Connection not just good grades

Good grades are important as they are symbols of success but there is something more important; “connection”. As a relative term, connection can be seen on different lens by different people and on varying aspects of life. For instance, we can have a social connection, which has a close correlation with academic achievement, personal development, and overall well-being. It is not just about having good friends; it is about having meaningful relationships with teachers, mentors, and peers.

Connection is not just about making friends but also building bridges to learning, growth and success. Connection is the key to a thriving educational experience. In other words, connection is an influential instrument that not only unlocks students’ potential but also polishes that psychometric ability. In essence, connection is more than just a nice-to-have gift; it is a necessity.

Of course, good grades are of high significance. However, there are some factors that contribute to success after graduation. Recent research conducted on this subject has shown that students who solely depend on good grades or overall good academic performance often find it difficult to actualise their targets either during school or after graduation precisely in the competitive labour market.

In pedagogical discourse, for instance, we have brilliant students who are skillful beyond classroom setting. These skills include things like problem-solving, self-awareness, empathy and the like. These skills are not measured on report cards or CGPA; they are crucial to success in the real world. In fact, some experts argue that the identified skills are even more important than traditional academic skills such as  competence in solving mathematical problems or  proficiency in reading and writing skills.

Another striking benefit of social connections is  learning by imitation. By extension, it is the opportunity to learn from others who have already succeeded in a particular area of discipline. For example, law students who have mentors or role models in the legal profession are more likely to succeed than their opposite version whose concern is to read and get colourful grades. Actually, mentors are good in providing guidance and counselling, and also help students build a network of contacts, an admiring achievement in the future. In other words, a strong social network can give students a leg-up in the legal field.

The Nigeria students should note that  to rely solely on having good grades can be a recipe for failure in today’s Nigeria. In contemporary Nigeria where there is high rate of unemployment opportunities, students need to think outside the box to find a bridge that could take them to success. There is need to build connections, find mentors, and develop skills and knowledge that could make one stand on their on two feet. Grades are only one part of the equation – the rest belongs to the student’s creativity, drive, and ambition.

Most of the highly influenced figures in Nigeria had passed through the connection privileges. For instance, there are a quite number of politicians who have not had colourful grades but they have found success as a result of connection. Former President Muhammadu Buhari did not graduate from the university but he was opportune to rule the country, first as a military leader and later, a democratically elected leader. Another instance is former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a successful politician and statesman, among others.

In legal sphere, we also have many prolific lawyers in Nigeria who did not have stellar grades but have found success in their career. For instance, Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, did not do well in his law school but has become a leading figure in the legal profession. Another example is Mike Ozekhome who did not have the best grades but has built a sound reputation as one of the famous lawyers in Nigeria.

The aforementioned references demonstrate the power of connection over good grades. The journeys of these renowned people show that connections and resilience are important. It is also worth noting that the legal profession in Nigeria seems to be open, not only to people who have stellar academic records but also work hard and built strong networks. To all law students, note that, the legal profession is more focused on the quality of the individual than just grades.

Another practical experience we need to look at is that there are many people with high grades who are struggling to find jobs, while others with lower grades have found success simply through building connections and networks. It is important for students to understand that life is not always fair, and that hard work and determination are often more important than grades alone. Building connections and being resilient in the face of adversity are the keys for success in any field, especially in Nigeria.

Remember to stay resilient and determined, no matter what challenges you face. The journey to success is often complicated; long and difficult, but with hard work and right connections, one can achieve their goals and make a difference in the world.

Abdulmunafi A. Bukar,

Zaria, Kaduna state 


[email protected]