University education is the highlight of an individual’s academic life. Gaining entry into one of the public universities in Kenya is no mean task as one faces cut throat competition from thousands of other eligible students. The high cost of higher education in these institutions makes high school students spend sleepless nights studying for their final exam. KCSE serves to separate the sheep from the goats; those who’ll proceed to university and those who’ll not.
A letter from the Joint Admissions Board seals the fate of the successful students and is received with a lot of excitement and sighs of relief. This is a passport to the Promised Land, the land where there are no rules and parents who are constantly nagging.
The first month after reporting to campus is therefore a chance to experiment with all the things that one could not do at home because of strict parents. Curfew hours that one was accustomed to are thrown out of the window and one returns to their room in the wee hours of the night, staggering from excessive alcohol intake. Some prefer to drink themselves into a stupor in the comfort of their rooms. All these habits require financing and parents and the higher education loans board’ are the unsuspecting sponsors.
It is a time to enjoy youth, after all one is only young once. In campus, young lads and ladies get to discover the sweetness of forbidden fruit. Sexual organs are put to good use in congested hostel rooms and squeaky beds. Woe unto those who are not lucky enough to seduce a girl into their beds; exile awaits them. The dispensers filled with “Sure” and “GOK” condoms line the corridors of university hostels, one can only be grateful that at least these young people are wise enough to protect themselves from diseases and of course, the dreadful fear of pregnancy. Weird sounds and squeaking beds are the norm.
Unlike high school where teachers are at your back, literally forcing education down your throat; lectures in Campus are ‘optional’. Should you choose to skip an entire week’s classes, no one would ask you. Whether to study or not is an individual’s own business.
Despite the destructive phase during the initial phases, Campus plays a key role in shaping and muolding the lives of individuals in the society. One learns to exist with all characters, some of whom are not very likeable. Being put in a room with four complete strangers, all from different backgrounds and cultures leaves you with no choice other than to live with them harmoniously. The numerous squabbles with roommates enhance your tolerance levels as well as your ability to resolve conflicts. In no time, even the most difficult of people are living happily, just like a small family.
The freedom that comes with campus is the beauty of it all. This is where responsibility is borne, an individual realizes that lectures need to be attended and exams need to be passed. The consequences of misusing one’s items translate to financial implications on their part and one becomes extremely budget conscious. Maturity settles in and in no time, one metamorphoses into a fully fledged adult. All options are weighed carefully before one embarks on any project. Most critical life decisions are made in campus, and more often than not, this impacts directly on how a person’s character for the rest of their adult life