going to be unique to you. All in all, try as much as possible to enjoy your stay, and remember to read your books.


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