By: Nurudeen Akewushola
Abdullahi Aminu Al-Ameen has become the first student to graduate with first class honour in the department of Geology, faculty of science; Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto since the inception of the department in 2013
The 23-year old fresh graduate from Kebbi State who graduates with 4.54 CGPA had developed interest in Geology from his Secondary School days which made him to apply for the course and was privileged to be given.
Achieving a first class feat has not been an easy task for him despite his position as the department class representative and his involvement in extra-curricular.
In an interview with campus correspondent, the valedictorian explained that being given his choice of study really boosted his moral to strive for the feat, he said:
“Actually Geology was my dream course since I was in secondary school because I heard so much about it from my geography teacher, geography was my favorite subject back in secondary school so tried to study a course in science Field related to geography and my teacher recommended Geology to me.
When I did jamb in 2014 I had 241 that’s why I was given geology because of the high scores (as one of my lecturers stated). Geology was my choice and when the school offered me geology I was very happy about it and I strived very hard to clinch the feat”
Speaking further, he noted that his performance in his first year didn’t worth of bagging First Class, as he was new to the system then.
“Although my 100level wasn’t impressive due to my lack of experience in campus life and how to stay focus on my studies, I managed 4.49 in 100level. When I was in 200level, I began to realise my purpose of being in school (which is to study) and with the experience of 100level, I began to pay more attention to my studies and less attention to campus activities, although I participated in campus politics, that does not stop me from achieving my dream. From that point on, I started planning and managing my time everyday.”
He explained that working with students with the same mindset also helped him a lot in achieving the feat
While speaking on his reading schedule , he noted that he didn’t usually read during the night but during the day and he also engaged in extensive reading.
He continued: “When I was in 100level I didn’t have reading schedule because of lack of experience but in 200level, I Always! Whenever I was given a material I always make some research on my own , I read one course everyday for at least 3 hours and at most 4 hours every morning when I had no lecture ( from 8-12). I don’t read in the night whenever I read in the morning. If examination approach I always increase my reading to at least 5 hours everyday and at most 7 hours (sometimes from 9am to 2pm and sometimes 9am to 4pm).
Abdullah held the post of Vice President of Nigerian mining and Geoscience Societies, Financial Secretary Kebbi State Students Association (Kessa) for two sessions and also the class representative of his department from the first year till his final year on campus.
When asked about whether the posts he held affected his academic performance he noted that his grade stumbled when he firstly started, but he was able to balance it.
” When I was in 300level first semester I participated fully in campus politics, I barely had time for my handouts; it affected my performance. So, I paid less attention to it in the second semester and focus more on my studies.”
The Geology scholar did not have a “C” through out his undergraduate ,”I have never been failed. I never even had a “C” till 400l. I think almost everyone if not everyone in UDUS experience a different grade from his/her expectations because exams are like that. You may think you know it all but you are not the one marking it” he said
The first graduate wishes to further his study and becomes a world renowned petroleum geologist
The savant, however, charged the students of the university to believe in themselves and focus on their studies.
“Nothing is impossible for those who believe. Impossible they say is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools. Nothing good comes easy. Everything is possible if you believe, my advice for them is that they should start believing and then work hard and pray because
hardworking always pays. They should keep working hard right from start to finish and they should also be prayerful because even if you work hard you may need a little bit of luck to be at the top” he advised.