So you scaled through the final hurdles of the university, and you celebrated. Maybe you got drunk and bashed your mum’s new car. Maybe the people in your village celebrated the first half-lawyer to come out of the community.
Then you had to endure the nail-biting wait for law school’s posting. Sure you made some calls so that you’d be posted to Abuja or Lagos. And chances are, you were posted to Enugu, Bayelsa, Kano (ewooo!) And Yola. And you’re devastated.
That’s because you’ve heard all manner of things about law school- the lecturers eat human flesh, they come into the rooms to check if you have pirated books, they can send you out of class if your black socks have any designs on them. And such rubbish talk
And the pressure is high, because you know one or two smart, really smart people who had a first-class degree from your university….that failed law school or graduated with a pass. So you with your humble 2-1 or 2-2………
Oh stop it. The key to surviving the first week, is being alert at all times.
In my own time, the process of registration was tedious because you had to queue up at about 8 different tables. Now picture 876 students struggling perpetually! It took about 4 days for me to complete my registration because I left my school fees PIN printout…I felt it was useless since I’d already used it up and I had my online receipt. I wasted money going back and forth from bank to bank in Enugu. I ended up being number 247….meanwhile the guy who had REG number 001 was behind me on the queue. I have a friend who completed his registration on the first day!
I’m writing this to make your registration as painless as possible. Believe me- if you follow these steps you’d save time.
1. TRAVEL LIGHT
Especially if you don’t live in the city where your law school campus is. Ladies, you really won’t need all those clothes you’re stuffing your suitcases with. Except you can run in heels painlessly while dodging army tanks and raining bullets. You don’t need to bring buckets, soapcases, bedsheets (except you really care what colour it is). You don’t need heavy books, boots, pillows, pots, pans, kettles and all of that.
You can buy all you need at the shops. Or if you have time you can go to choice shopping malls in town later. For now, Just get your whites, blacks, suits, ties, shoes maybe and toiletteries.
2. ARRIVE EARLY
You will save yourself some trouble by arriving early. First, you become familiar with the surroundings and won’t be as confused about where to go for what. Second, you can check the rooms and pick out the room you want to stay (based on facilities). If you’re a guy and you were posted to Enugu campus, you can get the Blue-roof hostel. It’s (allegedly) quiet, has a maximum of 3 room members and comes with reading tables and chairs. Everyday during registration, you will find that people arrive the venue as early as 5:30am to get a headstart. Well, you may want to do that 🙂
3. PHOTOCOPY EVERYTHING
Make sure you have all your documents ready. Registration can be quite frustrating if you have any of the vital documents missing! So spare yourself the stress. Just make sure you have at least 2 copies of:
A. Law school admission status (showing “full admission”)
B. Online Receipt
C. Zenith Bank Teller for PIN purchase
D. PIN for school fees payment
E. University Statement of result
F. O level result
G. Your medical records
H. Your posting status
I. 12 passport photographs
The photographers will try to scam you into taking photos in your regulation attire. In my own time that turned out to be unnecessary- the school accepted normal passport photographs. HOWEVER, for your peace of mind (and to avoid paying for passports at twice the normal rate), just come with 12 passports in your regulation attire.
Keep extra pens, Use a folder/clear bag to hold your documents. Losing anything (especially your medical slip, receipts and Registration slip) will be fatal, I tell you.
4. PAY ATTENTION while filling documents. The staff are hot-blooded fellows who probably will not give you a replacement of any form, thus delaying your registration. And increasing your stress levels. So pay attention, avoid making mistakes. Sure, many of the forms are pointless (seeing your online application was very detailed), but then just bear with them and fill them out CAREFULLY. You seriously don’t want to be in the middle of a session and receiving call notices to the Students Affairs office.
If you don’t understand anything, ask questions. Some of the answers required may not be what you think. So just ask questions when you’re not clear!
5. MAKE FRIENDS
Honestly, this is important. Even if you don’t care about anyone, having friends will help you reduce your time wasted. Example? They can save you a space on the queue if you need to leave. They can inform you if the venue for something has changed (And believe me, it happens). They can wake you up if you oversleep, they can help you grab a snack if they’re going to the market. Also, you can get a room together with people you can live with.
You wonder how you can live with someone who you never met before. Well, you survived 5 years of uni, you can do it again. And people’s characters start showing pretty early so you can choose people you can tolerate and who can return the favour.
6. BE ORDERLY
Honestly, one of the reasons why registration takes long is because people are disorderly. Everyone is pushing, Cussing, dragging others back. All that shouting gets on people’s nerves. Sometimes, the staff get angry and go away for a few minutes. You seriously don’t want that happening! So be a gentleman, or pretend for now that you’re one. Don’t jump queues! It’ll make you unnecessary enemies! And make life difficult.
Insist on queuing up and taking numbers. That way people can sit down, watch their space on the line and when it’s their turn they might as well get up and get it all done with.
7. UNDERSTAND HOW QUEUES work.
Keep a space on every line. The logic is, there’s no law that says you must be done with one stage of registration before moving to the next. So, you can take a space on each line. For example, while you’re waiting for your receipt, you can keep your space on the queue on the line for collecting forms. Also you keep a space on the line for submitting medical records. And on the line for submitting the forms. And then on the line for collecting your REG Number. And on the line for getting accommodation.
Each line moves slower than the last one, so you most likely won’t lose your space. Just keep checking on your queues (your friends would be really helpful at this point)
8. STAY HYDRATED.
Have water/lemonade on you at all times. The process IS stressful, so keep water on you, replace lost fluids. So that you won’t become “that girl that fainted during registration”. Neither do you want to fall sick needlessly!
9. HAVE FUN
Keep a novel on you, watch a movie or something (if that won’t break your concentration). Just find something to pass the time with because the waiting process can be mind-numbing. They say time flies when you’re having fun…and it IS true.
10. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR PHONE CHARGED.
And pray. Favour makes the difference at each stage- sometimes a staff member sees your face and decides that YOU should coordinate your colleagues. Or that you should help out. I don’t need to tell you that your registration will be expedited. For example, I was behind #241 on the line, but the lady who became #242 helped the staffers and they moved her further up the line!.