A graduate of obafemi awolowo university Ile-Ife has narrated how she used 12 years for four-year course in the institution.
Omobolanle Adenle is one of the graduands at the 45th convocation of the Obafemi Awolowo University held earlier this month.
Adenle speaks in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH.
She gained admission to study Linguistics and African Languages in 2010, but instead of graduating in the 2014/2015 session, she graduated in 2021.
Adenle who is now an entrepreneur, said her challenges started from the first and second semesters spent on the OAU campus.
She said, “A journey that started in 2010 and finished in 2021. I thought I would finish with my mates in the year 2015 when I obtained admission to study Linguistics and African Languages in Obafemi Awolowo University in 2010, but my first and second semesters result were nothing to write home about after putting my best foot forward. So, I got discouraged.
Adenle (middle) with her late father (left) and sibling in 2010.
“I thought I will obtain Jamb and change my course the following year which I tried but failed again, so I made up my mind to finish what I’ve started but it was almost late already.
“I couldn’t handle retaking courses and doing my main courses altogether, but I did it anyway and it was a disaster throughout – but I just can’t quit and it saddens my heart at that time.
“I felt like a total failure in life and everything academics saddens my heart then till I decided to find another interest that will fill up the grief I nurse in my heart daily.”
‘From academic failure to business guru’
After the “failed” semesters, Adenle had to start a business to raise money for survival.
This time, she said, the move was successful as she was able to settle many bills, including school fees on her own.
Adenle (right) with a customer
She continued, “I decided to explore the business world with my almost collapsed academics then because I needed to start generating some extra income to sort out my school bills and my general well-being.
“My business became the only get away from the deep sadness I nurse on my academics, I finally found fulfillment beyond the four walls of the classroom – buying and selling different products and services.
“I became a professional at selling anything sellable on this earth and there’s no product or service under heaven that I can’t sell with ease and speed right now as a product manager and Digital Marketer, I mastered the art of selling from hawking different products after classes to my fellow students in female hostels in OAU.
“I was actively investing in myself beyond the four walls of the school while pursuing academics, I became so good in my craft that I won a business grant in 2018.
“I became a business mogul with two physical stores in Lagos State and Osogbo, Osun State till I shifted my focus to more of digital product recently and required no physical location in Osun State anymore. ”
How I returned to school and failed again
Determined to be a graduate, Adenle returned to academics but failed again.
She narrated that she sailed through different hurdles before being allowed to complete her studies.
At the point she had retaken all the failed courses, one of her results was said to be missing again.
She said, “I was supposed to have an extra year to sort out all the courses I failed, but I failed again and had to come back again to retake some of the courses but I choose not to come back, I was tired already and told my part adviser that I’m done with school and I want to travel out because I was frustrated.
“I came back the following year after a year break and paid dearly with several medical reports before I was allowed to retake the courses two years later. And when I thought I was finally done to be fully cleared from OAU, one of my results got missing, an elective for that matter, and for over a year we were on it till I finally gathered the courage to retake it after which it was found after retaking the course.
“The shame was unbearable when every year that I thought I’ll be done left me hanging and then I learn patience, persistence, doggedness, and how to trust God with my life exclusively.”
‘The lessons learnt’
According to Adenle, her ordeal thought her to believe in the divine set and never to be hard on herself.
Adenle said, “Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t be hard on God and never feel you are the only one facing the challenges of life, many are going through worse but you will never know, the earlier you align your heart to your Creator in the midst of the chaos and allow Him to mold you into what he designed you to be, the better for you.
“It’s okay not to go the usual road, it’s okay to trust God when everything makes no physical sense, what is not okay is for you to think you owe everyone explanation and apologies for not going the usual way like everyone.”