By Ivy Kiche
Excitement galore! That’s how it feels when you first land in Campus as a fresher ready to take over the world by its mantle! You just can’t wait to start turning the pages of campus life.
However, before you bare your soul to every buzz of activities and individual you see in the campus streets; here is the drill. Campus life comes in many shades of grey. I know you’ve been bombarded with a myriad of hair-rising tales of how campus life is the real deal. However, before you pierce that campus bubble of activities that you’ve been getting wind of, please place that sword back in its scabbard and first be equipped.
I’m no campus maverick but one of life’s small cruelties is that campus life can sometimes be a capricious lady that drives people nuts. You cool with that? Me neither. I remember my hey-days in campus with sheer nostalgia. It’s a little, well… no; it’s a lot on the fantastic side. You see when you face the force of an ice storm; you don’t exactly walk boldly forward in a show of unbridled confidence. Bluster will get you battered my friend! Same to campus life, you never know what will be served on your plate sometimes. You need to sit back and come up with immaculate ways of how to gingerly work your way up the success ladder while in campus despite its many confusing shades, especially as a first year.
What happened to me as a fresher totally changed the melody of my life and it’s a song I can’t wait to play for you one of these fine days. For now, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of taking one step at a time.
Choice of friends and associates
One friend, who I will call Harry Potter since I’m feeling so generous as I pen this down, loved sprinkling our conversations with this; “Friends may make you or break you into small smithereens.” So cliché, no? Wrong. It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway. Remind them even if they know. As a freshman, this might seem as an uphill task but you’ll get it figured out anyway. The second years having been in the nursing stage as freshers and emerging victorious, will be striving to grab you by the throat eager to be “more than friends” with you – a fresh irresistible blood. They will come for your naïve soul, you’ve got to watch out for the hit and runs or simply put; the commitments phobic. Tough one, huh? You will know them by their fruits, I say. You will know them by their fruits. Keep your antennas high up.
And while we are at it, you are just a first year for pit sake. Serious relationships, now? You had better socialize; time to specialize will indeed be at your beck and call in a little while when you will be able to view life from broad angles. Don’t put your life on a hold, waiting for some guy to come riding in your life on a white stallion, join clubs and associations in campus that stokes your interest but don’t bar you much from attending lectures, doing your assignments and projects. Everything under the sun has its own time.
What really took you to campus?
Wrapped in unmatched brilliance, you landed in Campus, ready to beat all odds and conquer the world (read graduate) and positively impact on the society. But then, as reality starts to strike, you realize that you are being served with freedom on a gold platter. Freedom you never quite tasted while in your parents nest – raised in a family committed to calloused hands and rigorous rules that didn’t really spark any sort of pleasure in you. But here you are, and oh, why didn’t they tell you that freedom tasted this good? Even without the spices? They must have been out of their minds; you tell yourself. You can’t wait to dive into the sea of freedom!
The vast distractions you find in campus are so riveting with twists that defy your expectations. Blood-rushing kind of feelings keeps on bombarding you whenever you head to the raving joints every weekend. You throw caution to the wind. Your motto – YOLO; you just don’t care anymore.
However, your performance as depicted in your first year transcripts jolts you back to your senses. If this was someone’s idea of a bad joke, they had truly outdone themselves; you tell yourself. And to sign it “discontinued” just made it all the more horrifying. No doubt, Papa might as well just skin you alive.
Dust yourself, pick up the pieces and build a Lego house.
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve; the fear of failure,” Paulo Coelho in ‘The Alchemist’. We never plan to fail but once the red flags have been paraded bare for one to see, then being swayed to dance with the tunes of such a current is akin to a bad riptide. You just don’t do it.
Campus life can be an intellectually fruitful time for you if you choose to; you just need to know how to play your cards well.
As a first year, it might prove to be one confusing rollercoaster, but having the right associations will help phase out the basket case you thought you were at the beginning and you will start feeling like an expert at the end. Faith it and see yourself leafing through the pages of the rip roaring chemical journal of Campus life with pleasure. Cuidense mis amigos!