When you first come to a university, you will go in with different beliefs and high expectations, but for most of us, those beliefs are not always right. But who will blame us after years of watching Nollywood and even Kannywood movies and seeing how they portray university life? We come in believing that somehow we would get caught in the middle of a gang fight, still didn’t happen to a lot of us though; too bad because we could have used the experience and definitely the little bit of fun.
And what about the widespread belief about most students are unserious. That doesn’t add up and does not really explain the lack of seats in libraries or lecture halls. Come on; we have those students that will come for a lecture even though the lecturer had already announced that he was going to miss his class. Or those who go hours before the first lecture starts, if that makes them unserious, the rest of us are probably dropouts.
Don’t get me started on the idea of romance planted in our heads, most of us believed that we would meet ‘the one’ in the school corridors; can’t say that it doesn’t happen, maybe the rest of us are doing something wrong (bumping into your crush and dropping your books sounds useful, but there will no guarantee they will help you pick up your books while staring into your eyes). Maybe you should try getting hit by a random car or something. Seemed to happen a lot in the movies, since the whole gang stuff and falling in love with the bad boy or girl didn’t really work out.
I can go on and on about the ten thousand and one things we were misinformed about. Those movies and books and all the stories we heard from other people gave us an entirely different Idea of what the students and the school system are. But it is not all bad, sometimes; the whole fun part is overrated (not to say that it is not fun or anything). But sometimes, you definitely need a breather out of the school environment, or you are going to suffocate and die, the cause of death will probably be written down as stress or boredom.
But I think that’s also the fun part, coming in with those bizarre beliefs and realising that life in a higher institution is so different than what you thought it would be. It’s like entering a whole new world and discovering everything on your own. You become like a toddler in the outside world. I don’t know if you have noticed, but toddlers have a wonderful way of viewing everything around them; everything is exciting to them. They look at everything as if it was a piece of the star that has somehow fallen to earth and that is amazing.
You also get to learn what they will never tell you in movies; crazy timetables (sitting for hours in one single class is really exhausting and gets really boring at a point), limited time (yup! There are not enough hours in a day for everything we are expected to do), too much to read (explaining to the school management that you have only one brain is useless), boring lectures (if you had never felt the urge to bang your head continuously on the wall until you pass out. This is probably your chance); frustration over everything and nothing (sometimes it is the hostel, or lack of light or water or even the innocent inanimate objects. It’s not really weird if you one day feel the desire to hit something).
I always suggest that universities should have something like a scream room or therapy sessions. Holding all that frustration can cause damage and we need to let it out somehow. And that is why it is essential always to find a support group or a safe space. It doesn’t have to be something major; it can just be joining a club you feel passionate about.
Before you read about the really good aspects, check out this article on how to organise and be a successful college student.
You also get to meet all kinds of people; the know it all who are a bit annoying, unfortunately, the exceptions to that general rule aren’t much; the storytellers, who always have millions of horror stories for newbie’s, you are going to learn that most of them are made up but at least they entertain you and scare you at the same time, they seem to derive some twisted kind of fun in that; the occasional douche bags, forgive my French, but there isn’t a word in the dictionary that can describe them perfectly, if you get what I mean; and of course the admirers, I personally prefer those that stay in the background, being a new student usually draws them to you like a moth to a fire, at least until the next set comes in; the evil lecturers, those will prove to you that the devil does not only wear Prada but could be the big or little person in front of you holding a marker, it all depends on the size, but don’t let it fool you, you could be facing Lucifer himself or at least his chief assistant.
I think sometimes you have a part to play in it all in the end, don’t carry yourself and walk towards trouble or else you are only going to get burned. And in such situations, you have no one to blame but yourself and no regrets can make it right. You can only learn from it and try to avoid making such mistakes in the future. But making your own mistakes is great in the long run, it shapes who you are as a person.
But despite all these, there is so much to see and even more to learn (you might also learn more outside the classroom than within it). And if you look hard enough, you will discover that the movies had at least taught you the most critical thing; No matter which school you find yourself or what kind of company you chose to keep, there is one thing that cannot be denied, or disputed upon …YOU ARE IN FOR A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE.
Don’t forget to check out this article on how effectively you could manage your time as a college student. Trust me; time management is the most important thing you get to learn as quickly as possible the moment you get into a college.