The Student Affairs department of Nile University of Nigeria organized the Real Life Conference to give students an insight into some of the challenges that characterize life after graduation. This sentiment was echoed in the opening address by the acting Director of Student Affairs, Mr. Jibrin Bamalli. According to Mr. Bamalli, upon graduation, students are often confused about what to do next; should they get a Master’s degree, go for NYSC, etc.? The two-day conference, he continued, would ensure that students are better equipped to make the right decisions when the time finally came to confront these questions. Following his remarks were presentations from several distinguished individuals— including Dr. Nurudeen Muhammad, Mrs. Maryam Lemu, Ms. Wadi Ben-Hirki, Dr. Ahmed Adamu, Engr. Abdullahi Ketso, Mrs. Toyin Alasi, Otunba Lanre Ipinmisho, Pst. Emmanuel Iren, Mr. Wale Aladejana, and Arc. Musa Pen Abdul— designed to provide students useful tips to help them navigate the inevitable post-graduation challenges. Some of the topics addressed to this effect were stress management, financial management, entrepreneurship in the 21st century, to name a few.

Speaking on financial management, Mrs. Toyin Alasi encouraged students to dispel the notion that it is too early to start being financially responsible (living within their means). She buttressed her point with examples of people who waited too long to take this step and later regretted their inaction. Furthermore, she admonished students on the importance of budgeting, saving, and investing. According to her, “financial success does not happen by default, but by design;” so, until an individual makes an active effort to become financially independent by creating a spending plan, saving, and investing, he or she will have no control over his or her finances, and is doomed to remain poor.

Other activities that occurred during the program included question and answer sessions, during which the speakers fielded the questions of the audience and presentation of awards to the guest speakers.

Overall, it was an interesting and educative event, one whose lessons could prove invaluable to the students in the long run.