Four years down the line and I have had my fair share of campus experiences, from candle flame romances that die away with the wind of brokenness to the extravagant lifestyles of securing HELB loans.
As a high school student, I was optimistic, for the glamour that was campus life. Teachers painted it before my eyes with extravagant stories of all the ‘fun’ they had, they might have forgotten to mention the importance of getting an education because as far as I was concerned I had only one reason to work hard and join campus: PARTY!
Nevertheless, all this glamour painted before my very eyes must follow the old adage that not all that glitters is gold. Joining campus must have been my first real heart break. Yes, for some reason I thought immediate admission meant that booze would suddenly flow from taps, parties would be in plenty as the lectures and all this would be free. Enter bubble buster. I had to buy my own alcohol, plan my own parties and meet people that I would eventually invite to these parties.
The first problem was where I would get all this money. All I had was basic street smarts and the ability to calculate the amount of energy it would take ‘John’ to push a load of 30KG up an inclined plane of 30 degrees. Thank you physics teacher.
Here I was dead center in a world where apparently, everybody was my comrade and we had this ‘power’ that I was yet to see. I was desperate for fun, desperate for money and without an iota of an idea on where to acquire both. The older students seemed to posses some secret knowledge that they were yet to pass on, life to them was slow and easy like a Sunday morning. You walk down the corridors of education a youngen, naïve and eager to learn the ways of the learned, the ‘wise’ seemingly eager to share this knowledge.
With the passing of time I somehow realized that nothing is ever given to you, you have to take it. Equipped with only that and a passion for fun I began my first ever hustle. The money begun streaming in the liquor followed, the women and the parties. I was finally living the campus dream. Despite never been present to most of my lectures I attended all of them. There was this thing called an attendance sheet, all you needed was a friend to sign you in and notify you on crucial dates such assignment deadlines and CATs. This was my first taste at beating the system, and I loved it.
Soon enough, the zeal for academic excellence died out like a candle flame in a cool summer breeze. Graduation was just but a distant thought, one that was too real to be real. You see university life is not in the business of what next, we lived in the context of what now. I have seen comrades spend their whole allowance plus HELB loans on drinks and women on a single weekend. These same comrades had rents due the following week but in the spirit of ‘you only live once’ they’d say “ikikam tutajua”.
Finally, that distant thought is not so distant. Three abbreviations that you did not even care about now mean the world to you. This is the infamous grade point average otherwise known as the GPA. These points determine how you graduate, either distinctions or just a mere pass. Yes a pass, as if you were passing through the institution for the sake of an academic paper. As reality dawns, time is gone, you see youngens walking the corridors without a care in the world. You share the little wisdom you have continue the cycle entering the world unprepared as could be. We are the future? Only thing bright about it is the pants we so wear and the colored follicles passing of as hairstyles.
But hey, that’s just life.
From campus with love.