3 Chapter 2: Third Class Materials
Everyone who has ever passed through school knows that
academic examination is not a true test of one's entire
potential ability; it only favours those with great Eacademic strength. If academic is not one of your very strong points, you really should have prepared your mind afore-hand
for what to expect from the finals of your examination in school.
There is no problem believing God that a miracle which will
shoot up your G.P from where it used to be to the desired height
will happen after the final year examinations. However, if the
miracle does not happen as you desire it, you need not break your
neck mourning. Accept it in good faith.
At this juncture of your life, what you need to do is to sit down
and redefine your definition of success. What does it mean to be
Succeeding in school is not the same as succeeding in life;
likewise, failing out of school does not necessarily mean you
have failed in life. A pass mark in school does not guarantee a
pass mark in life, and a failure in the first does not also guarantee
a failure in the other. You may have passed out with a third-class
result now, but this does not make you a third-class material for
Every student is a first-class material, only that the field in which
they excel differs. Those who excel in academic work are easily
noticed and awarded first-class earlier than others. But this is not
to say others cannot excel in other fields.
You also can excel as a first-class material in some other fields
other than academic. So, do not let anyone write you off as a
useless third-class material. You carry some value. You have
some worth. You are important. You have in you what will make
other first-class materials in the academic field bow down for
your ingenuity. God has ensured that, and it is left to you to
Today in your school, those who have first-class in academic
works are being celebrated. But time will tell. In not many days
from now, if you do what is expected of you, you also will be
celebrated as a first-class material. It though may not be in the
academic field, it may be in the entertainment, medical,
pharmaceutical, production, sport, power, politics, or any other
sector. When the time comes, those who look down on you today
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for graduating with a third-class will bless God for your life, and
will be proud to identify with you.
This is the sincere truth, making a first-class in school is quite
different from making a first-class in life. The former is easier
than the latter. All it takes to get a first-class in school is being
smart enough to reproduce verbatim in the exam hall what your
lecturers told you in the lecture hall.
However, making a first-class in life requires much more. It
takes more discipline, dedication, diligence, commitment, focus
and lots more to make a first-class in the real examination of life.
This is why many who graduated with third-class in school
always cross over the boundary to make first-class in life before
their death and very few of those who graduated with first-class
from the higher institutions really have something significant to
offer their generation at the end of their life. They believe they
can always have it as easy as they had it in school. What a
For you, all hope is not lost. You have the chance to prove the
school system wrong. So many others before you have proven
them wrong; therefore yours will not be the first. God has not
given any lecturer or school authority the divine mandate to
eternally place a never-do-well emblem or third-class badge on
anybody. Your destiny is not in their hands; it is in your hands,
and it is not a third-class destiny.
No man should be allowed to determine your eternal relevance in
the world just by a two-hour written or oral examination. You
may not do well in the school's examination but you can still do
well in God's final examination at the close of age - and that is all
Your value is in what God thinks of you and not what someone
else thinks of you. Do not allow any lecturer to relegate you,
disregard your talents, and downgrade your gifting just by a
stroke of his red pen. You have a better destiny in life. You have a
greater purpose for which the creator sent you to the world, and
no man can hinder you from fulfilling that. Christ's red blood
speaks better things than your lecturer's red pen, no matter how
Whatever loss you have experienced academically you can gain
somewhere else. The problem is how to discover where. Once
you can discover where, the story of your life will change for the
better in no time.
EVERY DISAPPOINTMENT IS A BLESSING
Everyone is born naked, but no one is born empty. Understand
your worth in the eyes of God. You are precious. You are not a
failure. You have an intrinsic worth. You are worth far more than
your lecturers and examiners think you do. They have not yet
discovered the complete you; they only saw a little aspect of
your being - the academic side, and they rushed into conclusion
that you are not fit to be called a first class material. It is now left
to you to discover that area of your life which they have failed to
see. If only you can see yourself in the light of God's perspective,
this will be a very easy task for you.
You have some unique qualities, latent abilities, undiscovered
potentials and buried talents which your academic pursuit has
made you unconsciously shut your eyes to before now. Who
knows, maybe it is for the sole purpose of this all-important
discovery that God had allowed your efforts in the study room to
yield such a low academic heat on the examination result board,
so as to make you focus on what He desires for your life without
any distraction of looking for a job with your first class
If you had done wonderfully well, or at least done better than a
third-class, you really may not have picked up this book from the
bookshelf in the bookshop! You will be more concerned about
looking for a first class job in a first class company that pays a
first class salary which befits a first class student like you
because you have a first class degree, and may never get to fulfil
the first class destiny that God intends that you will be!
It does not matter how many times you have failed, academic or
otherwise, God's plan and destiny for you never changes. No
matter where you are in your journey in life. He can help you
become what you are destined to be.
You can be all that you want to be, with or without a first-class.
The possession of it may be a plus, but if God is on your side, the
absence of it is not a minus. Let this be registered in your
subconscious mind, irrespective of your academic result, you are
part of the solution to the challenges of today's world. This is
hard to believe because of the prevalence circumstance, but it is
the sincere truth.
Do not settle for less. At a first thought, not having a first-class
degree may look like an impediment to your success in life or a
clog in the wheel of your progress; but a second glance will make
you believe more in the saying that, 'every disappointment is a
blessing', depending on what angle you view it from.
We often perceive obstacles on our journey in life as blockades,
trying as much as we can to avoid them, rather than working our
way over and around them. Most times, we concentrate too much
on the obstacle that we end up missing out what God has for us on
the other side of the road.
This brings to mind the popular saying that "when God closes a
window somewhere, he opens a door somewhere else not too far
from the closed window, but most people keep groping around
the closed window that they never get to see the opened door".
You have stared too long at the closed window; look around for
the open door. There could be a hidden blessing in this
disappointment, search it out. Do not just see the thorns among
the roses; look for the roses among the thorns. This will help you
to turn every stumbling block into stepping stones.
BUILD UP YOUR CONFIDENCE
First things first; get your mind off the certificate in your hand. It
will not help you much except there is either a miracle, or your
parents are highly connected.
What you need now is to concentrate more on where you go from
here with or without this certificate, and not where you are now
because of it, or where you have been with it without any
success. Release yourself from the hold of the past, move out of
it and focus more on the future.
No doubt, the incident of the past few months that you saw your
final year results would have eroded your confidence in
yourself. This is normal, but you no longer should allow it any
more. This is because your level of confidence in your ability
will determine where you go from here.
Build up your confidence to face the future in order to get the
best from it. The fear of the future and the fear of failure will
hinder you from taking calculated risks in order to achieve better
things, and this will negatively affect you seriously.
It is a natural thing to start worrying about the future at a time
like this, but this will in no way help matters. In fact, you will
find others in your shoes doing a great deal of worrying and you
will feel very odd and out-of-place not participating in it. It will
sound as though you are nonchalant and irresponsible if you do
not worry in a situation like this. But the truth is that the deed has
been done and worrying will be the last action to proffer a way
Do not give in to what others in your shoes will naturally do. You
may be tempted to, but resist it. Do not worry unnecessarily. Do
not resign to fate. If you can stay calm while there is chaos all
around you, then you probably stand a better chance of taking
charge and you will have complete control of the situation.
Rather than invest your time sitting idly and worrying about
what the future holds for someone like you, sit tight and take
your future in your hands, creating what you want out of it.
You no longer can fully depend on the society to help you. Those
who had better qualifications have not even been helped yet.
Numerous Second-class-upper (2:1) graduates are still outside
there, combing the streets for the ideal job and they are yet to find
one. So you will be the last person the society is thinking about. If
your future must be bright, you will need to do the painting by
yourself for yourself.
The society has little or nothing good to offer you that will be of
benefit to your destiny. Whatever they offer you, they will take
back from you in some other forms. Nothing goes for nothing!
It is bad enough that you have made this mistake in time past.
You have relied on the academic community to treat you with
leniency and give you the result you desired. However, the
society has failed you by giving you only what you deserve.
The school disappointed you. Your lecturers frustrated you. The
examiners saddened you. The invigilators upset you. Your
classmates neglected you to your fate. Everybody was hard and
harsh on you. Nobody gave you the chance to prove that you
could do better.
This is what is obtainable everywhere. It will be more disastrous
to fall into the same error again. This time, you may never
recover from it for life! Remember, "only fools repeat mistakes;
the wise learns from it".
Please, behave wisely. "Once beaten twice shy". This is the time
to take your future in your hands and twist it whichever way you
want. You may have been labelled a failure by everyone around
you. However, you are not yet what they call you until you admit
it. If you resign to fate and accept whatever little the world has to
offer you, you have already admitted you are a failure.
FORGET THE PAST
What has happened is nothing compared to what can still
happen. The past is too insignificant to affect the future
significantly. What matters is not what has gone behind but what
lies ahead. If you must make progress, you must shut the door on
what is behind and look ahead with anticipation and hope for the
things the future holds.
This is fundamental; you will need to forget the past and
everything that is tied to it if you must move forward. If you do
not release yourself from the grip of the past, you will
continually live in it.
Only single-minded concentration on the future is essential in
running the race of life. God did not design man to always look
backwards in life; that is why He did not put any eye at the back
of our heads. He placed our two eyes in front so that man can
always look forward in order to go forward. No driver makes
continuous progress looking at the side mirror or the center
mirror which only view his rear. Every driver looks forward to
move forward; He only looks backward to move backward
So also everyone who wants to make progress must continually
look forward to go forward in life. If you continually look
backward at your third class degree, you will only end up
moving backward. This is why you have to let go off the past
Letting go of the past may not always be an instant thing for
everyone. For some, it could be a step-by-step process through
which the mind is renewed. Whichever is yours, it is possible to
shut it behind you and continue with life. Learn all you need
from it, break out of its mould and move into the future God has
prepared for you.
There are four things you will need to consciously forget about
the past. They are:
1) PAST ERRORS
Everybody makes mistakes; Presidents, First Ladies,
Governors, Pastors, Politicians, Senators, Doctors, Engineers,
Lawyers, Judges, CEO's, even the best of the best. "Nobody is
above mistakes", so goes the saying.
Everyone has, at one time or the other, took decisions which they
later regretted in life; but that was not the end of their career.
They moved beyond the mistake to make impact in their
generations. You also can move beyond this point of your life to
the point where you will fulfill destiny if you will put the past
The great scientist, Thomas Edison failed the same experiment
one thousand times. What a record! If such happened in this
generation, it would have a whole page dedicated to it in the
latest edition of The Guinness Book of Records as the highest
number of failure recorded in a single experiment by an
individual. Dale Carnegie, a celebrated author and public
speaker confessed he had a folder on his table with the title 'FTD'
- It stands for 'Foolish Things I Have Done.' In it he documented
his stupid actions.
Everybody makes mistakes. Everyone does stupid and foolish
things once in a while. So everyone must be willing to forgive
himself, including you! Your ability to move forward in life will
be dependent on how much you are willing to bear the
consequences of your past mistakes, forgive yourself of the
stupid decisions, shut your eyes on the past, make necessary
corrections, and move forward with life.
Constantly and persistently looking back in life always ensures
your going in the same direction. Lock the door on your past
mistakes, throw the key away, and forget where you have thrown
Wipe away your tears; no evil has befallen you. Let no one send
any condolence message to you. Quit the grief. Tear off the
sackcloth. Stop causing yourself needless pains. Wear a bright
smile. Look ahead into the future with great hope. Your future is
bright, and I can testify of it.
Begin to live a life free of guilt and self-condemnation. Do not
be reluctant to expect the best from the world because you are
created to have the very best it has to offer, irrespective of your
grade today, and that is the sincere truth.
You deserve the best of God. His best for you may not include
graduating with a first-class degree from school, but His best
definitely include graduating with a first-class in life, and that is
2) PAST INJURIES
Life is a battlefield, and one thing that cannot be avoided on the
battleground is injuries; every soldier is prepared ahead for it.
You may have experienced injuries and hurts on your campus
too, some of which may have contributed to your graduating
with a third class grade - someone lied on you, a lecturer marked
you down, a classmate disappointed you, a friend betrayed you,
your parents denied you some funds, etc. Painful as these may
be, it is left to you to decide what your reactions to these hurts
In life, you may not be able to control the actions of others to
you, but you have complete control over your own reactions to
their actions. You can fold your hands, complain about their
actions, allow resentment and bitterness to build in you until it
turns to revenge. Alternatively, you can simply forgive them and
The latter is easier and more beneficial to you. Forgive all. If you
think someone else was responsible for your failure or
contributed in some degree to your catastrophe, please forgive
such. Refusal to forgive will create in you bitterness, resentment
and unforgiveness. These will rob you of your glorious future.
Forgiving others does not justify their actions, but it will free
your heart from bitterness, enabling you to concentrate on more
important things that will move your life forward.
3) PAST PROSPECTS
So many are still tied to the opportunities they lost in the past.
They live in a 'If l had known' world.
- If I had prepared better for the examination!
- If I had listened to my parent's advice!
- If I had changed my friends on time!
- If I had attended the tutorials!
- If I had read my books more!
- If I had done the assignment!
- If I had not missed the test!
- If I had been closer to God!
- If I had known!
For how long will you continue to live your life on yesterday's
dream and possibilities? You need to shine your eyes to the
realities of today and forget about what is gone behind. Too many
fresh graduates are still locked in the illusion of what could have
been in the past. They are so dissatisfied with life because they
had some great expectation that did not materialize.
Please note that it is a lie from the pit of hell that the best
opportunities you can have in life are the ones you have messed
up in the past; never believe that. Better things still awaits you in
the future. All you need to do is look into the future with great
hopes, and you will see your desires materializing.
4) PAST EVILS
It is possible to reason that you are where you are because of
your past sins. You may think this is the reward of your past
record of insincerity;
- You cheated in the examination hall,
- You lied on a friend,
- You hurt someone physically,
- You made a stupid remark to someone close to you,
- You stole someone's belonging,
- You jilted your girlfriend,
- You were not faithful to God on campus,
- You joined the cult,
or because of a horrible sin you committed and you strongly
believe that God will never forgive you because of the
magnitude of the sin. It could be true, and it may not be!
Whether it is true or not, God is willing to forgive you any sin
you committed in the past if only you are willing to confess it
and forgive yourself first. It may not be very easy to forget them,
but it is quite easier to forgive yourself and move forward with
Do not let your life be tied down by anything that should have
gone with the past. Open a clean state and start a fresh life. Let
the scriptures be fulfilled in your life that says 'old things are
passed away; behold, all things are become new'
The pain of every failure will only last for as long as you keep
refreshing your memory about it. The moment you decide to
shut the door on the past and throw it behind you, it is no longer
strong enough to afflict or haunt you.
It is really going to be pretty difficult to beam with smile
everywhere you go, especially when you know that everyone
around you know the grade you graduated with and will be
wondering why you are smiling sheepishly around, but the joy of
the Lord can illuminate your heart and brighten up your day so
much so that you will radiate His glory and glow like the early
morning sun every day, despite what the enemy thought he has
deprived you off.
You may not have better grades, better connection and better
opportunities, but with the peace of God, you sleep better. No
hassle, no headache, no fear of the future. This joy has nothing to
do with the fact that you have failed, but it is motivated by the
fact that God can turn every failure to success in no time.
Learn to always smile in the face of adversity. Let the peace of
God rule your heart. The Bible says this peace passes all
understanding. If you allow it, it will take your mind off what you
are going through and make you focus on where you are going to.
It will create the joy of God in your heart. You will not be moved
or troubled. You may not have the degree needed, but you know
the one who can change every situation by one single decree.
It is this joy of the Lord which you radiate that others around you
will notice. If you really have this joy in your life - the joy that
comes from knowing the Lord - then you will be able to share it
with others around you with a beautiful contagious smile,
despite what you are going through.
This joy gives you strength, confidence, and a great hope for the
future! It will make you stand out from others in your shoes.