The entire hamlet is in a celebratory mood. Word that you’ll be reporting to university in early September spread fast. You are supposed to be over the moon, but the stuff you’ve been reading in Jowal Jones’ column makes you a little wary about college.
“How will my freshman year turn out?” I hear you ask.
Looking lost on your first day in campus, you will stop a passer-by and ask him for directions to the admission hall. He will politely offer assistance before adding, “Welcome to the land of loud parties, asinine music, drugs, sexual language and little learning.” His weird words will cause you to ponder, and only after a day will it dawn on you that the passer-by was actually Jowal Jones.
During your first lecture, the professor will say, “Welcome to university, where sex is more common than a handshake.” During orientation, your jaw will drop to the ground as they hand you a boxful of rubbers. They mean well, you know. You’ll hardly use them, as a few months down the line, you’ll be busy playing roulette with your life by taking morning-after pills three times a week.
Before you even get to your hostel on that first day, older comrades, the infamous Team Mafisi, will overwhelm you with unsolicited overtures.
In less than two months, you’ll have gone through a dozen or so relationships before giving up on campus “boys” altogether. They’re almost always broke, because just like you, they’re becoming allergic to hard work.
You crave champagne on a beer budget, and the only way to have this is by turning into a “campus diva”. Thus you will go on Facebook and find yourself a “sponsor” old enough to be your ancestor, never mind that he’s married – as long as he’s moneyed.
At matriculation, you will realise that even though you carried your best clothes, you’re still on the lower rungs of fashion. So you will tuck away the frocks and petticoats your mamma bought you and by the end of the first semester, you’ll be dressing as though in competition with 50-bob hookers. ‘“My dress, my choice”, you’ll learn to say.
You never buy your first drink yourself. Someone will buy it for you, even though you’ll barely be of legal age. You’ll take a hesitant sip at that house party, convincing yourself it’s just to keep up with the Joneses. That sip will be the first step down a perilous path.
Examinations keep you in check even as you forsake religion and embrace house-parties, but even then, you’ll discover a cheat-code called “mwakenya.”
And when you travel back home at the end of the first semester, you will expect to be revered by all just by virtue of your attending college. Your ego, now running all the way from Muchatha to Timbuktu, will cause you to expect villagers to bow down and gaze in wonder whenever you pass by.