It is freshman season in most local universities; I take this chance to welcome you all to campus. When I decided to do this piece, I undoubtedly knew that it would not be an easy task. There can’t possibly be a foolproof manual that fits all to use while living in campus; in fact, there is no manual at all. Most of the time you will have to navigate through situations that will require you to draw from your own experience. Seeing as I am a fourth year though, there are a few pointersI can share with you about life in campus and how to come out in one piece!
Being a freshman you must be loaded with money from student loans and relatives. Be a wise spender otherwise you will be hungry and broke before you know it. Stay true to your financial abilities my friend, hanging out with rich kids and spending your money changing weaves weekly and shopping extravagantly will land you in financial trouble. Make a budget and keep aside enough money for food, learning materials and transport before engaging in frivolous spending.
No one escapes the campus recession that hits in 3rd year, not even the rich kids. Parents suddenly stop giving you cash regularly and expenses shoot up. Lecturers are also giving textbook- size handouts for you to photocopy. If you can, join the school sports team or the entrepreneurial clubs, trust me, the allowances they give out may look like pocket change right now but will be your saving grace come 3rd and 4th year. Find a job during long vacations and save the money. Avoid losing things like phones, laptops because replacing them leaves a dent inyour budget.
The beauty of campus is that you get to meet people with diverse beliefs. however it does not mean that you betray your own beliefs to be agreeable with your friends. It is very possible to be close friends with people who have different beliefs without changing; it’s all about tolerating and respecting your diverse views. Behaving like a ‘holy Jo’ and judging people will not only isolate you from people but will breed a resentful attitude from everyone. By all means stay true to your beliefs though; campus only lasts for 4 years.
You will also notice the diverse style sense from the conservative flowing skirts to the daringly liberal ones. At this point I can inject a dose of femenistknowledge. I have read all manner of Feminist literature touching on the issue of dress code and I can assure you it all boils down to one person’s views: yours. You are as empowered wearing a bui bui complete with hair covered as the other person wearing a mini- dress is, as long as it’s both your personal choices.
Rape happens in campus, especially in parties more than it is reported. Male friends take advantage of their inebriated female friends to do all manner of violations to them, most of the time it is never reported or even interpreted as rape. I wish our form of Feminism had reached the level of Western countries where the onus to ending the rape culture lies with the perpetrators. This is Africa and things are yet to advance to a stage where no one will judge you for being raped while drunk. This may not be the most progressive statement I have ever made but kindly take care of your personal security and be on the lookout for possible offenders on campus- and they are not very far from the people you trust.
Get out there and build a social life- campus is the last chance education gives you to undo your messed up high school social life and build meaningful networks and friendships that can last.
This is your core business while in campus, the rest only occupy supporting roles to ensure you live an all- rounded life. Develop an interest in your field of study- that way you won’t see attending lectures as some form of punishment. It is normal to fail and re-take some papers or get missing marks .Just make sure you resolve your academic woes as soon as they occur. Joining campus is easy, graduating a different story altogether. In freshman year no one attempts to cheat as the dean’s warning about the 1000 days suspension is still freshly engrained in mind. If you can, avoid compromising yourself while in the exam room as the consequences are clearly dire.
I wish you the very best as you begin the most significant step in building your career of choice.