Ways to Handle Carryovers in Nigerian Universities

I think we can all agree that the university phase has to be one of the toughest especially in Nigeria. From the never-ending morning lectures to the impromptu tests, confusing course outlines, and loads of crash reading, you’d wonder if and where it gets better. And the height of it? Logging into the portal to see that you have to resit a course you found extremely difficult. But you were hoping grace would carry you and you’d have an E. Or it could even be a course you were so certain was your free A pass, only to log in and see the exact opposite.

Carryovers in Nigerian Universities

Now you have one more course to worry about and if you’re like most people, you might find it embarrassing and uncomfortable to have to do it all over and alone this time. Of course, it’s a struggle and does it get better? It depends on how you handle it. If you allow failing a course to open up your mind and unlock your zeal for learning all over, you’ve won yourself a ticket to passing but if you focus so much on the embarrassment and the extra burden a failed course is to you, you’d most likely have to keep carrying a course over. 

Here are a few tips to help you navigate through carryovers in Nigerian universities 

  1. Do not beat yourself up: One important way to handle a carryover is to accept it already happened and beating yourself up wouldn’t exactly solve the problem. Forgive yourself even if you think you could have done better.
  2. Eradicate negativity and inculcate positive thoughts: It’s vital to affirm positivity to yourself and not look at yourself as a failure. Resist the urge to treat yourself with disdain and embarrassment. Instead, remind yourself that one grade doesn’t decide your entire life. A carryover doesn’t define you or your intelligence. It happens for a variety of reasons that might not be your fault. Think of it as a challenge and find ways to work around it. It can be fixed, it’s not the end of the world. Just because you failed a course doesn’t mean you’re a failure. 
  3. Retract your steps: It’s crucial to analyze the entire course as a whole and ask yourself the necessary questions. Questions like the root cause of the difficulty passing the course, is it your study pattern? Did you skip too many lectures? Lack of attentiveness in class? At times external factors such as personal relationship stress can end up taking a toll on academic performance. Analyze whether any form of relationship whether parental, affectionate, or even friendship interactions might be a cause of failure. Retracting your steps and identifying the root cause of failure is the first step to success 
  4. Put in the extra effort: To achieve success, it’s necessary to throw in the extra effort. Study for extra hours, look for relevant materials and analyze your study habits. Analyzing your study habits deals with actually studying yourself and identifying what time of the day is best for your assimilation. Do you assimilate better in the early mornings? During the day or at night? Studying at the wrong time can be ineffective and time-consuming if you aren’t doing it the right way.
  5. Eliminate distractions: It’s very easy to allow distractions to rid you of your efforts. Although studying with music works for some people, for others it’s a bootless errand. If you’re dedicating 2 hours a day to studying a difficult course, you should make it worth it. Put off your phone or set it aside, pick out a quiet and cool place to read, and stick to less scenery that can get your attention diverted. 
  6. Quit procrastinating: “Procrastination they say is the thief of joy”. Do not wait until the last minute to prepare for a presentation, study for a test, or do an assignment. Abrupt preparation is almost like no preparation at all. It’s easy to leave out important details and submit poorly formatted work if it’s done at the last minute. Hence, take baby steps to get rid of procrastination. Do not assume that you have all the time in the world. Once an assignment is given, start your research and try to turn it in on time.
  7. Reach out to people: If you failed a course, the chances that you found the course extremely difficult or it didn’t tick your interest are high. There’s no shame in asking for help. You can ask for help from friends that passed or connect with new people that can put you through the aspects you don’t understand. Attend tutorials, use the internet to your advantage, make group reading a habit, and ask people to review your assignments before submitting them. 
  8. Do not give up: The only time you’ve truly failed is when you give up. Through all of the pain, juggling between classes, and mental exhaustion, it’s important to keep going. If you don’t do it now, nobody is going to do it for you. It’s going to be worth it this time, just don’t stop trying.  

Negative impacts of carryovers on mental health 

Generally, failure has a way of dealing blows to people’s self-respect. There’s the entire phase of feeling downcast, hopeless, and in extreme cases depressed. Carrying over a course may negatively affect the seal of students to try again. They might constantly find themselves practicing self-blame or a gradual decline in self-esteem. It’s therefore important to see this phase as a challenge that should be handled with positivity and hard work. It’s important to encourage a friend struggling with carryovers in university that it is a phase and how they choose to handle it determines largely how long or short the phase is going to be.


Mj is a writer with over three years of experience. During this time, she has written on a wide range of topics, including self-help, health and lifestyle tips, social justice, gender equality, and human rights. Her writings have been featured on various online platforms. She believes that writing is an art that speaks volumes and her works express her views and beliefs artistically. she’s eager to use her skills to amplify the voices of youths in Nigeria, their struggles win, their highs and lows and what the entirety of being a Nigerian youth encompasses.