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Campus survival guide for freshers

High school is a different experience from campus. Nelson Muhanguzi has a witty take on how to breeze through the next three or four years of higher learning.

Unless you become president of America, a member of the House of Commons, or an A list director in Hollywood, odds are that your stay at campus will be the most interesting time of your life. First things first, do not let go of those khaki envelopes, they are a reasonably good way of carrying important documents. Of course they are a clear give away if you do not wish to be identified as a fresher, which is silly. It is childish of us to expect anyone to start their degree course in third year, and of all the institutes in Kampala, there isn’t one that offers a short course on how to become a typical campuser, it is something you will have to learn on the job, but I feel there are a couple of things you should know.

For boys, soon to become men, you only qualify as a male campuser if you buy yourself a woofer. This is an electrical appliance that allows you to play Radio and Weasel’s music at deafening volumes. These woofers are an obsession of campusers and they can come in handy in a myriad of situations. For example, if one succeeds in getting a chick they met at super Tuesday drunk, a bodaboda ride later, you play Nakudata, succeed in waking up your roommate and ultimately making him green with envy, while at the same time muffling your noises.

Campus is also the time of your life when you will be perpetually broke. You will find that there isn’t enough money in the world to buy two meals every day, go out on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and photocopy the numerous handouts. In the beginning it will hurt like hell, and then you will come to the grudging conclusion that it is sheer stupidity to have both lunch and supper, when either one would suffice. After a while, you will consider yourself rich, if at all times, you have enough money to return you to your parents’ home. Of course this is not the case with the girls. The Madden brothers (of Good Charlotte, such a terrible band) are certainly not high when you hear them screaming that girls don’t like boys, they like cars and money. It is true, and I for one have no qualms with that whatsoever. I mean, why should a beautiful, intelligent girl spend money on a TV, a carpet, fridge, a Star Times decoder and all the other room furniture that qualifies a room to be called “pimped up” when t
here is an old man, probably married, willing to do all that, and more? Exchange is no robbery. Of course this willing person must have a car, and I use the word car quite loosely. Any contraption with four wheels will have them eating out of the palm of your hand.

From conversations, mostly with my friends, I have come to the conclusion that campus boys spend a considerable part of their time devising ways of having sex as many times as humanly possible, ideally, with a different girl every time. This is their main preoccupation. And from these same conversations, I know the rate of success is abysmal. But the few times that victory has been theirs, they (my friends) also got a couple of sexually transmitted infections. Sex is certainly a big issue at university, and it is shrouded in a bit of superstition. For example, when visiting a girl and you have “great expectations”, it is considered bad omen to carry condoms, you hope to God that she keeps some around, and if that is not the case, my friend got gonorrhea. All in all, condoms are a superb idea, it’d be foolish of anyone not to use them.

There are some courses that are not much work, aside from the occasional course work, and then there are those courses that are made in hell. If fate put you in medical school or law school, do not be so excited. While others will spend their days recovering from hangovers and their nights getting more hangovers, the library will become your second room, and at the end of four years, a grade point average of 2.8 will make you smile.

Lastly, Steak Out’s Rock Night is a sham, the DJ there has never heard of Pink Floyd.

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