I am finally done with university. Fare thee well 8.4.4 education system! You really tortured me and equally taught me well. I must admit that out of the 16 years in the Kenyan education system, campus’ last four years were the most memorable. I learnt quite a lot along the way. Some of which I will explain below:
1. Nobody will spoon feed you
After being in a Catholic high school with strict rules, the amount of freedom in campus came as a big shocker. What made matters worse was that I was completely away from home as I studied in an entirely different town. Lecturers will not follow-up when you miss classes (cheers to public university forcing you to grow up) and nobody will show concern for low grades except your parents. It took a whole lot of dedication to survive. (I missed about three media classes throughout my whole four years. I hope my mum is reading this)
2. See no shame in sitting at the front of the class
I am not ashamed to say that I sat right under the lecturer’s nose in all my classes. This is not only because I was my class’ representative, but because I knew I would not be easily distracted by noisemakers at the back. As a matter of fact, when exams drew near, the back bench crew always asked for my notes. Sitting at the front gives you an upper hand. You get to hear everything, build your confidence and the lecturers will be glad to give you recommendation letter in future with no hesitation.
3. Participate in school activities
Taking part in club and society activities builds your social skills, C.V and arms you with leadership skills too. I am using some of the skills I learnt in university committees I was a part of in my job at today.
4. Take those unpaid internships
After fourth year, some of my classmates struggled to get attachment opportunities at the last-minute because they just felt too proud to accept the unpaid internship opportunities they got earlier. You do not have to wait till the last minute to apply for internships. Actually, apply from your second year or third year of study. This builds up the experience on your curriculum vitae and you will not struggle to get an attachment opportunity in your fourth year.
5. Take your class projects seriously
Humans often procrastinate. I am still trying to get rid of the last-minute rush bug too. But when you hurry over something, you don’t really give it your all. My practical project group members and I upon being challenged by our lecturer Mr. Wilson Yego, made a production expected to be 3 min long into a 40 minute film. It went on to win awards at the 2016 national music and film festival and the 2016 Lake Basin Film and Theatre Festival. The film, Twist of Fate, allowed my group members to explore skills we never even knew we had. It is in this project that I learnt I can be a scrip writer, editor and lead actress all at once! Do your assignments like the world depends on it
6. Start reading for exams early enough
I wish I followed this advice myself in my first year of study. I only took exams seriously as from the second year. Reading early enough ensures you are well prepared and not nervous in the exam room. Getting those As is not as hard as it seems. The earlier you start working hard, the better.
7. Pick your friends carefully
I am so glad my girlfriends and I found each other.
They saw me at my best and worst. Crying from breakups, dancing in our pajamas to our favourite songs, these girls were my home away from home and I thank God from them. Find yourself genuine friends to be your rocks and to keep you in check. And most importantly, make memories!
I am grateful for the years gone by. Getting graduation photos from a shoot held last year made me reminisce about university. If you are reading this and are still in campus, put your chin up and aim for Jupiter, the sky is only the limit