Esther caught our attention after being featured on another online interview. Her story was so inspiring, we had to speak to her!
Esther had a series of challenges while trying to gain admission into the university.
She eventually gained admission into a tertiary institution in South Africa but there was a clause, she had to go back to secondary school.
Esther graduated with a first class degree from Cape Peninsula University of Technology and she has sat down to tell us about her journey.
This story will teach you to not give up or turn back because of setbacks. We thought it was the perfect way to begin the year!
‘If you are building a house and your nail breaks, will you stop building or just change the nail?‘ – African Proverb.
• Hi, Esther. It’s such an honour to be interviewing you. Thank you for choosing to grant us this interview.
First, let me tell you that your story is one inspiring one, I mean, look at you today! For those who don’t know you, please tell us about you briefly. (where you’re from, position in family, brief academic background, story before graduating)
My name is Adesokan Esther. I was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria. I am from a family of 6 and I am the lastborn. I finished my high school education in Nigeria in 2010 but I had challenges gaining admission to higher institutions. I decided to travel to South Africa to complete my education. On getting there I was made to repeat high school if I was going to proceed to a higher institution. I decided to start from grade 11 (ss2). Upon completion, I gained admission to study ND: Human Resources Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology where I recently graduated with CumLaude.
• What was your motivation through all of this? For some other people, they would have given up on school and gone to look for another means of being successful. Why education?
Giving up to me means missing out on success and it’s definitely not worth it. Education is very important and the main point of going to university is to better my prospects and future.
• Through the cycles of disappointment, what/who kept encouraging you?
My mother was and still my great source of encouragement. She was really helpful.
• How did you cope with having to go through high school again? Were you constantly asked questions or stared at?
I was laughed at when I first put on the school uniform but I did not let that bother me because I knew it was just temporary and a ladder to reach my goal.
• Then you had been away from high school for years, so how were you able to get back on track? because things must have been different.
Things were really different I must say but I’m grateful to the other learners and teachers at the school for being so helpful. I made new friends who were willing to help. I was able to get back on track in the subjects except in mathematics because it was totally different and because I don’t know the basics, it was difficult for me.
• How did you feel when you finally got the admission?
I was very happy when I got accepted to study at varsity. It was like a dream come true after all those years.
• Then alas, you graduated with a first class! Congratulations again. Things like that don’t happen overnight, how did you do it?
It’s all about being hardworking , focused and determined. Putting extra efforts and constantly reminding myself of what I want to achieve at the end.
• Was it a goal you had long before your graduation?
From the first day I set my foot up on that campus, I knew I had to come out in flying colors because I really had a struggle gaining admission.
• Was there any major push for the goal? What was your motivation?
My motivation was my mother. Doing well at school and making her proud was what kept motivating me because she spent her time, energy and money for me to gain admission in Nigeria but it wasn’t possible.
• Did you have discouraging periods during your study? And how did you cope with them?
Periods where you think you cannot cope are common in varsity. Yes, there were are times I felt discouraged because some modules were difficult and some lecturers didn’t make me feel comfortable to talk to them about my struggles. I just had to find a way to get them done myself and do them to the best of my ability and pray they came out good. During times like that, one can only put in more effort and pray. Going back to high school is not a big deal, it’s just a matter of time. Look at the ultimate goal you want to achieve, that should be your determination. Remember, Perseverance is key to success. It’s never too late to work on yourself, hard work and discipline will pay off.
• What would you like students reading this to know about attaining academic excellence?
Attaining academic excellence is not easy but it’s worth it. It requires developing a time management system in place, know your academic goals, discipline and take responsibility for yourself.
• After all, do you think all the stress was worth it?
Yes the stress was worth it. There’s nothing that’s not achievable if you put your mind in it. I went to university with the impression that it would prepare me for my career and it actually did.
• So, what’s going on with you now?
At the moment, I am praying to find a good job but to never stop learning
• Last question, tell us your best and worst experiences in school.
My best experience was when I got trained to become a peer tutor .
My worst experience was when some students in my class had issues with me for being the class representative because I was not a local student.
• We sincerely wish you the best in life!
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