Bitter Truths on What to Expect in School
Nigerian university life is such a hilarious experience – some bittersweet really. There are some things every Nigerian student can relate to, no matter what campus. They include:
1. ASUU Strikes:
This generation is even luckier compared to previous generations. We’ve not had much strikes, you know the kind that drags on endlessly. The four years I spent in school, ASUU only went on a about three months strike once in my third-final year. It affected the school calendar and delayed my graduation but that’s Nigeria, right? Within a specific school though, there may be lots of strikes from the staff of the school. We’ve had lots of academic and non-academic strikes in school. It’s almost inevitable in Nigeria. It is so sad but this is the country we live in, we have no choice but to adjust to the situation. Usually, we take advantage of the strikes to make money or learn useful skills they don’t teach in schools.
2. Outdated syllabus:
The whole world seems to have moved on except Nigeria. Other schools are focusing on useful subjects that are so revolutionary that they change human race but in Nigerian schools, we are still stuck on outdated theories. It is almost pathetic that our syllabus does not encourage creativity. While theories are important, practicals are valuable because what’s the use of theories when they can’t be tested and used. Most federal and state universities lack the necessary equipment needed to help sharpen the students’ skills. In fact, in most schools, students learn important skills they need from google and YouTube( Thank you Indian geeks on YouTube).
3. Back-aches from standing or squatting in class:
If you are unfortunate enough to be in a class with a large number of students(I’m thinking Mass Communication, Engineering etc), chances are that the infrastructure of your federal or state university will be insufficient to carter to such huge number. Every year, Nigerian universities over-enroll students while barely making any efforts to carter to the number of students they admitted. Chances are that if you don’t get to class early enough, you’d be standing up, leaning on the wall, squatting down on the floor etc for that day’s class. There’s a reason students rush out to class early every morning. The fight for seat is palpably real.
4. Window men:
In UNN, this is an acronym for robbers that jump in through hostel windows to rob the room occupants. Robbery is like the unwritten rule. Nothing is safe; everything is capable of being stolen – underwear, phones, laptops, books, buckets, even things as personal as pee-buckets, etc. When my brand-new, expensive laptop was stolen in my first year, I wanted to die lol. These things happen often. Sadly, security is not that maximum. The robbers might even someone close to you – friends and roommates. So, please shine your eyes wella oh. Keep your valuables safe.
5. Cruel Lecturers:
Not to scare you but you might find yourself asking whether these lecturers are human beings or devils in human form. Of course, there are kind, amazing lecturers but you see those wicked lecturers? They’ll frustrate your life. I’m talking about those that brag no one can make A in their course and those that sexually harass innocent students. They are the devils. The ones I despise most are the deeper life female lecturers that have these absurd rules about students’ dressing and makeup. They’re willing to send you out of the exam hall because of your long nails. The best solution is to avoid people like that. Do what they want just to have peace, make your grade and move on.
6. Binging Interesting series:
School is frustrating, to be honest. We all have our means of coping. For students, especially those living in hostels, it often is watching endless series. I never knew I loved movies till I entered school. Friends and roommates will introduce you to countless series that’ll keep you hooked and distracted from the hassles of academics. Don’t just let it distract you enough to affect your grades negatively.
7. Crowded Rooms:
If you are the kind that abhors having people in your space, if you prefer silence and your privacy, then I’ll suggest you start looking for rooms outside school because hostel rooms are NOT for you. Hostel rooms, especially boys hostels, are overcrowded. They’re usually meant to accommodate four students but those who don’t get hostels will beg to be squatted and before you know it, the room meant for four is now housing eight students. It’s a complete circus.
8. Indomie Addiction:
I am still trying to break my indomie addiction. Indomie is the easiest meal to prepare. Most days, you’d be way too exhausted and too broke to prepare any other thing so you settle for indomie. If you’re feeling like more, you can add egg and tomatoes. Too much of anything is not healthy but it is what it is for students.
9. Shuttle/WIFI palaver:
Sometimes, transportation might be scarce. Sometimes, you might be too broke to purchase data and you’d walk all the way across school to use the free WIFI and when you get there, you’ll realize that the wifi is not working. Your assignment is due the next day for submission and you’ll feel so frustrated that you’ll start cursing the VC and ICT people but relax, you’ll always find someone to beg for hotspot. It’ll be fine. It’s all part of school life.
10. Water/Light wahala:
One of the perks of living in the hostel is that water is free. Until you’d wake up for your early morning class and won’t find water rushing in any of the taps. It’s annoying. You either have to beg your roommates’ and friends to use their spare or you go to class without bathing. Sometimes, NEPA will misbehave especially when you need the light to finish your assignments. Just relax, it’ll be play out well. It’s all part of Nigerian campus life.
All this is not to discourage you from going to school, no, it is to help you know what to expect, to prepare you for what’s coming. Trust me, all this will help toughen you for life in Nigeria. It’ll all work out well at the end.