Overcoming Academic Failure

Overcoming Academic Failure

Hi! My name is Timilehin. As a young Christian in university, I had a scheduled and structured relationship with God. I prayed to God every morning when I woke up, then moved to class and back to the hostel. I studied Economics not because I wanted to or enjoyed it but because it sounded professional. My family members studied professional courses. I wanted to study cinematography or any related course but I didn’t know you could study such courses in university.

In my 100 level, I failed most of my courses. I practically did not understand anything in Economics till my final year in school. As I began my final year, I wanted to succeed. One day in an Econometrics class, I took a seat in front to be sure I understood what the lecturer taught. I understood nothing which made me shed tears. it was then that I realised I was in for an extra year.

I opened up to my project supervisor at some point and told him how bad I had fared academically which I didn’t like. He replied, ‘You’re a Christian. If you fail, it’s your fault.’ Gboom! That statement struck me so hard. At first, I thought he was just an intelligent man who hated students who didn’t do well academically but thought better of it. I had a test in Eco 401 and the lecturer told us specific topics to study for the test. I studied hard but unfortunately couldn’t write anything. After the test was a communion service. By the time I got to the venue, the service was over. So I just walked in while having a conversation with God. I told him that the series of failure had to change. I couldn’t be a failure and I didn’t want an extra year. Someone at home would kill me if I had an extra year, because I went to a private university and you know how expensive that is.

As I had that conversation walking in, I saw a Bible verse on the wall that read, Call upon me, I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know. I got to the front, knelt down and told God everything that came to mind. I remember saying, “God, I’ve been failing my courses since 100 level. Why didn’t I have anyone to guide, help or even tell me that there are courses in the Arts in which I could do better?” When I was done with the prayer, I felt that was not the best way to talk to God. On my way out, I saw another Bible verse that read, “The Lord your God in the midst of thee is mighty, He will save.” At the time, I felt it was late. 400 level? How would God save me?

Having encountered those Bible verses, every night between 12 and 1, I would take a walk, talking to God. I would tell God how I spent my day, what the lecturer taught and the areas I didn’t understand but as I studied afterwards, he helped me to understand. After my conversations with God, I would study till like 5 or 6 in the morning. Gradually, I got a better understanding of my courses.

There was a test I had in Development Economics, which the lecturer had announced that only three people did well. I was one of them. When I got into the room that same day, my roommates talked about the test without asking how mine was. A few days after, when one of them passed by the photocopy of my script which the lecturer had told them to study, he saw my name on it and asked surprisingly, “Timi, this is your script. What happened? You didn’t tell us you did so well.” I responded, “Well I’m not used to it.”

My project started and it was a 6 unit course. If you fail it, you’re doomed; there’s nothing you can do about it. I asked one of the guys in the room for help in my project so I would at least get a B. The guy told me to my face that B was very hard and it was better to manage a C. Two days to the defense of my project, I went to the lecturer’s house and he taught me a few things. I went on studying, knowing that God would help me. I still had my conversations with God and told him everything about the status of my project. The day of defense came. The first person went in to face the panel and came out crying, so also the second person. I just kept repeating God’s word, “The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty.”

It was my turn to go in. The first question was very easy – I was asked the topic of my project which I answered and other questions followed. I noticed that members of the panel were happy with me. Three days after, the result came out and I gladly went to check the result and saw I had an A, 74. I was very happy. As I walked out, someone tapped and told me that I was the best in our projects. I had an extra semester, but instead of being a failure, I was a success. I even helped some people with their project.

At the end of everything, I just realized that it was not a structured prayer that saved me but an honest expression of myself to God.

If you are going through something, even if you have taken the wrong decision from the beginning, you cannot afford to fail. If you’re in a wrong job, you must still do it perfectly with the help of God, so that even if you desire a change of department within the organisation, it will be granted because you have done well in the current department. This is the life of Christian – a victorious one.

I also want to invite you, if you have not given your life to God, to express yourself honestly to him. To be sincere, Jesus is not hard to follow. He said, “Come as you are”, and this is really true. Talk to him in your own words, in the way you understand. Trust me, God will relate with you and will truly save you.

Thank you.

PS: If you would like to meet Jesus, please click here.


Watch Timi’s video below.



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