Awesome Advice for Campus Students!

Things every university student ought to know;
Its a few months after high school and your KCSE results are almost out. You go to church on Sunday and pray for hours that you get a good grade to get you into university. Your prayers are answered and since you passed beyond your wildest dreams, for weeks you walk around the neighborhood holding your head high anticipating the moment when someone, or anyone, would ask about your grade. The excitement is compounded when you finally join the university. At this point, the sky is the limit. You are excited and bursting with life and cannot wait to experience the “University life”. With the new found freedom, you quickly make friends and start forming cliques, could be the cool clique, the nerdy, the born again or wherever it is you fit. At first, you attend all the classes but eventually, life gets in the way. Too much partying, binge watching movies or just lazing around in the dorm room becomes a norm and slowly, you start skiving classes. This becomes your life until you graduate and the harsh realities of life sink in and you wish you knew. To avoid the wishing, I will share some advice that every university student ought to know.
1. Engage in extracurricular activities. Well, this will help in two ways; (i) you never know where your talent lies. By engaging in different activities, you get to know what you are good at. Who knows, you might be the next Julius Yego or Lupita Nyong’o (ii) you will able to network and form friendships that will come in handy in post university life.
2. Network. Simply put, you need to make valuable friends/contacts. I mean it’s good to know who always has the latest “muchene” in class but you also need to think of your future. When you step into the world, networks make your life much easier. So how do you network? Attend career fairs/talks, join clubs and attend any other university events that you think might be important.
3. Do as many internships as possible. Think of what you want to be after graduating and look for internships that will steer you towards your career goal. I know we all complain that in some internship you are sent to the filing room from day 1 to the last day and we keep asking, is it really worth it? I’m not gaining the relevant experience so what’s the point? Well, to emphasize on why even that filing role is important, I will use James Mworia as an example. For those who do not know him, he is the CEO of Centum. For those who do not know Centum, refer to point number 4 below. Back to James Mworia, he started as an intern in Centum with the role of filing and in seven or so years, he was able to rise to the position of a CEO. Need I say more?
4. Make good use of the internet. Almost all universities nowadays have wifi which makes our university life even more interesting. You spend a whole day downloading movies and series and chatting with your friends on Whatsapp. Not to say that this is wrong or bad. We all need a hobby/ pass time. But do you know just how much you can do with the internet? Start a blog, attend free classes on YouTube, search for jobs and scholarships and learn about the world. Your education does not have to be constrained to the classroom; there is lots of free knowledge in the internet just waiting for you to discover it.
5. Understand that life is not easy. Most university graduates imagine that after school they will immediately land the job of their dreams. Reality is, some might be lucky enough to get the job, but for most graduates, the Kenyan job market is frustrating characterized by endless “tarmacking”, sending in job applications with no response. So how do you avoid this eventuality from happening to you? Well, it’s simple. Read and practice points 1 to 4. If you do, by the time you leave University, you shall have secured yourself a place in the competitive job market. If you won’t have secured that job, at least you will be able to compete for it.
6. Last but not least, enjoy life. My economics lecturer used to say that the best time in your life is when you are in university. This is kind of true. You learn this when you start working and all of a sudden you need to feed yourself, pay your own rent and bills, start paying taxes(this is particularly painful) etc. Enjoy life while you can. Hang out with friends, travel if you get the opportunity, play your favorite sport or listen to loud booming music for a whole day. Live while you are young and enjoy it.


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