The attainment of success is not with sudden flight; and that is why it is often said that while trying to get to the top, it is better to follow the steps not the elevator. More so, one cannot forget easily the saying of Socrates, that: every action has its pleasures and its price. In this interview with The Transverse, Abimbola ADEBAYO, the best graduating student of the School of Nursing, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals, gave insight into how she was able to combine academic excellence with extracurricular activities; and yet, graduated top of her set. Enjoy the excerpts:
The Transverse: May I know about you briefly?
‘Bimbo: I am Abimbola ADEBAYO, an Ondo State born and bred nurse in her early twenties. I graduated from the School of Nursing Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex in 2018. I’m quite extroverted, about 5ft 5inches tall (if that exactly count). I have deep seated interest in Public Health as well as nursing education.
TT: How do you feel being the best graduating student of OAUTHC School of Nursing? Was the feat something you thought out from inception of your academic sojourn?
‘Bimbo: I felt it was too good to be true, truth be told, I never expected it. I was too busy trying to strike a balance between my extra-curricular activities and academics. Nursing education itself is really demanding, coupling it with being the General Secretary of the Student Union and an executive in Fellowship of Christian Nurses made it all really overwhelming.
TT: Mentioning extracurricular activities like the Student Union, how were you able to strike a balance per se between the burdening demands of Unionism and academics?
‘Bimbo: Hmmmmm, that’s a question I’ve been asked by so many people. Naturally, I am a very fast reader and that is something I really maximized. I had to read in 4 hours what my colleagues would read in 8, I also ensured I didn’t miss lectures. Also, I made it a point of duty to explain to others , that made me have in-depth understanding of most of my courses.
TT: Did you participate in any competition relating to your discipline while in school? If yes, could you please state some of your accolades?
‘Bimbo: Yes I did, there are two major competitions worthy of note.
The first one was Florence Nightingale Trophy Speech Contest, a multistaged contest with over 20 schools of nursing in attendance from all over the nation. It had four stages in all; essay writing, written quiz, interview and the grand finale being the speech making itself. I represented my school and emerged as the first prize winner. The second one was Osun State Nursing Contest involving the four Schools of Nursing in the state, I also emerged as the first prize winner.
TT: As a trained nurse with interests in public health and nursing education, what practical contributions do you intend to make or changes have you in mind for these realms?
‘Bimbo: Public health is a very broad field which involves so many professionals already. I’m hoping to create a niche for myself and deeply explore it, the plan is ready but the big picture is just getting clearer. As for nursing education, far beyond what is taught, heightening what is being learnt is my focal point.
TT: There’s a common aphorism that behind every successful man, there’s a woman, could it be said otherwise that behind your success, there’s a man too? Who, if any?
‘Bimbo: Smiles… Yes there is. He has been a major support system for me, always awakening the better me. That’s all I can say for now.
TT: Did you have any challenges you’d like others to learn from while training as a nurse? How did you overcome them?
‘Bimbo: Challenges? I can’t exactly think about a major one for now except the rigors of nursing training itself. The training is just too intense and time consuming; it hardly gives room for other extracurricular activities. I overcame that by learning to maximize the little free time I had for self development.
TT: It is often said that academic excellence isn’t really rewarded in this part of the world, have you experienced same too?
‘Bimbo: We are in Nigeria; we already understand how these things work. I have experienced it in a way too.
TT: What pieces of advice have you for Nigerian students and youths?
‘Bimbo: To all Nigerian students and youths, I’ll like to say never be too people conscious; the only person you have to satisfy is yourself. Work hard to that point where you can confidently, without any iota of doubt say “I put in my best”. Let me conclude with my favourite quote “Say you can, say you can’t, whichever way, you’ll be right”. If you say you can, you will and if you say you can’t, you won’t.
TT: Thank you so much.
‘Bimbo: You are welcome.