One most important factor responsible for one’s success or failure in this life is attitude. As a matter of fact, attitude is everything and everything is about attitude, regardless of whoever we are. Nothing is as good as positive mental attitude and nothing is as bad as negative mental attitude. Indeed, if one’s attitude is right, one’s world is right. Conversely, a bad attitude is like a bad tire, no one can move forward except by changing it.

In their book, Success through a Positive Mental Attitude (1960), Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, retold the story of a preacher who was being disturbed by his little boy as he was racking his brain about what to tell his congregation the next day. To keep the boy busy, he picked an old magazine, tore a page with the world map, ripped it into little bits and threw the scraps all over the floor.

“Johnny, if you can put this all together, I’ll give you a quarter,” he told the boy, knowing that the task would take him most of the morning. However, in less than 10 minutes, Johnny was back with the completed puzzle.

The man was gobsmacked and flabbergasted!

“Son, how did you get that done so fast?” he asked.

“Oh,” said Johnny, “it was easy. On the other side there was a picture of a man. I just put a piece of paper on the bottom, put the picture of the man together, put a piece of paper on top and then turned it over. I figured that if I got the man right, the world would be right.”

The minister smiled and handed his son a quarter. “And you have given me my sermon for tomorrow too,” he said, “if a man is right, his world will be right,” the authors concluded.

It can be stated with certitude that attitude is everything and it is always right for the person with the right or positive attitude.

A small and relevant truth once told in this regard is that if each letter of the English alphabet, A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, is respectively made to be equal to 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26, few words actually make 100%. For instance,  H+A+R+D+W+O+R+K is 8+1+184+23+15+18+11 which is equal to 98% while K+N+O+W+L+E+D+G+E is 11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5, making a total of 96%. G+O+O+D+L+U+C+K is 7+15+15+4+12+21+3+11,the total of which is 88% and L+O+V+E is 12+15+21+5 is 53. Each of money, truth, leadership, among others, does not make 100%. As every problem has a solution if we have a change of attitude, it is our attitude to God, life, work and others that make life 100% successful: A+T+T+I+T+U+D+E= 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 =100.

Without equivocation, success in the university largely depends on attitude to God, studies and others all of which reflect the three dimensions of religious life, academic life and social life. For every student of the University of Ilorin for example, the attitude of gratitude to God is essential because it takes grace to belong to the most sought-after university community in Nigeria. This attitude of gratitude makes a good student conscious of his primary assignment on the surface of the earth without compromising his primary assignment in the university, his academics.

The academic life is powered by the attitude of fortitude which makes a student realise that studentship is not a tea party or an exercise in fun-making. The attitude of fortitude negates the mentality of singing I can’t kill myself o, allow me to flex o, whatever flexing means. Rather, this attitude makes a student remain a student to the letter by being serious, tenacious, understanding, disciplined, exemplary, natural and truthful. This is because a conscientious student realises that this is the most important stage of his or her life so far and the way campus life is spent has implications for the future. Both First Class and Pass graduates have the same number of years but their attitudes to their studies vary and they bear their classes of degree for life.

It is said that your attitude is your altitude. To attain the altitude of success in the University of Ilorin, two things are required: good character and a strong commitment to learning. This is essentially the motto of the University: probitas doctrina or character and learning.

With character and learning, like many people have done before now, a student passes through the University without having a single ‘carry over’ and without appearing before the Student Disciplinary Committee. With character and learning, there is no ‘premature graduation’, the fate of those expelled or advised to withdraw due to deficiencies in the two critical areas.

In other words, to attain the altitude of excellence, a student should prioritise the following tips which make it difficult for anyone to fail in the University:

  • Attend all lectures
  • Do your assignments /tests
  • Obey the University rules and regulations
  • Avoid bad company
  • Engage in group discussions
  • Study in advance
  • Have your personal time table
  • Mind your business
  • Use your time judiciously

Life on campus, especially at the University of Ilorin, can be exciting and fulfilling, amazing and memorable IF there is the right attitude. The attitude of gratitude and fortitude without latitude will make one attain the altitude with certitude.

(Based on the presentation, “Life on Campus: Attitude is Everything”, made by Yours Sincerely at the Orientation Programme organised by the Student Affairs Unit for the new students of the University of Ilorin on January 13 and 14, 2019 at the University Auditorium)

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