I can still remember my high school days like it was just yesterday. We would have TP’s (Teacher in Practice) come over for their training. I can bet that most of us would look at them in awe and wonder, when will we get there?
Life changes the moment you step into college. Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Freedom. There is so much freedom to the extent that one can skip lessons, stay out late and practically do anything they want, without facing any significant repercussions.
On campus you meet people of diverse cultures and your interactions with these people, tends to have an impact on your behavior. It is a mind opening experience. You interact and collaborate with various people and get ideas from their varying perspectives.
The most important and exciting part of campus is the groups we form, strong bonds that we nurture, and lessons (not just inside a class) we learn. These relationships are with people that we see and interact with almost every day, for the tenure of your program. They become significant players in our experiences and view of life.
Once you are through, and you graduate, everything changes. Remember when your high school teacher would keep reminding the class of “when you get to the outside world?” Well, life on campus does not give you the whole picture of the “outside world.”
When you are finally done with the thrill and adventure of campus life, once you step out of that gate:
>Life takes a different turn
Yes, you had that select group of people whom you would go out with no matter what. After campus, there are those who will get married straight out of college. Some will go away. Others will mature up, now that they are faced with the reality of life.
You will surely have a different experience from most of your comrades. You may not have time or money always to go out every weekend. It will create a gap in your relationships.
>The first question after salutations will be, “Umepata Job?”
Oh my! Be mentally prepared for such scenarios. Even those people you meet for the first time may ask you this. We are all aware of the high unemployment rates in our country. But despite this, everyone expects you to be doing something with your life.
>You’ve got to learn how to hustle
Not everyone has the luxury of getting financial support from their parents; unless you are one of those Trust Fund Kids on the block. You may not get the job you always wished for; you may not work for a prestigious firm. You may not be the highest paid; but if you want to make ends meet and be your financer, learn a hustle or two.
Get started while you are on campus if you never have. Interact with colleagues who are doing something more than just study. It will benefit you in and after university.
>Friendships will be lost, or you will let them go
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. I am in contact with only a handful of people that I was close to on campus. Not that I regret it, but be sure you may never be able to meet or hang out with those that were once closest to you.
Your perspective of life, experiences, ideologies, merely creates a gap in your friendship that may never be bridged.
>Learn not to compare yourself with others
Some of your friends have already gotten well-paying jobs and are doing very well. They have their houses while you may be living with your parents. They buy what they want, but you sometimes ask your parents for credit. It will be a struggle to stay in touch with your pals because when you see what they have, it reminds you of what you don’t have.
Find something to do and be content with the small and significant milestones that you overcome. Your purpose, life is going to be different from the next person. If you want to live a happy and satisfied life, don’t compare with others.
Learn from the hustle of others, life “out here” is not easy, and neither is it rough, but it is for the strong. Do not give up, or tire of looking for what makes you tick. Find God, be bold and ready to take risks, because no one is going to push you, life will.
If you are lucky, your connections may play out well for you. But in the end, when you are all by yourself, it is what you choose to do that will keep you going or bar you from realizing your dreams. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to get there. The most important thing is fueling your purpose of making your dreams real, each passing moment.