“Going to class drained me so I’d rather stay in my room, photocopy notes and write exams”- Oyinlola #FreshGradTales

Hello, dear reader. Thank you for joining us on #FreshGradTales! Today, we have a charming lady whose words would sweep you off your feet. I had a great time interviewing her and I am sure you will have an equally great time reading her interview. 
She is Oyinlola Akindele, a fresh graduate from the department of English, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. Do enjoy the interview and don’t forget to follow the blog after.


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So, tell us, what was the motive behind studying English in OAU?
Well, I had always thought I was meant to study law. It’s funny I bred the thought for so long. My parents wanted it enough to make me believe I wanted it too. But ironically, I filled in for English in OAU and had a cut off with which I would have been admitted for Law in OAU without questions. However, having chosen English, I realised I was meant to be here all the while. You know, the mere fact that I love to be expressive is enough. Let me say, there was no motive behind me studying English. The fear that I won’t make the cut off for Law was the motive, funny enough.

Oh. Great! Considering that your parents really wanted you to study Law, what was their response to you deciding to study English?
That’s quite huge. My mom got the picture quite fast, that this last born of hers wasn’t interested in studying Law anymore. She never read my posts and works online, but she heard from family so she was encouraged to make me continue. However, my dad always thought I would cross to Law. It took me time to tell him I wasn’t interested in the Law thing anymore. I think I told him when I was in part two. He was quite disappointed, I guess. And if I tell you he’s over it, I would be lying. Still having that crush for Law somewhere in his heart…turned out his last hope for having a lawyer in the family bailed out on him. *smiles*

Hmm. Interesting. So, tell us, which level did you like best and why? And which level do you dislike most and why?
Hahah. That’s a huge one now. I think I disliked my first year most. Not think, I definitely did. I had no friends, practically had no one to talk to. My roommates were all stalites, and the only freshman in my room, was an ex-predite. So, she had lots of friends and would leave the room early, only to return late in the night. My class? About 500 strangers were there. All looking too fancy and glossy for a mummy’s girl like me to mix with. It was too boring. Church? I felt I wasn’t welcome too at the time. Now, I realise that I didn’t make myself at home, that’s why I was so alone everywhere. But well, it got better at the end, had two friends, Toluwa and Eniola, and life got better afterwards.

The best? No doubt it’s my 400 level. I get to be a finalist, yipee! I get to stop being a church executive, yipee! And I get to brag to a lot of people, double yipee! Anyway, that’s just on a lighter mood. I loved my fourth year on campus because it was an avenue for me to be listened to, at home. Now, my plans get to be skyrocketed. And a new life gets closer. And my friends made it the best, it’s the best level ever. Shout out to them all.

If you had the opportunity to start all over again in OAU, what would you do better?
I’d create better relationships with people, in the department, in church and with even my lecturers. Relationships rule the world. I’d create better connections with people that are worth it, right from my year one. Then I’d join a lot of associations, and not let church take that from me. You know, weigh balance between church and associations. The major thing is the relationships, it’s the one thing I regret starting to build late.

I’ve heard on several occasions that OAU lecturers really hit students down on grades. Would you advise anyone to still come to OAU knowing that?
Of course, let them come. I only know what OAU lecturers do because I was once there. It might be worse elsewhere. If you have a good reason to study in OAU, just do it, irrespective of the lecturers.

Tell us about the challenges you faced while being a student.
The major thing was my health. My health was quite stable until towards the end of my first year when I developed issues with it. At some point, before the resumption of my second year, I considered taking a leave of absence, but I didn’t anyway. It was always coming on and off. It’s the major challenge that I had on OAU campus. At some point, I consciously stopped attending classes. I didn’t mind the unserious stares people were passing at me. Going to class drained me, so I’d rather stay in my room, photocopy notes, and write exams. Anything for me to maintain my stability.

Doing a personal review, what’s that one thing OAU taught you that would stick with you for the rest of your life?
It taught me that nothing is gotten on a platter of gold, you gotta work for it. You work to get everything. Then it taught me the essence of relationships; when you relate right, you remain right. Right relationships can get you everything. If you’ve ever struggled with bedspace, you’ll know that. Finally, never compromise. Compromising always makes you eventually become a liability to yourself. Oh, lest I forget, be nice. People always meet again.

Noteworthy. Uhmmm, is there anything I have missed out that you think we should know? Anything?
Well, is there? I don’t think so. I just have to say this. That, English Department is quite interesting and challenging. So, whoever breaks that above 20 year old first class jinx, s/he deserves a portion of my fourth salary. Salary 1-3 is already booked. Smiles.

Haha hahaha. 😂😂😂 Any final words?
Enjoy yourself as an undergraduate. Don’t suck all the fun in. And have good grades. But don’t let your primary purpose on campus be academics. Let your primary purpose be to discover purpose. Else, you’re gonna graduate with no answer to the general question, “what’s next?”. Trust me, even the canteen waiter will ask you that.

Thank you very much, Miss Oyinlola. It’s been an awesome time with you 😃
It’s been an honour here too, Miss Orifunke.

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#FreshGradTales is a series of interviews for fresh graduates from ALL universities in Nigeria. If you are a fresh university graduate and would love to share your stories and experiences, get in touch via WhatsApp (08184908965) or send a mail to funke@orifunkelawal.com

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