By Vivian Kisaka.
Looking back to when I joined campus and where I am right now, I must admit that a lot has changed for me, some for the better and some for the worst. First things first I joined campus a very naive girl. I didn’t know how to relate with the opposite gender because most of my life I was surrounded by the female students. I went to an all girl primary boarding school and high school was also the same.
The only time I interacted with men was during high school ‘funkies’ and even then, we were not allowed to mingle with boys since it was considered as bad behavior or bad manners. Then came campus, the place was flocked with all sorts of men; the tall, the short, the dark-skinned, the light-skinned, the well-built, the skinny, the hilarious, the serious, I mean all sorts of guys. That was quite overwhelming and I really did not know how to handle all that.
But then with time I got the hang of it and currently most of my friends are men. Now it isn’t bad manners to hang out with guys.
It is also in campus that I had my first relationship, and many more that followed. Some were good since I’m still kind of in touch with my exes while some were bad and can’t afford a simple hi to the guys. What I’ve learnt so far is that most guys in campus fall under team mafisi, that is, they just want a good bang then that’s it they move on to the next victim.
It is on campus where I lost my virginity (my mum would kill me if she knew this) to a guy who I thought really loved me, but truth of the matter is that he was the CEO of team mafisi and after he got what he wanted he was out. Since then, I’ve never believed in campus guys or campus relationships.
On the brighter side, I learnt how to cook different sorts of dishes thanks to the many roommates I interacted with. My major accomplishment here was when I learnt how to cook ugali now that was a big achievement that even my mum was so proud of me. Here in Kenya it’s quite a big deal if a lady doesn’t know how to cook ugali because it’s kind of our staple food. My mum would always joke with me saying that my husband would send me back home if I didn’t know how to cook ugali but now am a prowess, he can invite his whole village and I’ll prepare some awesome ugali.
Fridays in campus changed me for the worst I guess because of the dundas. Well, my friends and I called that fun, whereby we could drink ourselves silly and crawl back to our rooms, sleep till the next morning and wake up with hangovers then repeat the whole thing the next Friday. We partied like rock stars as we sang along to Wiz Khalifa’s song “so what we get drunk, so what we smoke weed, we just having fun, we don’t care who sees…living young and wild and free”.
We worked hard and played hard, YOLO was our slogan-You Only Live Once. I hated myself for whatever I did when drunk but it still seemed fun to me. However, I’m currently on the path of quitting this heinous-but-fun-in-a-way behavior.
Additionally, I learnt that peer pressure is so real in campus. Forget whatever we had in our adolescence, that aside. In campus your peers can easily sway you here and there and you will blindly follow. You will find yourself doing something because so and so is doing it and therefore you wouldn’t want to be left out. In my case I found myself getting a mouth piercing, yeah right, a mouth piercing. It looked so nice on certain chics and I had to try it.
The whole makeup thing I learnt that in campus not that I’m against it or anything. I used to see other girls entering class with makeup and they looked good and appealing to the eye. They got the attention they sought and guess what, I also joined the bandwagon. I started off with some lipstick, then eye pencil and gradually progressed till now I can’t do without makeup, not that am ugly or anything but just makeup enhances my beauty.
I also realized that you do not really have to read hard and spend nights in the library preparing for exams because as you do that someone elsewhere is preparing a mwakenya and saving PDF files on his/her phone and others just wait for you to read and prepare well so they can sit next to you and copy-paste your work from the beginning to the end. In my opinion I think lecturers invigilating exams should be vigilant and strict to ensure such behaviors are not condoned because it is demoralizing for one to prepare so hard and get a B and another to copy and get an A.
So far, my greatest achievement is learning how to swim. You don’t have to get to campus to know how to swim but as for me it is while in campus that I learnt how to. We could always go out and I would just bask in the sun watching my friends swim then one day they coerced me into getting into the pool. My first experience wasn’t good because I almost drowned and I also didn’t trust anything or anyone with my wait because I’m big. I even feared using the floaters because I thought I would sink them, but after some trials and lessons I learnt how to swim. That must have been my happiest day ever.
Campus indeed has a lot to offer and a lot to learn from. You can either stick to the good or the bad it all depends on you. As for me, my journey in campus isn’t over yet, I still have a lot to learn and I’m hoping that whatever I will learn in the years to come will have a positive impact on my life.
The writer is a second year student in Moi University taking Communication and Public Relations.