A twenty two-year-old young woman, Zainab Abdullahi who bagged a First Class in Physics at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (UDUS) has shared some secrets of her academic success.
Ms Abdullahi was among the 113 graduates with a First Class having graduated with a 4.81 Cummulative Grade Point Average during the 2017/2018 convocation ceremony at UDUS.
She also became the university’s first female First Class graduate in Physics.
“It was just dedication and prayers. Since my UG1, I’ve worked hard towards graduating with First Class,” Abdullahi told Daily Trust.
“I read to understand, not just to pass, so I do not like cramming,” she says, adding “anytime I had free period, I did not waste it. I read, if not in class, then in the library, or in group discussion.”
Her story of coming off best didn’t start at the University. She was overall best at the University Primary School where she did her basic education, and in her final year at the University Model Secondary School Sokoto, she was also overall best in NECO.
It was not surprising that all stages of her formal education were within the university community because her father, Mallam Abdullahi Muhammad, is a lecturer at the institution.
Her initial dream of studying medicine was futile due to poor grades but she eventually settled for physics, among available options.
She recalled that in secondary school, Physics was her favourite among the science subjects. “I just didn’t realize that I could go for it in my higher studies; it was God that showed me the way.”
Zainab said despite pressure from many to discourage her from studying Physics, she was resolute.
She added that despite not living on campus, she ensured that she never missed lectures aside engaging in extensive readings while avoiding distractions.
She added that if the lectures or materials were not comprehensive enough, she does her own research on such topics on the internet, consults her seniors and lecturers, or uses her textbooks to understand it better.
“If I want to cover a particular topic while in school, I made sure I did. Whenever I sat with my friends, it is just to read, I do not have time to gist.”
She expressed gratitude to her family for the support and enabling environment to concentrate on her studies.
Regarding her plans for the future, Abdullahi who got married in January intends joining the teaching profession at the higher education level as she hoped to start postgraduate studies soon.
“I want to remove fear in students about Physics, and I also want to contribute my quota towards imparting knowledge of Physics.”
“Physics is not difficult; from the lowest to the highest level, all you need is just to have the interest. The insinuation that Physics is difficult is wrong. Physics needs constant research,” she advised.