An experience at Egerton is considered as the most unforgettable moment in a student’s life. It is a roller coaster of one’s emotional, intellectual, political, religious and social life. Once you get in as a freshman, it is a guarantee that you will get out as a more refined giant in all aspects of life. Our 02 class was among the unlucky classes which spent five years doing a course that was meant to take four years. This was as a result of the frequent strikes or the infamous relay system that was used by Prof. Maritim, the then VC.
The relay system was used to mitigate the problem of accommodation shortage. In this system, we had a total of five classes every year, and since the University had an accommodation capacity of only half of the total population, it made sure that while half of the population was in session, the other half was out of session. At the beginning of every semester, the two groups would shift positions, and it went on and on in a vicious cycle. There was a high probability of one graduating without meeting students of a specific class. I remember the 02s meeting 01s in our final year for the first time!
In our final semester, there was a mixture of emotions. While we were ecstatic to finish our course and venture out into the wilderness, the prospect of us breaking the strong friendship bond that existed among the students in our class was very difficult to imagine. I remember the moving farewell service that was held at the graduation square to bid us farewell with a lot of nostalgia. The VC, DVCs and other University dignitaries delivered flattering and moving speeches about our class which almost brought tear drops on my cheeks. That afternoon, I was supposed to prepare for the final exam that was supposed to be done the following day in the morning, but I didn’t. I spend the entire afternoon going through the flashbacks of the good and bad moments at Egerton.
As the much anticipated final Mathematics exam was edging closer, I lost the interest of studying for it and channeled all my efforts to packing my bags, doing some cleaning and clearing with various departments. I started with the finance department since I really needed the caution money for my fare back home. Once I was half way through, I went down to Bs lecture Halls to wait for my final exam.
The final exam ended well and the excitement of keeping the memory of our class drove us to march to ARC for a group photo. After the group photo, we exchanged subtle goodbyes with the funny classmates and it was finally time for me to go. I slowly took some steps and went down to the hockey pitch to thank God for enabling me to come this far. That evening, as I cleared from Maringo hostel, I knew that a page was being turned.
Anything that has a beginning must have an end. I took gentle strides on the pavements of Egerton as I slowly pulled my suitcase. When I approached the “Keep Left” roundabout, I took a pause to stare at it for the last time. This was the sign that welcomed me as a freshman, and it was the same one that was biding me farewell as an alumni. It was symbolic in nature. It signified the beginning and the end of intellectual life. It signified the closing of a page that represented student life and opening of a new page representing a hustler armed with myriad skills gained for the last five years, ready to venture into the concrete jungle and take on the world. The Njoro-Nakuru matatus waited patiently along the dusty road at the gate for students/alumnus to board. After boarding one of them, I automatically knew that was the start of my life on a new page as a hustler.