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How extracurricular activities widened my horizon – UDUS graduate

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In 2016, when Bashir Turawa was offered admission to study Literature-in-English at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, he was among the disciples of the philosophy that everything cannot be learned within the four walls of the classroom.

He made up his mind to study beyond what he would be taught in the lecture halls. Though equipped with this conviction, he was still confused as to what exactly he would venture into.

After a rigorous exercise to marshal his thoughts, Turawa decided to engage in campus journalism. But he was also afraid that his new endeavor would conflict with his academic activities.

Not long after, he got used to both and created a balance that would enable him to excel as one of the brilliant Literature-in-English students among his cohorts.

Turawa is proud of graduating with second class (upper division), the highest grade ever achieved by graduates from the Department of Modern European Languages and Linguistics (MELL) in the university. And nobody, not even those who had come to the university to obtain their certificate only, had graduated with higher results.

Also in 2018, he bagged the award of the Outstanding Digest Journalist of the Year and subsequently, just at the peak of his graduation, won the award for the Most Outstanding Editor after serving as the editor-in-chief of the News Digest Press, a campus press outlet of which he had been a member since 2016.

How he did it, he said, was just knowing the right thing to do at the right time.

“It was difficult at first. [Sometimes] I had to make a lot of changes to my studying schedule to give room for other activities,” he said.

Just like Turawa, his colleague from the same department, Taoheed Adegbite, joined campus journalism the same year.

Now a graduate and advocate, Adegbite would always give thanks to campus journalism, an extracurricular activity he had dedicated time to while in school.

His involvement in campus journalism got him an opportunity in advocacy that did not only earn him an income as a student but also gave him sustainability even after graduation. But before he achieved this feat, he reminisced, the experience was just like that of processed gold.

“There were times I sacrificed class or reading for workshops and advocacy outreach,” he said. But there were also times he would read overnight to cover up anything he might have missed.

“When you learn the art, you corroborate it with the act. And many of us got these values and skills through the act. That’s the value extracurricular activities gave us.

“I graduated from the MELL department with a second class upper division in Literature-in-English. It was never easy. But we sailed through because we so much believed that academic and extracurricular activities are important,” Adegbite said.

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Shereefdeen Sawe
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