Lagos, Nigeria

First-class: What’s so special about it?

First-class: What’s so special about it?

On matriculating into the university, I had heard like drums being beaten daily of the need to focus and graduate with the best class of degree being offered. With a resolute mind throughout ones academic years, I decided to enjoy the journey with a resolution: obtain the best degree and graduate without an extra year.

In my senior year, I observed the jests being thrown by some individuals (staff, students, family and friends alike), written in books and articles about the students who maintained the best academic results. The most common being:

Academic excellence is overrated. Being top of your class does not necessarily guarantee that you will be at the top of life.

Many a time, I felt this statement only suited the other students….leaving one wondering: what then guaranteed a safe transition into a first class life.

Our lives have been shaped by what we’ve learned to get pleasure from and we’ve learned will create pain. Anthony Robbins (Awaken The Giant Within).

This ultimately determines our behaviors as students and the behavioral changes observed as graduates. The distinctive feature of the first class student from other students is his/her belief system, which is the guiding factor of what he/she links to pleasure and to pain.

The A-class student, as opposed to other students, has learned to link greater pleasure (not pain) to habitual learning, making the necessary sacrifices to obtain and maintain their academic standing for various perceived reasons.

The other student attaches greater pleasure to spending a surplus amount of time on social media and other frivolities, with much pain (lesser pleasure) attached to academic works and developing lifelong learning habits due to their belief system.

Avoiding the pain of deprivation, be it sleep, food and any “pleasurable” habit….is a common characteristic of the other students.

On graduating, only some of the A-class students realize the importance of defining their life objectives in line with new/modified links to the 2 Ps (Pain and Pleasure). With the 2 Ps & growth consciousness absent and only mere interests/aspirations & goal consciousness present, anything goes for them.

If we fail to direct our associations to pain and pleasure, we’re living no better than animals and machines, being subjects to life and our environment. Anthony Robbins (Awaken The Giant Within).

These definitions of pain and pleasure if not set right, would cause negative alterations of the quality of life gotten by the A-class graduate…..who might transition into a lifestyle commonly resented by others and themselves.

Eventually, if the other graduates learn to condition their minds, bodies, and emotions linking pain or pleasure to the right choices, their behaviors and quality of life instantly change…into one appreciated and venerated in the society. Then the jest continues…

Therefore, as lifelong learners which we should all be. We should know that it is pertinent that we be conscious on a daily basis, of our links to the 2 Ps (the psychic negotiations of our minds), our belief systems and aim them appropriately with a growth conscious mentality.

We can achieve excellence at every stage of our lives.

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I'm Deola Williams