Journeying Through The Higher Institution: The Attractions And The Distractions 

By Oluwatomisin Kayode
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Oluwatomisin Kayode

The first time I went to my faculty after I gained admission into Lagos State University, Ojo, was with my childhood friend, who took me on a tour within the faculty. There were few places that caught my attention and one of it was the Theatre Arts Auditorium, where music performance was being staged and there was also a musical event in another hall. However, it was not just students performing, I also heard hunters' tones. I was thrilled. There were also big trees that served as shields that housed groups of students that were rehearsing for theatre production. Later in the week, I had the opportunity to watch a stage play titled "Efunsetan Aniwura". It was exhilarating! All of these excited me and I felt like "yes, I am in a higher institution indeed" and I assured myself that I would make certain that I engage myself in the courses that birth these performances, although I was to study English Language. I do not know what you make out of that story, but that, was an attraction. Attraction is a feeling, an event, location, or something that has a tendency to draw one's interest. The attraction I felt towards this fun, but tasking and educating course made me realise that there is so much to learn from being in the university and I was ready to immerse myself in it. This attraction was a social connection that created some sense of belonging to a particular community for me.

Moving on, I found another unique attraction in my journey, "Personal growth". Getting into university, I was going to be intentional about growing. One of the major things that aided my growth was finding my circle of friends. Oh my "gosh"! God gave them to me. My friends were my back bones in almost all facets of life, especially academics. They were my most accountable study partners. And, of course, they simply made the journey more enjoyable, by providing opportunities for socializing and fun. I must say that friends are definitely an important part of the higher education experience. They were a huge attraction to me. Similarly, I found growth in another aspect which was immense. It was an attraction that I found towards the end of my journey in the higher institution. I found a new and developed "sense of self" during my time in university.

Beyond the physical attraction, I found abstract attraction in my journey through the higher institution. Some of which were some of the interesting courses that gave room to iIntellectual stimulation, which were in the form of engaging classes, conversations with professors and peers that served as opportunities for critical thinking.

Generally, interesting courses can help students to explore new ideas, gain new perspectives, and develop new skills. In some cases, these courses could even lead to new career paths or professional opportunities. Similarly, some of these courses created a sense of purpose, as students often work towards academic and professional goals.

In contrast, there were some distractions in my journey through the higher institution which differ in many people. It is usually based on what is capable of distracting you. However, these distractions were quite relatable. One of the things that distracted me was extracurricular activities. These included social events, which were fun and enriching but also took time and energy that could be spent on academics. For me, the extracurricular activities that distracted me were football especially, and other parties that were within the school premises.

Also, mental health is a major distraction as there were too many things that could affect the mental wellness or wellbeing of a student. Some of which are anxiety and worry about academic performance, deadlines and exam, depression, lack of money etcetera. The academic pressure, social demands, and transitional challenges can take a toll on mental wellbeing, impacting focus, motivation, and overall success.

In conclusion, once it tickles your fancy, it is an attraction. However, the moment, it takes you away from your purpose, it becomes a distraction. Some attractions will remain attractions, while some will become distractions. Although, this writer is not certain about distractions becoming attractions, nonetheless, there is need to balance academic and personal life, including time management and prioritisation. In essence, pay attention to what attracts and distracts you.

(c) 2024 Oluwatomisin Kayode writes from Lagos, Nigeria.

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