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‘Everyone Who Attended The Tutorial I Paid For Passed, But I Failed’ student who was in school for 12 years

CURSORY: Deborah Etim who spent 12 years in school shares lengthy inspirational story of her journey in school, her struggles, persistence and her Success.

The lady Deborah Etim Antia who recently graduated from the University of Iyo (UNIUYO) after twelve years of studies, made a lengthy post, talking about her journey through school.

Deborah was admitted into UNIUYO in 2011 in the department of biochemistry, but right from her first year in the university, she had always had poor grades.

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She also carried multiple courses over, and some of them she never got to pass, like statistics. According to her, she had issues with courses that end with ‘ics’ like mathematics, physics, statistics etc because she usually failed those courses.

After Spending 4 years in the department of biochemistry, with an extra two years to rewrite her failed courses and those she never got to register for, she decided to make a decision that eventually benefited her.

The lady said she wrote jamb again into English department (art course) from the initial science department she was in, but that wasn’t all. Because her initial course was a science course she had to wait an year to write another waec exam which contained art courses.

She eventually got admission to study English Education with a jamb score of 254, her grades improved and she graduated with a CGPA of 4.5, second-class upper.

She advised students to never give up hope, because according to her ‘there is a chance at success of you don’t succumb to failure.’ She also advised parents to never force their children to study a course they are not interested in.

She finished from biochemistry department with a CGPA of 1.4 and from English Education with a CGPA of 4.5.

Read her inspiring story below:


❗❗❗A really long post alert❗❗❗

Well, this isn’t exactly the story of how my CGPA skyrocketed from 1.4 to 4.1 😁 True, there was a 1.4 and there is a 4.1.

So here goes the story…

In 2011, I gained admission to study chemistry at the University of Uyo after two failed attempts to get Medicine and Surgery.

In the first semester of year 1, I failed MTH 111 and BIO 111. Those familiar with the Science Faculty at that time can attest that both MTH 111 and BIO 111 were 4 credit unit courses each, totaling 8 credit units. Imagine failing 8 credit units with some E’s and D’s. At least I got a B in GST 111 (use of English).

Again, in the second semester of year 1, I failed MTH 121 and BIO 121. Another 8 credit units down.😄

Year 2, first semester: I passed BIO 111,😄 failed MTH 211, and failed MTH 111 again (Glory!!!)😄 I also failed one statistics course like that😄.

Year 2, second semester: I passed BIO 121 (Hallelujah!), passed MTH 121( Hallelujah!), failed PHY 221 (Glory!), with C’s, D’s, and E’s dancing around my results 🙄. With the way E’s,F’s,and C’s were trailing me ehn, I almost thought the EFCC were after my life.

Year 3, first semester: I Passed MTH 211 (Hallelujah!), failed MTH 111 again! (What was this course even feeling like??? mtcheww😂), I failed that statistics course again (this one was beginning to feel proud🙄), failed CHM 316 (Organicic chemistry), got a B in French (It was an elective course I should have taken in year 2), got C’s,D’s and E’s as usual. 😄

I think I had a thing for those courses that end with “-ics”—Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, and Organic Chemistry—because what was all the breakfast I was being served???🤣

Year 3, second semester: Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme(SIWES). I rested for 6 months. Oh my, I was looking fresh!!!

Year 4, first semester: I don’t think I can say that I was in my final year because I didn’t offer any fourth-year courses; instead, I was offering all the year 2 and year 3 courses I either dropped or failed. I failed Stat and MTH 111 again. I passed CHM 316 with an E.

Year 4, second semester: It was the usual “EFCC”. I failed PHY 211 again.

Did I cry? Of course, I did. But I stopped crying after my third year. Was I being unserious? How could you even ask me that? I no come school to play o. I restrategized every semester. The hard classroom desks were my beds most nights. Mosquitoes in those classes were my not-very-friendly companions. I recall one night I asked the Lord to cease every operation of mosquitoes🤣🤣 and he heard my silent request. One semester, I even paid a senior colleague for extra tutorials on CHM 316 and some of my level mates joined the tutorials, and in the end, they all passed the course but I still failed. I remember one night I had a tutorial appointment with someone; it wasn’t meant to last all night, so I didn’t prepare for night class. But sadly, the person called in late, and I couldn’t go back to my hostel. I spent the night attending the unplanned night class.The pavilion at perm site convocation ground that used to be classroom blocks was where I spent my night.😭😭 That night , it rained heavily. It became extremely cold. I was helpless. I shivered with reckless abandon. I didn’t wear a sweatshirt or anything else to stay warm. I finally just surrendered to the cold. “If you like, freeze me”🤣 I slept off, and how I woke up, not frozen, was by the mercy of God. (As I typed this, memories of that night returned to me as if they had happened only yesterday).

Was it how I had 3/30 in Statistics test and still went to night class to be taught in preparation for the exams? I remember I didn’t sleep that night. The result was released, and it was F. I never passed that course 🤣


Now let me tell you about my issues with the “-ics” courses.

In class, we’ll be taught that 1+1=2, and I’ll keep that in my memory.

Then in the exam, we’ll be asked, “If 1+X = π, find the square root of X.”?

I’ll be like, “But you didn’t teach us that one nau; what you taught us was 1+1=2. I only know the logic of the classroom math; please, what is this now???😭😭😭🤣🤣🤣 Now you know my relationship with those courses. You gerrit? If you don’t gerrit, please don’t forgerabout it.

I came here to study Chemistry, remember? But who knew I would have to confront Mathematics face-to-face? I know you’d ask, “Were you not taught Mathematics in secondary school?” My Maths teacher was actually my second favourite teacher. He made Mathematics interesting and simple.


This continued until I was done with year 4. I had two spill-over years to go. I resumed the first semester of the first spill-over year with so much hope. Actually, I always resumed every semester with so much hope. But you know what amazes me? It’s how God gave me so much joy in the chaos. He gave me peace that passeth all understanding. Me sef, the peace bin pass my own understanding 😁

One day, a very good friend of mine spoke to me. The courage I gathered that day ehn, see, it must have been the Lord who spoke through my friend and who gave me that courage. That’s when I decided I was finally going to leave.

I was going to switch from Chemistry to my dream course, English Education. Calm down, I know you’re wondering how it became my dream course all of a sudden, right? Well, it wasn’t “all of a sudden”. I used to have two dreams: to be an English teacher and to be a medical doctor. But then, something happened that changed my mind about education. I wrote a post about it. Kindly check the comments for the link.


Let’s go back to the story: That day, I made up my mind to go after my dream. I was going to call my parents the following day, but I was nervous. How would they take it? Mind you, my parents were aware of my struggles, so I knelt down and prayed to God to touch their hearts for me. The following day, I called my mum and told her about the new development. In a low tone, she asked, “You’re going to study English Education, abi?” I answered in the affirmative. My dad granted the approval, my mum as well. I knew that decision was not easy for them, so I wasn’t planning to let them down. (God bless my parents.)

I was overjoyed. I started making findings about JAMB registration to know whether it was still open. Fortunately, it was, but at a cost of N9000 due to late registration. I didn’t have the money, and my parents didn’t have the money during that period as well. My sister Blessing Etim lent me N5000, it was the money she won from a competition (God bless you, my darling sis). My friend, Akanimo Ukim gave me N4000 (God bless you, my brother), making it a total of N9000. Priceless Patience Nkanta surfed the internet and downloaded all the materials I needed for Literature in English (God bless you, my sister from another mother). Victor George Abasiodiong bought me the JAMB past questions I needed (God bless you, Vee). Precious-Ugo Tammy followed me up in my reading. She would ask the questions from the past question papers, and I would answer them😁 (God bless you, my darling sis). I informed my exam officer, Dr. Inni Umoren about my plan to leave. He was a huge cheerleader. Thank you for your unflinching support, sir.

I was a science student in secondary school, but here I was reading Government, C.R.K, English language,and Literature in Eng.- subjects I didn’t major in while in secondary school.

I wrote the UTME and scored 195. But guess what? It later dawned on me that even if I had scored the cutoff mark, I would not have gained admission with my science O’level results. 🤣 I didn’t even think about it. I was so excited to leave Chemistry that I jumped on the available escape route without consideration consideration. 🤣 Meanwhile, I was still attending lectures to avoid arousing suspicions, but my spirit and soul had long since left Chemistry. I even wrote that semester’s exams; I didn’t stay to know the results. They were going to be the “usual EFCC” anyway.😁

I didn’t resume the second semester. I had left.😄😄 My CGPA when I left Chemistry was 1.4. Every semester, I always wondered how I escaped that probation list.🤣

I had gone to the English Education department and talked with the Head of Department at the time to find out how I would go about transferring from Chemistry to English Education. She explained that I’d need to have O’level results in art, and I’d also write UTME. I told her the reason I was leaving when she asked. She looked at me and said, “You speak well. You don’t look like a dummy to me. Welcome in advance to this department.”

I went home to begin getting ready. I began seeking for teaching positions in the meantime because I would be spending a year at home. I got my first teaching job in 2017 as a primary 1 teacher. Teaching needs patience, I kid you not. (Story for another day.)

I registered for GCE(General Certificate Of Education), took the exams, and passed all except Literature in English (I didn’t know the nitty gritty of answering questions on Literature ).

Later on, I registered for WAEC (West Africa Examination Council). I took the exams in the secondary school from which I graduated. Funnily enough, one of the male students started crushing on me, thanks to my young-looking appearance.😂 Before now, I had met an aunt who taught me all I needed to know to pass Literature. The results were released, and I passed all my papers.

I registered for JAMB(Joint Admissions Matriculation Board) and wrote the UTME again (Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination). I didn’t have a phone to check my results, so I sent my details to my friend Anietie Antia (who wasn’t my husband at the time🙂). He sent me the breakdown of my results with some words of congratulations and prayers. I scored 254. Yes, you saw that right! 254! I was so happy. My parents were thrilled. My friends were happy for me.

Finally, I gained admission to study English Education at the same university, and my journey began. My fiance (now husband), exam officer, friends, and family were all still cheering me on from wherever they were.

You see those night classes? I never enjoyed them, but na condition bin make crayfish bend.😄 So I told myself that I would never spend any night in class this time, and I didn’t.

Someone once asked, “You know you’ll read a lot of literature texts in English Education, right?” When I was in year 1, my “bunkie” used to own a lot of literature texts. Before she told me they were academic books, I used to wonder how someone could manage to read all those “novels” for fun in addition to their academic books. So, I already knew what I was signing up for.

Year 1, first semester: I hit a 4.5 GPA. No EFCC’s😄

In 2023, my undergraduate academic journey which began in 2011 finally came to a beautiful end twelve years after. Now I’m a graduate with a second class upper CGPA of 4.1. God is in the story!

I have skipped stories of people who, in the past, mocked me and looked down on me.

During this second academic journey, God used my story to encourage others who were discouraged to keep going

Truly, the plans God has for His children are of good and not of evil to give them an expected end.

This is one of the bible verses that kept me going. 👇

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…” (2.Cor.12:9)

🔹 Parents, please refrain from pressuring your children to study a course they are not interested in. Even while some children excel in that area, they won’t feel fulfilled. Some will perform horribly and won’t even tell you because they are afraid.

Please guide and support them rather than imposing your will on them.

I know people who switched from their original courses of study to their dream courses of study and are now successful in their dream careers.

🔹Students, if where you are is where you actually want to be, but you’re struggling, ask for help, restrategise. Failures in your exams do not mean you’re a failure. Get back up, and try again.

Blessing Akpan once wrote, “No matter how many times you fall, pick yourself up and try again. There’s a chance at success if you do not succumb to failure. You’re capable of so much more”

I know people who didn’t do well initially but became better later.

I know people who left their courses of study because they were not doing well, only to return to that department to start over, and they did well.

I’ve read accounts of people who committed because of academic issues. This should not be your case.

And don’t forget that examination malpractice is not the way out, though it may look like an easy way to escape.

Back then, I would attend those carryover courses with like I owned the courses. I made sure I didn’t miss any of those classes. I would take the front-row seat . I think I was more serious than the real owners of the courses 🤣

PS: My parents have never forced any career path on me or my siblings. They advised us when it was needed and supported our choices. They supported my choice before. They did it again with their full chests. When I say God gave me the best parents, I am not capping.

Thank you for reading to the end.🙂

READ ALSO: Lady Graduates From University With First Class And Two Other Honours



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