My Academic Growth Journey and What I Stumbled On.

My first-semester exam in my third year at the University was an eye-opening experience for me and this was because I was able to stretch myself beyond my usual lackadaisical limit concerning my studies.

I was part of the students who tended to save their ego by reeling out the inadequacy of the school facilities and its modus operandi as the reason for students’ bad grades. 

I know what might be running through your mind right now, you might think this writer must be a student with a very bad grade. 

Well, it will be surprising for you to know that I was in first class in my first year (3.50), and dropped to second class upper in my second year (3.48), so I could arguably say I am not a bad student.

But this is what I realize, though this grade is somehow okay (not even somehow), I still have a feeling that this was not my standard in my second year. I knew deep down if I had done better I should be on a stronger GP and it suddenly worried me.

On a good day, I would struggle for an A and not be disturbed if I landed on a B ( sometimes I would be happy that I landed on a B. I will be like “B is not a bad score, it wouldn’t hurt my GP that much”, in fact, most job requirement rate both ( first class and second class upper) almost the same”.

But this time around, there was something different when I received my second-year result, I felt a little bit disappointed in “myself”( not the “result”). This was because I realized that I had decided to settle for mediocrity and not strive to my fullest capability.

academic growth

If I had done my best and received the same result, it would have been different, but I knew deep down that I hadn’t stretched my capability. 


6 Financial Insights from 2023 Reads That You Will Benefit From

What Young Adults Should Know Before Learning an Online Skill.


Do you know the most abused quote of students? “Do your best and leave the rest”. This is because the word “best” is subjective in that sentence, for some students, their best is B, while for others it is A or C. What is then the objective definition of best?

Later on, I found out that my “best” should be stretching my capability, impressing myself, and testing myself, to become the best version that I could be”. About my result, I knew this was not my best and I decided to take a bold step to strive for greatness. 

 As the popular saying goes “Greatness is breaking imaginary boundaries that hold you captive in a life that you believe you settled for “

These four steps are what I stumbled on in a bid to have a positive mindset and take a different action toward my studies. (Take note, these steps can be applied to any areas of your life that need improvement also.)

The word “stumbled” was used in the previous paragraph because it was unplanned and it helped me during this semester, “mindest” ( your increase in utility rests so much on your thought), action (it is not enough to desire, actionable steps have to be taken).

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

“If it was easy, everyone would have the best “result”, it’s challenging, and that is why only few, make it to the finish line.”

1.Don’t deliberate so much on planning

Often, people spend too much time perfecting the planning stage and delay taking action, missing out on opportunities and learning that come from actually doing things

Back in 2019, when I wanted to create my first blog, I spent weeks deliberating on finding a suitable domain name to move it from its Blogspot domain to a custom one. I tried combining initials, words, slang, and various options in pursuit of the perfect name.

The amusing part was that despite finally arriving at what I thought was the ‘perfect name,’ it had already been purchased back in 2002 (lol). Eventually, my boss randomly suggested a name that was available, and we went with it.

Initially, I didn’t like the name because it lacked an attractive or ‘Gen-Z’ vibe. Surprisingly, that same blog later achieved 60,000 page views per month.

What I failed to realize was that the blog’s success didn’t hinge on a cute name or the blog’s aesthetics but rather on its content.

People often waste a lot of time constructing the perfect plan when aiming for a goal rather than focusing more on taking action.

During this semester, I spent less time planning how to earn more ‘A’s than ever before and instead focused on actions that were vibrationally compatible with achieving better grades—such as studying more, asking questions, actively participating in group assignments, taking on a leadership role for the first time, sourcing more materials, etc.

I used the term ‘vibration’ because I believe strongly in the law of vibration, which I prefer to call the ‘law of vibes’ (it sounds more Gen Z that way).

It suggests that ‘changing the way you think, feel, speak, and act will begin to change your world.’ So, I started implementing this philosophy and avoided wasting precious time constructing an ‘academic comeback’ plan.

I’m not implying that planning is ineffective, but it shouldn’t consume all your time.

Here’s my approach: Plan the fundamentals, then take action. When you identify loopholes, return to the drawing board, re-plan, and take action again.

For instance, I planned to read at night to supplement my daytime reading. I dove right in without detailed planning about the suitable time or duration.

Along the way, I discovered I could only read a maximum of three hours at a stretch. I needed an hour’s break in order to continue before the day broke. Light evening meals helped with my night reading, and I realized eating while reading made me sleepy.’

Learning about my optimal study hours, the need for breaks, and the impact of eating while studying at night are valuable insights that I gained through action, not just through planning. Remember, finding the balance between planning and action is crucial.

2. Shift from Time-based Goals to Result-oriented Targets

It’s quite common for people to gauge their performance based on the time spent on a task. While this approach holds merit, I propose a different perspective—one that emphasizes focusing on what can be achieved.

Instead of saying, “I’ll study for five hours,” consider shifting to specific goals like, “I aim to cover 2 topics on Anatomy and Biology.”

Our bodies tend to adapt to our set timing sequences. For instance, if you establish a study target from 12 to 3, your body might signal a need to rest as it’s been conditioned to consider 3:00 as its point of exhaustion.

This routine might not always align with the actual progress on your task.

Consequently, this creates a false belief that you’ve given your best effort. It’s why students often emphasize the number of hours they’ve studied for a course rather than the depth of understanding they’ve gained when asked about their preparation for a project or assignment.

Frankly, the goals you aim to accomplish don’t hinge solely on the hours invested but on the results achieved. If someone studied for 7 hours and earned an A, another person might study for 5 hours and achieve the same grade.

Alternatively, someone might dedicate 9 hours for the same outcome. What truly matters is the result, not the timing.

When you prioritize what you want to achieve over specific time frames, your focus shifts towards attaining tangible results rather than fixating on the clock. This mindset allows you to push beyond your perceived limits more easily.

3. Maintain Consistency: I find this to be the most challenging step in the process of improvement. To be honest, some nights, I would refuse to get up at the sound of the alarm (lol) and sleep till the next morning.

However, what usually gets me back on track is my deep resolve to become better, stemming from a “strong mindset.”

A day or two off is not sufficient to convince me that I have deviated from my goal of achieving more As during the semester.

Another factor that helps me remain consistent is reducing all forms of distraction to the barest minimum.

Initially, I identified the activities that distracted me during my previous exams and tests, aiming to lessen their impact this time.

As the popular saying goes, “It is unrealistic to do the same thing the same way and expect the same result.

For instance, I deleted most of the social media apps I used frequently, leaving only a single app that I don’t particularly enjoy.

I pursue my goals every day in a manner that doesn’t make it seem like I am punishing myself, which makes consistency easier.

If you have a mindset that you have to punish yourself to reach your goal, your body will want to revert back to its normal state of rest and at any moment you revert back to this rest period, you might find it hard to go back to working because you see it as a place of horror or pain.

However, if you view your work period as a necessary and vital part of your life rather than a place of horror, you’ll find it easier to stay consistent with your goals.

Even on days when you don’t perform at your best, you can return to work with less stress and anxiety days after.

It’s important to note that I mentioned stretching your capability. To stretch something, you need to gradually exert force on it until it reaches its maximum length (step by step until the body adapts to the changes)but if you are in a haste, you might tear it ( get worn out).

4. Maintain a positive mindset: Your mindset is as important as your effort in realizing your goal. I will share with you my personal guideline in maintaining a positive mindset which works for me:

i. take some time out ( look at the stars, enjoy nature, take a stroll, call friends and family etc)

ii. Find some inspiration ( novels, podcast, videos etc)

iii. Stay out of gossip and drama

iv. Eat good food ( balanced diet) and plenty of water

v. Mediatate: Have a personal silent time where you focus only on your breath, it is really refreshing, try it)

Having a positive mindset doesn’t mean you won’t feel any bad thought (despair, anxiety, confusion, etc), it means you have armed yourself with a lot of positivity that negativity doesn’t have an effect on you for a long time or dictate the flow of your action.


Embarking on a journey of personal growth and academic achievement often involves confronting one’s limitations, altering mindsets, and refining approaches.

My experience during the university’s third year was transformative, unveiling the pitfalls of settling for mediocrity and the importance of stretching capabilities.

These strategies, though applied in academics, hold significance across various aspects of life, emphasizing the value of adaptability, perseverance, and self-improvement in reaching one’s full potential.

Leave a comment