I am a daughter of two academics and growing up was very interesting for me; largely because I was always celebrated. At the end of every term, I would bag all the certificates and awards in my class- because I was “intelligent”; of course I had always looked forward to presenting my certificates and report card to my proud academic parents.

I always heard my current teacher say to my next teacher “ watch out for Carita, she’s very intelligent”. My intelligence was assessed using my grades. I had all As every term and every year.

Unfortunately, being an all A pupil and student gave me a some what lackadaisical approach towards my college education. Because I was tagged intelligent throughout my early years, primary and secondary education, I thought it was second nature and therefore failed five of my first year courses.

This came to me as a shock. At college level, giving your lecturer back what he taught you verbatim was unacceptable! My intelligence was challenged, for once.

I had to learn and understand what was expected of me as a college student and gained back my status as an intelligent girl. Yes to me, being intelligent was a status and anything short of that was unacceptable by me.

In Nigeria where I live, having good grades and emerging with high classes of degrees gives you the automatic admiration of the society and therefore you are respected. I was admired and respected.

My experience in my first year of college made me become a better learner. I now know first understand what is expected of me before embarking on tasks, I no longer assume that works in one situation works for other situations. Everything I do now is done and approached contextually. I think I am a learner, giving these premises.

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