The first day I stepped into JKUAT I was under the company of my big brother-turned-politician, Austin Arnold, who had strict instructions from Omondi Were (our old man) to register me into the school. He never did. I mean, it’s not everyday a big brother registers his young’un into campus before he, himself, even joins first year. Aye? Heheh, I just had to shove that to his face. But that’s not why he didn’t register me. As it turns out, my confused self had left my birth certificate (which was necessary since I was still an Under 18) back home, thereby declaring the whole process null and void. That was on a Thursday. The birth certificate was sent through E-Coach by my old man on Friday and Austin travelled back home to visit the old fogeys on Saturday. I left my elder sister’s place on Sunday evening and registered the next morning. On Monday.
I endured line after line until I finally finished the whole process. Occasionally, I would get lost somewhere within the school and I’d call Chacharito* (not his real name), an old friend of Austine’s, for directions. You know how in high school, on your first day, you’re assigned a ‘Guardian’? Yeah. Well, apparently, before he left, Austin had told Chacharito to be my ‘Guardian’. Now Chacharito was a 2nd year tall hefty chap with a stomach just a few inches shy of Kibaki’s and a knack for anything in a skirt. Or a protruding chest. He was probably too busy getting laid (as is the campus norm) to worry his a** about a confused first year. A real nigga nevertheless, once he started buying me beers, we became ‘boys’. Drinks on me next weekend, Sir.
My first year was quiet, seeing as I was always the silent one. Probably still am. Always keeping to myself, observing keenly everyone and everything around me. Taking notes. I learnt a lot during that first semester only. Probably much more than I took home during my Calculus classes the previous semester. I had a cool (no homo) roommate by the name of Dennis Wyre. If you’ve heard of that name elsewhere then it’s probably from an outfit known as DilRay Inc, which, together with his best friend, they founded and I happen to be an ‘affiliate’ of. The ninja has done well for himself, good for him. But first year wasn’t always rosy. We (actually he…seeing as it was his) had only a radio in our room. No woofer. Just a typical radio, from which we’d always catch the latest gossip in town, listen to Miss Mandi’s ‘The Morning After’ every day before class and rush back in the evening for a date with the crazy Jeremy Odhiambo a.k.a Saliva Vic on 91.5 Hits. I love Saliva Vic (no homo…again). To this day, I fringe in my seat whenever someone tells me Maina Kageni is the King of Radio. I mean, have you listened to this dude bana?!!
Wyre was the room’s Batman, and I Robin. Always bringing ‘home’ the cute girls, I owe my very first hug from a lady in campus to him. But on the topic of ‘Exile’, we had a rule. One was only allowed to bring a lady to spend the night during the weekends, when the other was away. I was always at my sister’s place during the weekends. She’s the one who always persuaded me to go. It was a way of slowing down the weekend expenditures and thwarting peer pressure. Everyone gets his/her ‘freaky’ out in campus on the weekends, a lot of money is spent on women and booze. Money which could be saved for more meaningful use. Those days when I barely spent a meager 50-baab per meal, I couldn’t bear spending a cent more on booze. That would’ve subjected me to untold bankruptcy. And when you’re broke in campus and you don’t know anyone, son, sh*t never gets any realer. Been there, done that. Trust me, living in Turkana will seem like a haven.
First years, campus is a different world. Depending on your personality, campus could be the devils playground or Disneyland. Nobody gives a sh*t about you here. Your business is your business. If you want to drink your brains silly and crap in your pants, the best I can do for you is tuck you neatly by the bushes beside the road so you don’t get run over by an oncoming vehicle. ‘Be your brother’s keeper’ is a phrase that applies only to the birds around here. Know who you hang around, fake friends come with wider smiles than a Colgate ad. And in plenty. The very bimbo you consider your ‘closest’ friend could turn out to be your downfall; stabbing you in the back at every opportunity, laying the very damsel you’ve had your eyes on since day one.
Attend classes. If you don’t attend classes in first year, you probably never will. If you were the ‘bad boy’ in your school, that was then. This is campus, not high school…where students report bullies to the administration for punishment. Respect is earned the right way around here, not by pushing the smaller fellas left, right and center. Stand out from your peers, not by crook. Your I.Qs will be put to tests here. You’ll be forced to make judgment calls and discern right from wrong. You do what you want to do, whenever you want to do it, and with absolutely no one on your back.
Ladies, keep your damn legs closed already. I’m not saying there are no Romeos here, I’m just saying boys will always be boys. This is Generation Y; lust is the blood that flows through our veins. Don’t wait for an ‘I love you’ text when all you keep getting are ‘Am horny’ messages. That brute will not as much as remember your birthday when he lifts his face up from ‘down there’.
Make friends with the bookworms. They sure come in handy when ‘Maths for Science’ assignments are issued and you have absolutely no idea what the value of x is. And they will never miss a single class, so they could sign against your name once in a while on those attendance sheets when you’re in bed nursing your Monday blues. Or getting laid.
Social media statistics puts 70% of women in relationships while 30% of men single and openly mingling. Someone’s lying somewhere. Men…er, boys, never spend your money on a girl you just met. She’s never worth a dime. Girls, trust a man with anything else but not your heart. Or your ‘cookie’. One point of correction though, not all men are dogs. Unless you’ve been with all of them, in which case, you’re worse than a dog. Am just saying.
If you have to go out, always tag along that one sober friend who never gets wasted. I’ve been around too long to know that a gang of drunkards never have a good story to tell. The outcome is always the same; bottles broken and heads smashed. Take that to the bank.
One more thing, people die around here. Whether it is by drowning at the swimming pool, accidents at the hostels, bar fights, love triangles or gun shots, death is real. And to answer your question, Yes, people get shot too. Don’t make enemies. Protect your life.
All in all, first year is fun. Live it, love it. Take alcohol as much as you please, hop from as many beds as you deem fit. Attend events, get wasted, have one-night stands. Screw your brains so hard you don’t recognize the person you see in the mirror the next morning. Just make sure you don’t regret any second of it. And don’t get supplementaries.