Balikis Gbadamosi, a young woman who has demonstrated exceptional academic prowess and unwavering dedication throughout her time at Lagos State University. Graduating with first class honours and being recognised as the best graduating student not only in her department but also in the entire Faculty of Social Sciences. Gbadamosi’s accomplishments are a testament to her hard work, resilience, and commitment to excellence. Born and raised in Lagos, Gbadamosi’s childhood was marked by frequent visits to her hometown in Warrake, Edo State, where she developed a deep appreciation for family and strong blood ties. Her upbringing, characterised by her father’s emphasis on academic excellence and constant encouragement to read, laid the foundation for her love of learning. Despite the challenges she faced, including daily commutes to and from university due to a lack of hostel accommodation and balancing home duties with her studies, Gbadamosi overcame these obstacles with determination and adaptability.
While her initial aspirations were directed towards pursuing a degree in law, unforeseen circumstances redirected her path to sociology. Despite the disappointment and questioning that arose from this unexpected turn of events, Gbadamosi’s resilience and commitment to self-validation led her to excel in her chosen field of study. With a GPA of 4.80 out of 5.0, she not only maintained outstanding academic performance but also employed effective study techniques and strategies that allowed her to excel beyond expectations. By setting high standards for herself, prioritising her education, and seeking additional resources, Gbadamosi became a master of her courses, ensuring a deep understanding of the subject matter.
Beyond her academic pursuits, Gbadamosi actively engaged in extracurricular activities and assumed leadership roles, participating in quiz competitions and holding positions within the Muslim student association of her faculty. These experiences not only contributed to her personal and intellectual growth but also shaped her spiritual life, as she found solace and strength in her faith throughout her academic journey. Join us as we delve deeper into Balikis Gbadamosi’s journey, gaining insights into her academic achievements, the challenges she faced, her study techniques, and the memorable experiences that shaped her time at the Lagos State University. Her story serves as an inspiration to all aspiring students and emphasizes the importance of perseverance, resilience, and unwavering dedication in the pursuit of excellence. Excerpts:
Could you share with us a bit about your background and upbringing?
I was born and brought up in Lagos but every holiday my parents always make sure we visited our home town and related with the extended family. My family holds dear blood ties and relating with our extended family has been a common norm since childhood.
How do you think your upbringing influenced your academic achievements?
Well, my upbringing did influence my academic achievements. My father is very keen on academic excellence and emphasised the need for us to do well academically. My dad made sure we didn’t use mobile phones till we got admission into the university and mostly pushed us everyday to read. So that shaped my view and made me love reading. The constant reminder was such that even whenever he is far from home I will have to remind myself to read.
Graduating with first class honours and being recognised as the best graduating student in your faculty and department is an exceptional accomplishment. Yes, it is and I got that through discipline and effort.
What were some of the challenges you faced during your academic journey, and how did you overcome them?
One of the few challenges was that I had to go to school everyday from home, I didn’t have a hostel and had to deal with constant traffic and road blockages. I managed to overcome this by adapting to the life situation, though it wasn’t favourable I made sure it didn’t pose a threat to my academic pursuits.
Another factor was that, coming home every single day I couldn’t escape home duties, and most of my hours were dedicated to that. And when it’s becoming too much I lock up myself in my room to read. Sociology is a diverse and dynamic field of study. What sparked your interest in pursuing a degree in sociology, and how has this field of study shaped your perspective on social issues?
Initially, I wanted law, but life happened. It was a really depressing period for me during that phase of transitioning from secondary school into university. I remembered vividly writing the West African Examination Council exams and not being able to pass an important core subject to study Law. Most times I wrote them and my results will end up being withheld or outstanding. I wrote WAEC, GCE and NECO and still couldn’t pass the subject. It’s not that I wasn’t intelligent, infact literature was my best subject while in secondary school. When I got into Lagos State University (LASU) my course was changed to Sociology during the admission process. This actually altered my sense of life. I felt life wasn’t just,there were points where I actually questioned God and till today I wish I hadn’t. And all that happened balls down to the fact that no matter how you try, if something isn’t meant for you it won’t get to you. But due to the fact that everything that happened made me look like a failure I was still determined to sit for another NECO, because it affected me. While I was in year two I wrote another NECO and JAMB, this time I didn’t only pass the literature test, I made an incredible score in my JAMB. The main focus of that was not to go back to study law, but to validate myself again. At that moment I was already getting used to my field of study and understanding the concepts of it in general. Maintaining a remarkable GPA of 4.80 out of 5.0 requires a high level of dedication and commitment.
Could you share some of the study techniques or strategies you employed to achieve such outstanding academic results?
I actually did make a post on how I achieved my academic excellence. Well, academic excellence isn’t an easy feat, also having to maintain my cumulative grade point average (CGPA) from 100-400 level was a combined effort of my prayers and hardwork. Some of the techniques I employed in achieving these outstanding academic results was by creating standards that were too high for myself. When I got admitted into sociology, I told myself I would be the best graduating student of the university, my faculty and also the department. That was a standard I knew my chances of getting them were slim but I didn’t want to know the odds. This propelled me to reading excessively, praying constantly and managing my time effectively. As a student proper prioritisation is key, what I did was place my education as my major priority, other things could come later. I tried as much as possible to detach from things that could act as distractions to my academics. So I started by acknowledging my distractions ; “oh this is taking my attention away from my books” I cut them out. Other basic things I put in place were commitment, I was committed to the cause of being an outstanding student, so I made sure I effortlessly read my book and where I slacked I made use of other resources. Another method was I started my reading at the start of every semester, that way I’m able to divide the courses for that semester as my STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS and started with courses I felt might be hard on me. After reading I placed a target of A for each course and read to my satisfaction that I actually became a master of the course. Most importantly an emphasis on “Understanding oneself”. If there’s anything that paved the way for me excelling it is the fact that I got to know how to read and what time of the day was comfortable for me reading, knowing that everyone’s brain capacity is different and we assimilate things at different pace. I got to understand that reading during the day proved more efficient for me than reading during the night hours.
Most times at night I spent not reading rather sleeping. I scheduled a particular reading hour and things that could alter the timing were miscellaneous activities. I read bits by bits and also highlight every single detail I read. I developed my visual sense of learning over time. Most days I call my siblings and explain the concept of what I’m reading to them in ways they can understand. Those patterns of reading actually helped me. And I read outside the school notes and sought resources from other reading sites, such as open libraries online, YouTube videos and downloaded as many pdfs as I could see on the internet. It got to a point my coursemate would always ask for pdfs because they know I source for them online.
Alongside your academic pursuits, were you involved in any extracurricular activities or leadership roles during your time at Lagos State University?
Aside from my academic pursuit, I participated in quiz competitions within the department of sociology and other times between universities. Having a political position was not something I wanted to go into, but I held a position amongst my Muslim student associations of my faculty. I was once in charge of welfarism and the next tenure I was made an assistant female coordinator.
If so, how did these experiences contribute to your personal and intellectual growth?
Being a part of the MSSN shaped my spiritual life. Aside from the days I spent in the classroom the mosque was also an important place for me. And for me all the times I excelled academically I give thanks to the Almighty. Because before I start my reading I call on him and during every exam I still call upon him, I will always start by saying “Bismillah” which means in the name of Allah. Every single day I felt more confident and knew the outcomes will be great. Being the best graduating student not only in your department but also in the Faculty of Social Sciences is truly remarkable.
What motivated you to strive for excellence, and how did you stay focused on your goals throughout your academic journey?
I had a foresight and that was a propelling factor for me, I was committed to the cause of reading and I wanted to make my family proud. Those were the dynamics that allowed me to sail through regardless. There were times I would cry continuously because I felt I couldn’t get all what I envisaged for myself, those were periods I was having low grades. Even with that I still made it. I’m grateful to God Almighty. Education often goes beyond the classroom.
Did you engage in any research projects, internships, or practical experiences related to sociology that enhanced your understanding of the subject? If yes, could you elaborate on those experiences?
The key to understanding sociology is having the Sociological Imagination. Having to understand social problems within the context of the society at large. Most of the practical experiences I had was that I engaged in my own personal tutorial where I tutored 100-200lv students on sociology courses. Other times in my year four I majored in writing research projects for students, because research was my favorite subject. I did remote jobs online, all this shaped every aspect of my life.
The transition from high school to university can be challenging for many students. How did you manage the academic demands and adjust to the university environment successfully?
It was really challenging for me, the fact that I was introverted made me a little bit reserved. The university was a roller coaster for me, living in a foreign land and adjusting to some things that don’t sit quite well with me was a huge moment for me. Being human means to adapt to all challenges.
As you look back on your time at Lagos State University, what are some of the most memorable experiences or achievements that you would like to share with us?
The friends I had, those were some remarkable moments for me. I got to spend time with people I felt the most connected to. Participating in quiz competitions won me goodies, those moments were priceless. There was a day I won 50k from an event MrMacaroni came to host in my school. A lot of memories I can’t put into words.
Graduating at the age of 22 is an impressive feat. How did you balance your academic commitments with other aspects of your life, such as family, social activities, and personal growth?
Proper prioritisation. When it’s time to read, my social activities were flexible, I didn’t have much of a social life. So I adjusted very well and was able to balance academics with other activities of life.