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Submitted by Editor2 on 31 May 2023

By Eniola Olatunji

Have you ever wondered why Nigerians who continue their education overseas often outperform their contemporaries?  One would wonder if the curriculum abroad is simpler or if the marking scheme is more lax. While I certainly can’t attempt such debate, one of the reasons for this performance difference is not farfetched. It is a matter of an enabling environment that makes studying effective.

As a student living in Nigeria, one has to deal with epileptic power supply, inability to get up-to-date textbooks and cranky teachers who are likely being owed many months’ salary. 
All these obstacles make learning more challenging and can lead to subpar grades. Are these, however, grounds for failure? No! Many people who have achieved great success were born into much worse circumstances. Here are some study pointers for students both in Nigeria and outside.

Understand yourself first and foremost. Everyone has a unique wiring pattern. Do you read better during the day or at night? Can you read with human activities around you, or do you need absolute quiet to concentrate? Do you like to snack while reading? Does making acronyms from your notes help you remember better? These are some questions to ask yourself. Don't try to read for hours on end just because everyone else is. Make sure to read as much as you can during the day if you have trouble reading at night. If you are aware that you get hungry when studying, prepare some light snacks to eat to keep your focus.

Next, if you cannot buy textbooks, consider getting them from your senior colleagues. Meet students who have just finished the class ahead of you to pass their textbooks to you. Also, make use of libraries. Most schools have a well-stocked one. Also join external libraries like ZODML. They allow you access to more material, usually at no cost.
Practice reading before class. It is good practice to lay your hands on course outlines and curriculums and read before class. This will facilitate assimilation when a topic is being taught and have you more ready to ask questions in class. Reading before class can also come in handy for unexpected tests. 
Invest in a good power bank and a torchlight. These come in handy for days with power outages and night reading. For health and safety reasons, avoid using wax candles inside the house as they are a fire hazard.
Also, avoid using psychoactive substances like caffeine. Many students enjoy ingesting these drugs in excessive amounts to stay up and read. You better believe that these eventually harm the brain.
Finally, make sure to get adequate rest. There is a false belief that you must burn the candle of the night to achieve scholastic success. Take adequate rest because you are not a machine and even machines overheat. 




Eniola Olatunji is a law  
student at the University  
of Ibadan. He enjoys
researching into new
areas of life, reading  
comics and writing plays.