"Living a first
class life with a third class degree is not only possible, it can
become your reality if you take the instructions in this book very
seriously. They are highly motivating and encouraging. I recommend
this book to anyone who wants to reposition for greatness in spite of
Despite the known
fact that our academic qualification is not the truest test of our
potentials, society still defines and appraises our capacity to
perform and achieve success in life based on the class of degree on a
certificate. Hence a lot of us live life, way below average in
comparison to the calibre of our inert gifts and aptitudes. I agree
with Sam. O. Salau that there is more to this complex phenomenon
called life, than the class of degree we exit the university with,
and Sam proves that irrespective of one's graduating class of degree,
one can live a first class life and achieve outstanding success in
every facet of life. This book is loaded with powerful insights, life
changing strategies, inspiring stories and scripture references to
enable anyone to become all they want to be. His engaging and
down-to-earth style of passing his message across drives his points
directly home. Don't just read this book, imbibe the lessons and take
To every one
to live a
first class life
Everyone who moves
around with a third class certificate has the potentials to live a
first-class life. This is what this book is all about, learning to
live a first class life with a third class certificate. I am not too
bothered that you have failed in school. My concern is how you can
bounce back and become someone to reckon with in life, even with your
Truly you have
failed, but this is not the worst of your failure. You have failed
several times before now, and have successfully bounced back
effortlessly. You may not remember this, but I do vividly.
The very first time
you tried walking as a baby, you fell flat on your face, not once,
not twice, but you rose up again, and tried it a few more times,
until you learnt the act perfectly. Today, you walk about without
giving it a thought, as though you had never failed in walking
The very first time
you tried to swim, you almost drowned; thanks to God for the
lifesavers around you then, you would have lost your life untimely
and would have been buried and long forgotten. Today, you swim as
though it is a natural thing to do. You can even dare a swimming
competition, just because you are sure of how good you are at it,
without remembering you had failed in it before.
The very first time
you learnt to drive, with a big bold red color letter ‘L’ on a
white cardboard pasted both in front and at the back of your car, you
mistakenly matched the brake instead of the clutch, took the turtle
for the brake, and almost hit the wall, but for your driving-lesson
tutor beside you. You wondered then if you would ever really know how
to drive a car because of the constant mistakes you were making
during the driving lessons. All those are stories now! You can drive
fifty kilometers without any difficulty. You are now an expert at
driving, a skill you once taught you would never know.
These are just a few
of your numerous records of failures in times past. However, you have
been able to cross over from the boundary of failure to the side of
success in the same ventures that sometimes ago seemed you really
would not be able to find a way around. The same factors that worked
for you then, can still work for you now, irrespective of who, or
what is against you, third-class degree notwithstanding!
It is not very
unusual to fail in your first attempt at something. Since this is
your first attempt at getting an academic degree, your failure is not
something to kill yourself over. Do not worry about this failure. You
have not yet committed an unpardonable sin by failing. You have
bounced back at other times you failed before now. So, I am very
certain that you will bounce back this time too, if you can only do
the right thing.
This book, LIVING A
FIRST-CLASS LIFE WITH A THIRD-CLASS RESULT, is not to blame you of
your failure, but to let you know that you can bounce back again, and
teach you the ‘how to’, until you become the talk-of-the-town.
It is possible! You
can still live a first-class life, even with your third-class result,
if you are willing to do what I am about to show you. Others have
done it before, and you also can.
Sam. O. Salau
Author on Campus Issues)
YOU DESERVE WHAT YOU
coming at a time like this, is not intended to make you sad or make
you feel worse than you are presently. It is a statement of fact.
Irrespective of how you feel about it, the truth must be told; YOU
INDEED DESERVE WHAT YOU GOT.
You got a
third-class result because you deserve a third-class result, or
better put, you worked for a third-class result. In all labour, there
is profit, so says the Holy Book. If your labour was worth a
first-class result, you would have gotten one. Accept the fact, it is
needless to fight it now; what you laboured for was what you got.
A number of reasons
may be responsible for this. You may indeed have all the excuses
tenable in the world and acceptable to the heavens why you got a
third-class result. It does not still change the fact that you have
graduated with a third class, and that you deserve it.
Some of the reasons
may be that –
- A particular
lecturer did not like your face on campus, and so influenced your
- You were sick
during the final exams and so could not concentrate fully in the
- You did not have
enough funds like some of your classmates to bribe the corrupt
lecturers on your campus and so could not get the additional marks
that some of your mates bought.
- You could not
afford to buy the necessary study materials, you only had to manage
your class-notes and the limited materials you had access to, and
this affected your performance in the examination hall.
- You had some
serious challenges from the home front which debarred you from giving
your academics all it needed.
questions came from chapters you did not consider important enough to
read. To your detriment, the examiner intentionally decided not to
set questions from the part of your note that you have read inside
- The Examination
Invigilators were too strict. They did not allow you to execute your
carefully laid out plans in the examination hall. No talking, no
shaking, no exchange of scripts, no looking sideways, no moving
around, ... ... .... the rules were just too much.
- This year’s
Examination Marking Scheme was too tough. It was worse than last
year’s. If you were assessed based on the previous year’s scheme,
you would have fared better.
- The Examiners were
not lenient with questions. The questions were not only too much but
also too tough. There was no way anyone could have answered them all
in the given time.
- Your heartthrob
broke your heart just before the examination, and this was a serious
distraction to your preparation for the examination.
- You had a weighty
spiritual problem that needed urgent attention but you could not
spare out time to address this before the examination started.
- Your background
affected you. Your parents never appreciated education. They do not
even know the difference between a first class and a third class
since they did not attend a higher institution themselves. Therefore,
they could not encourage you enough.
- You had other
important things doing that took much of your time. You were a
sportsman on campus. You were into campus politics. You were doing
serious money-making business on campus. You were too involved in
religious activities in school. etc.
- Your parents were
not fully supportive. There was nothing you ever requested from them
that they gave to you when you needed it.
- You had a serious
financial crisis during the examination.
- You were not cut
out for school. You were forced into it. You would have done
something more important with your time if allowed.
- Luck was against
All of these excuses
are irrelevant and not needed again. Excuses are self made
imprisonment. Do not imprison yourself with one. What matters now is
to face the truth squarely - you have failed in school; and you
failed because you deserved to fail.
Left to you, you
really think you tried your best!
- You did all of
your assignments and submitted them at the required time.
- You did all the
experiments you were supposed to do in the laboratory and wrote your
report on time.
- You attended all
of the lectures and practical sessions required of you.
- You read all of
your notes for the tests and prepared well ahead for the exams.
- You even attended
tutorials organized by your classmates, extra-moral classes by the
lecturers, and borrowed study materials both from friends and from
the school library.
You did your very
best, and you expected a more brilliant result than this. But the
expected result never materialized. The reason is simple; your best
was not enough to sail you through the torrent of the examination
storms. You worked as hard as you could, but things did not just go
You really think
some of your classmates deserved to fail because they did not put in
as much effort as you did; but not you. Your case was different; you
tried your best. Sad to think, those whom you think deserved to fail
woefully ended up performing far better than you did. They did not
prepare well enough, but they passed. And you cannot still explain
why, of everyone in your class, you should fail!
The truth is that
you are the only one who thinks you have offered your best; your
lecturers think otherwise, the examiners think otherwise, the
invigilators think otherwise, the school authority thinks otherwise.
Your opinion, no
matter how hard you hold on to it, does not count in the face of so
many expert criticisms. So, they can only be right, and you can only
be wrong; you deserve what you got.
Admit your failure.
Trying to pretend you got better grades will not help you. It is self
deception of the highest order. Tell yourself that you have failed
from the higher institution because you graduated with a third-class
degree. Say it to yourself a thousand and one times until it sinks
into your subconscious. This will help you to face the reality and do
what you really need to do.
It will not make too
much sense wasting your precious energy trying to cover up the
failure. It will not work. Face the facts; admit your failure. Do not
pretend to be what you are not. Putting on a Superman’s garment
does not enable you to fly; it only gives you an overblown assessment
A wolf in a sheep’s
clothing is still a wolf. A third-class graduate pretending to be a
first-class graduate is still a third-class graduate, no matter how
hard he pretends. Do not claim to be what you are not; you have
failed from school, and there is no use denying the fact. It is even
already too late to change the situation; you are already a
third-class graduate. So the earlier you get use to it, the better
This is not to say
you need to start broadcasting round the whole school or your
neighbourhood that you have failed again; there is not much wisdom in
this. Just be yourself and let things happen whichever way life has
planned it. Do not try to hide the fact or overprotect it. Let nature
take its natural course.
DO NOT EXPECT TO BE
Since most people
around you do not believe you deserve much more than you got, do not
expect them to sympathize with you as much as you desire. They will
not celebrate your failure simply because you think you tried your
best. This may, or rather, this will, in most cases, never happen.
Let not your expectation be too high, people do not celebrate
failures, no matter how close you are to them, and irrespective of
the excuse you have for the failure!
No one will cheer
you up for graduating with a third-class grade. If you expect to be
cheered, you are expecting too much, and your expectation will
certainly be cut short. This is just natural. People do not cheer up
those who fail. Only the man who wins gets the accolade.
None will celebrate
you for failing:
- Not your parents,
all the money they spent on you is now wasted; at least, that is how
it looks to them.
- Not your
lecturers, you made them look as though they do not know how to
teach. You would have been their pride if you have shown to the world
that their student is a genius.
- Not your
classmates who expected you to be smarter than you proved to be. If
anybody should fail, it should not be you. They knew how they went
about it and expect that you also should know how to go about it if
you know your ability is not adequate.
- Also, not your
younger ones, you did not set a good example for them to follow, and
they cannot boast of you in the midst of their own friends.
- In fact, not your
friends, they are highly disappointed in you. They expected far much
- Definitely not
your senior ones who will never understand why you have to go for a
third-class grade when there are better options, especially if you
are the first in the family to get that low.
Your parents may
become mad at you. They may withhold some rightful privileges from
you. Take it in good faith. It would not have been so if you had done
better than this. That is their best way of expressing their
displeasure to you.
It will be rather
unfair of you to expect them to rally round you in jubilation of your
third-class grade as though it were a first-class. They are
disappointed in you and they have a right to express their opinion
the best way they feel they can. They have a right to their emotions.
So, do not try to
pick quarrels with anyone who does not identify with you in your
woes. You will do worse if you were in their shoes. This period is
like a trying moment for you and you will need to brace up to face
You may even be
unlucky enough to have around you people who naturally rejoice
greatly at the failure of others. There is nothing you can do about
them. You can only be yourself, learn the best from where you are
today, and pray for a better life tomorrow to prove to them that you
are indeed not what they think you are, life was just playing a trick
Since you deserve
what you got, you need not blow your head off because of what you
got. It is too late to cry over spilled milk. Lamenting alone will
not help you at this moment. It will not take you any further than
where you are.
You may see others
in your shoes grieving uncontrollably when they remember the time,
energy and resources they had wasted in pursuing the academic degree.
However, shedding tears, either genuinely or in pretence (so as to
gain others’ sympathy) is not the solution to the problem at hand.
It will only help you waste more time, energy and resources.
Contrary to what you
think, the past few years you spent in school is not wasted. The
essence of going to school is not necessarily to graduate with good
grades alone, although this is an essential part of it because of the
community we live in.
If you view the
essence of going to school from the perspective of merely graduating
with an excellent result alone, you will see yourself as a failure.
Going to school is much more than that.
What you learn from
school is beyond the academic qualifications alone. There are other
benefits you get from going to school. Some of these are:
1. You learn
basic fundamentals of different teachings and various skills.
2. It enables
you to make more effective use of your mind.
3. You learn
good communication skills.
4. You learn how
to relate and live with other people who have different beliefs and
5. Lastly, being
a student helps you to be self-disciplined and behave more maturely.
If you view going to
school in this light, you will agree that the past few years are not
wasted years. You may not see the benefits now, but they are like
investments made into the future. When the time comes, you will
really appreciate God for letting you have the experience of going to
school. It will give you a serious edge over others who have never
been to school, open many doors of opportunities to you, and give you
a better placement in life in whatever field you finally decide to
settle down to.
BLAME NO ONE
temptation at this point is to begin to look for whom to blame for
your predicament. This is very common among students facing the
challenges you are presently confronted with. When they perform well
in an examination, they acclaim the glory to themselves by saying ‘I
passed the examination’. However if they fail, they attribute the
failure to the examiner, ‘The lecturer failed me’.
Do not fall for it.
Do not blame anyone else for your failure. The problem is with you
and until you discover it you will not move forward. The lecturer did
not fail you; you failed yourself, irrespective of what your excuse
is for failing. To justify blaming your lecturers for your academic
failure, you can as well credit them for your success in the exams.
Every student who
has ever failed has excuses for his failures. These excuses are the
boundary between them and their success.
Whatever excuse you
have, you cannot be excused. You have failed in school, and you need
to look for what you need to do early enough so as to do better in
life. That is all that matters now!
You cannot blame
your lecturer; if you were the best student in your class you would
have still passed even if he hated you much more. It is your weak
points that your lecturer capitalized on in order to fail you. No one
can make a failure of you unless you cooperate with him. You have
cooperated with him by not preparing adequately.
You cannot blame
your failure on your background. There are people with worse
backgrounds but with better results. Your progress in life is not
determined by your background but by what you do despite the
You cannot blame it
on the lack of relevant study materials. If you do not have enough
funds to buy textbooks, you could have borrowed copies from friends
or from the school library.
And if you had other
things doing that took your time, you could have planned your time
You are indeed
inexcusable. Every other factor notwithstanding, you are responsible
for your failure. The earlier you accept this fact, the better for
you have failed this once, you are not yet a failure. Men are not
regarded as failures until they admit it themselves, and the first
signal to show they have admitted failure is that they start blaming
someone else for their actions. The moment you begin to look for who
to blame for your failure, you are already becoming one.
Irrespective of the
cause of your failure, always remember that, those who designed the
failures of yesterday are not in control of the success of tomorrow.
So, sit up, take the blame, learn the lesson, and make progress.
GOD IS NOT
DISSAPOINTED IN YOU
Know this for sure;
nothing catches God unawares. Whatever happens, He knows about it.
Sad as this may sound; God knew afore-hand that you may not fare
better than you did, and He is prepared ahead of time to help you
sail through it successfully. He is not disappointed in you.
Your parents may not
be too happy with your result, considering how much they had spent to
see you go through school successfully. It may also not go down too
well with your siblings whose expectations had been cut shot. Your
friends might be too ashamed to still identify with you; but God is
not disappointed in you.
God looks at things
in a different light than man does. This is because man is easily
impressed by the wrong things in life, neglecting the things that
God does not view
people the way others see them. He sees them in a different
perspective. Man saw Moses as a murderer but God saw in him a
deliverer. Jacob was called a supplanter but God saw a prince.
Abraham was termed barren but God saw the father of many nations.
Rahab was a good-for-nothing prostitute but God saw in her the great
grandmother of the Saviour. Whatever they have said about you is
their opinion. God’s opinion still stands.
Men may write you
off, but God will not: It is not in His nature: Adam and Eve failed
God’s maiden exam on obedience in the Garden of Eden and could have
easily been written off by God. However, the whole Bible is a record
of God’s plan and effort to reverse that failure; that is God for
you. He looks beyond the present into the future in order to correct
the mistakes of the past. Be sure that He is already working out
something in your favour too.
Nothing happens by
chance to us; God has a pre-knowledge of all that we will ever go
through. He may not be responsible for them though; the unpalatable
circumstance may be as a result of our negligence, nonchalance or
carefree attitude, but God can still work around those circumstances
so that His purpose will be achieved through them.
It really does not
matter what your grade is to God, first class or third class. He
loves you anyway. He does not use your degree in school to determine
His decree in your life. He is still interested in you and what you
become, irrespective of who is not! He is interested in everything
that concerns you. You are the apple of His eye! He said your face is
even tattooed on the palms of His hand! So, He can neither neglect
you nor forget about you.
Only God can
eternally write off a man as a failure. But He has not written you
off yet. So, why believe what a mortal man like you has said about
you. Whatever any man says is his opinion, and everyone has a right
to his own opinion. Let it not over-bother you.
No one knows your
destiny perfectly like God. Therefore let no one fit you into another
man’s mould. No one was there when God was commissioning you into
the world. So, no one has a say over your life. Only His word will
stand in your life, if you are willing to permit it.
You do not have to
be moody everywhere you go. Many people just focus on the problems
they are passing through, that they miss the opportunity to meet the
wonderful people and great benefits they see everywhere they go which
God has prepared to lift them up from their present position to the
they miss their saviour; they miss the angel God sent to them to help
them from their predicament. Make friends daily. Do not be ashamed to
meet people because of your academic qualifications. It is not in the
qualification, it is in what you have to offer.
opportunity to build fresh relationships, especially with those who
desires to live a first class life like yourself and not just with
Do the little things
that will attract others to you. Smile, you have no cause to frown;
failing in school does not mean failing in life. Dress neatly, you
are not mourning; only those who are mourning wears sack cloth. Spray
some perfume, it puts you in a better mood; and you really need to be
in a better mood for better thoughts to flow through your mind.
Say hello first,
make the effort to be friendly. You do not know what God has in stock
for you through the other person. He may be the angel you have been
praying for. The more you concentrate on your academic result, the
more insecure you will become. To get the confidence you need, look
beyond the certificate.
The worst set of
people to have around you now is the set that criticize every one of
your moves and remind you of your past failure. Surround yourself
with men who believe in you. This is not the time to start forming a
pity-party. What you need now is more of people who believe in your
ability. Anything else will rub off your self-esteem and your faith
in yourself. Always have around you those who will encourage you,
cheer you up, celebrate your ideas and contribute to your progress.
These will make life more adventurous and rewarding for you.
FIGHT EVIL THOUGHTS
Guard your mind; let
it not wander aimlessly in circles. Define its boundary. Constantly
resist and rebuke every thought that:
unreasonable anxiety about tomorrow,
(2) Envy those who
did better than you,
hopelessness about your present circumstance,
(4) Brings guilt
about your past errors,
depression and fear of what the future holds,
bitterness towards those you feel are responsible for your
Refuse to identify
with all the lies the devil may want to feed you with. Lies like,
‘You are good for
jeopardized your future’;
‘Nothing good can
come your way again since you did not make a first-class’;
‘Your life is
‘You are in a real
All these are lies
from the pit of hell. He only wants to take over your mind, do not
allow him. Purify your thought. Do not permit any futile or foolish
thought to take charge of you around this time of your life.
If you allow these
negative emotions to overwhelm you, your life will experience more
retrogression, and will finally be brought to a halt sooner than you
envisaged. Do not put yourself under such bondage.
sensitive thoughts about the issue at hand will end up creating a
feeling of great insecurity which makes your weaknesses become more
pronounced than your strength. Once your weakness becomes more
pronounced than your strength, your doom looms.
This is because
whatever dominates your mind dictates your actions. Whatever dictates
your actions controls your life. Whatever controls your life
determines your final end. So, do not listen to the thoughts that
bring you fear, worry, and insecurity. Those are not from God.
Constant allowance of such thoughts will erode your self-confidence.
This is neither the
time to lose your head nor the time to lose your faith in God. If all
you do is get anxious and get worried, it will demoralize you the
more, and at this stage, that may be detrimental to your health. You
may even begin to contemplate on engaging in some nasty actions like
suicide attempt simply because you are focusing on the wrong things.
Graduating with a
third-class is not the end of the world. Why will you want to end
your life because of that? It has not gotten to that yet; there is
still more to life than a degree from the higher institution.
Thousands there are who did not even have the opportunity to go to a
higher institution in the first place. What then should those ones
do? Do not let the devil take advantage of a simple mistake you made
on campus to destroy your glorious future by ending your life
untimely. Consciously labour to resist such thoughts.
A wise man once said
“you cannot stop birds from flying over your heads, but you can
stop them from perching on your head”. You may not be able to
completely stop such thoughts from crossing your mind once in a
while, especially at a time like this, but you can refuse to
entertain them, resisting them with all force.
Do not be deceived;
the past or the immediate is not the ultimate. What lies ahead is far
greater than what has gone behind. Just be prepared to fight it out.
Rather than think
about what has happened in the past, think about your future. Let
your thought dwell more on where you are going and what you will need
to get there, and not where you are coming from. That way, you will
live a more rewarding life.
The Holy Bible
encourages that we should take everyone of such thoughts captive. You
will find this instruction handy at a time like this. Each time you
are tempted to give in to them, summon enough courage to resist them.
thoughts that build up and not tear down. Fill your heart afresh each
day with words of encouragement. Fill up your mind with thoughts,
words, musicals, videos and images that will build up your confidence
again. Watch programs and read books that will boost your self-image.
All these and many more will help put your life back on the right
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 academic 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 successful?
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 life.
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 discover it.
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 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 mistake!