Am not trying to play judge, jury and executioner at the same time but the extreme makeover process most students go through due to absolute freedom in their attempt to fit in makes altar boys and girls at home end up in lowlife acts that completely turn their life inside out.
Receiving your university calling letter gives you a pulsating feeling as you don’t know how different life is likely to be. The kind of freedom you are likely to enjoy after the nagging high school life where teachers were all over your neck in school while parents and guardians’ curtailed your movements at home. Going to campus gives you absolute freedom; you are finally out of the cage not knowing freedom comes with a certain measure of responsibilities. Freedom corrupts; absolute freedom corrupts absolutely, when exposed to a free environment slaves tend to want to explore the life their slave masters restricted them from enjoying thus the exhibition of carefree lifestyles around every corridor and corner.
During the first days of this new life, I couldn’t really spot anything peculiar with campus everything seemed to be normal until they become abnormal maybe I wasn’t looking in the proper direction. Hardly had I completed a month when I noticed all sorts of double lives students lead. Am not trying to play judge, jury and executioner at the same time but the extreme makeover process most students go through in their attempt to fit in makes altar boys and girls at home end up engaging in lowlife acts that completely turn their life inside out.
There exist high levels of euphoria in Kenyan universities and colleges which act as the convergence points of high school graduates who are eager to experience what life has to offer. Emancipating from different family backgrounds; humble ones for that matter, soon fall victim of cajolery, deception and manipulation by friends through socialization, especially those from well-off families picking up bad life changing habits while discarding the rest.
Campus lads, significantly those residing amidst medieval levels of squalor tend to do things they actually and technically wouldn’t do while at home. It doesn’t matter your denomination or religion when it comes to peer pressure, girls who used to dress in decent, less revealing attires due to their religious attachment. Muslim ladies aren’t left behind, they also undergo the makeover as they adapt to campus lives. Religious and cultural beliefs are suspended as everyone tries to customize their default settings to fit in.
Living up to campus life expectations is the hardest thing nowadays; most lecturers are busy chasing consultancy jobs, part time lectures and research leaving you with unlimited free time. Keeping yourself busy during the day with classes then evolving to a highly amorous and hyper as soon as darkness sets in. I firmly remember one night that probably summarized everything. Straight from taking dinner in a well-known eatery around campus since it was Friday darkness always sets in faster than any other day. I’m not punctual in taking my meals, as my African and Kenyan would curse me for abandoning our culture falling in the Whiteman’s trap of setting timelines when doing things.
On my way back to my hostel I had to pass through a renowned club which was the best hangout. Initially I had no intention of going in that’s when I realized the devil is a liar and alcohol is his cousin. Stumbling across a group of course mates who were having drinks outside the joint. It was an unwritten law, common sense and general knowledge a first year mal students couldn’t have a seat on the able of men inside the club, those who went to Moi University main campus will tell you Frakaz or is it F2 nowadays was no joke more so when you are a first year. Senior students were able to smell a first year from far, dance with their girlfriends by force, drink the lion’s share of their drinks and gang up to beat you if you refuse to meet their demands.
After a little persuasion I made my way into F2 lounge snaking through the crowd of revelers as I was sent to fetch the drinks as an initiation ceremony since it was my first time out with the crew. Since am not into drinking I just thought it was just a simple hangout to pass time with friends. Alluding to my old man’s saying “Just live life, want nothing more.” I guess I was just enjoying part of man’s alacritous makings inside such a lounge.
As I snaked through the crowded ‘dance floor’ carefully not to rub anyone the wrong way thus avoiding any club fist fights that could leave me faceless with a lot of unnecessary birthmarks in form of dents. Skimpily ladies dressed in thigh- long dresses flooded the dance floor as they displayed their rachetness, enjoying the company of their slayking boyfriends who make them drunk beyond recognition not knowing how the our society uses different lenses when judging ladies whereas turning a blind eye to the actions of their male counterparts.
Reaching for my pocket since am not a wallet kind of guy, after I lost my first wallet with very crucial documents straight high school. From my corduroy jeans back pocket popped out three thousand shillings, actually I had been sent money that day. Young, principled and single some of the benefits you reap from not dating in campus is always having extra cash, a little bit of “kakitu” inside your wallet, pockets or wherever you stuff your stash of monies.
Placing a thousand shilling note over the counter as I patiently stood over patiently waiting for my turn to be served. Beer being expensive plus it has low alcoholic percentage 7.5% so I opted for Top Secret which the crew had fronted. Like its name, its alcohol content is also top secret I joined the crew outside with my soda at hand alongside their tumblers.
As my eyes scanned around perusing the fun these “clubbing gurus” were having, a single question crossed my mind. “What if their parents were able to see them right now, would they possibly think that investing on their education was a mistake instead they should have invested in farming or any other income generating activity without an ounce of regret?” At one corner, I could vividly get a standby focus of two girls, sexually simulating each other as if liquor made them forget they are of similar gender. At another corner, smoke clouds were forming up in volumes, the scent chocking as the seemingly astonished groupies yelled out loud “weed” a clear indication of their naivety.
The place was so stuffy and crowded to the extent that allowing each other passage was somewhat of a tricky affair. I spotted Karina from a distance she was my ‘homie’ from afar since we come from the same village I decided to shout her name as I called her to announce my presence. She heard me without me yelling for a second time.
As she came towards me, I could see guilt and hesitation written all over her face. seemingly embarrassed by my ‘shout out’ since she never expected me there as I never expected her there too. I didn’t judge, I never knew her to be naïve? How was she dressed? Her makeup? Her shoes? Her company? Were totally different from the Karina I knew.
As we were catching up on some unfinished home stories, cracking jokes before I finally released her to join her groupies. She was always decent, I wondered who bought her the booty short she was wearing, definitely it wasn’t her mum though it baffled me I didn’t judge as I was also in the wrong place doing the right thing with wrong people. Little did I know my crew had decided to spice up my Fanta soda with top secret, unleashing my hidden potential as I ended up using the three thousand that night buying at least three other Top Secret bottles. I woke up on Saturday, in the afternoon cashless, on the upper decker still donning my timberland boots.
This is just a preview of the double lives campus students lead, saints at home sinners away. Students tend to abuse drugs such as bhang, cigars, weed cookies and alcohol abuse over indulging in irresponsible sexual behavior since mum and dad aren’t around to prefect you. In their attempt to rediscover themselves they end up turning their lives inside out.
The ripple effect of such half lifes is so evident with low grades, unexplainable deaths, abortions and deferments. Boys graduate as drunks whereas girls graduate when they are two in one yet they were admitted alone, in worst case scenarios they aren’t sure who is the father to the child they are expecting.
What’s more surprising is that most if not all live a double lives full of fakery as they tend to feign societal piety while at home and immorality of the highest within the vicinity of their respective institutions. Some are leading lifestyles different from their family financial background, a class they are not from as they try to match their counterparts from wealthy backgrounds when they actually come from humble families. Families that struggle a lot to sustain them while in campus.
Freedom granted to campus lads is all but to blame; no one really follows up on anything. Actually it’s a matter of self-discipline intertwined with principles that will make you to stand out not to fit in.