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Interview: Meet 21-Year-Old Lady who beat 7,799 others to emerge UNILAG Best Graduating Student

21-year-old Elizabeth Ekeoseye, University of Lagos, UNILAG’s 2019/2020 overall best graduating student, has shared her first-class journey to motivate others.

In an interview with the Education report, Elizabeth spoke about her journey, ASUU strike, how to make first-class, and other issues.

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 it finds expression in all I do.

My parents played 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 mom 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 the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry 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 as 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 Examinations 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.

READ ALSO:20-Year-Old Best Graduating doing NYSC in Rivers State construct borehole tanks for community

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 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 aggregate of your results from 100 to 400 levels?

I had a 5.0 GPA in my first semester 100 Level. This dropped to 4.94 in my second semester after having 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 a 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 realise that you were a potential first class graduate?

I realised 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 ASUU strike?

During 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 mom at her tailoring shop and assisted in her subsistence fish farming.

There are insinuations that it is easier to get 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 effort. 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 make 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.

READ ALSO: Interview: My 196 UTME score still remains a mystery to me — UNILORIN overall best graduating student

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