Being a campus student is never easy. It takes a lot of patience and determination in order to make it out, in one piece. Whatever goes on inside university walls, is never told. It remains engraved in the minds of young graduands, whose only yearning is to make it in life, hoping to reduce the number of those already tarmacking in search of jobs that they’ve been working so hard for. An education mind is not enough to keep one going, in these institutions.
The whole phase and glamour of being in university has drastically disintegrated, with the increase in death cases of university students. Recently, universities are no longer the safe haven for education, but dens where many students, either make it out having not achieved much, or in coffins.
The whole hype of celebrating that one has managed to get into campus, looking forward to having a great time while there and later on graduate and get white collar jobs, are proving not to exist anymore, should be simmered down a notch, with many venturing into self-employment.
With the increase in use of social media, a day does not pass by, without having to hear of a student who passed excellently in campus, but is jobless, leaving a hopeless life, contrary to what they were made to believe that all you need is that degree and you will be good to go. This calls for a refocus on when the rain started beating university students who are faced with ‘a thousand ways to die’, each day. Let me pull out the understanding cards and lay them out for you on the table, so that we can see the actual image of how comrades escape death narrowly with each passing day, cite the deep magic to you, of how things are.
Insecurity is the biggest issue. Here, you can get mugged, stabbed to death and if lucky, sustain fatal injuries, getting raped and molested. As a student, you get to live in fear, for you do not know what will happen to you once you step out, fear that you might not make it back alive. In such a situation, it will also affect your concentration in class, which spells out, dismal academic performance.
Just the other day, betting sites were shut down by the government, and perhaps it might help reduce the menace and addiction that highly affects comrades. We have witnessed and heard of students who committed suicide after having lost a bet that they had placed all their fees, rent, and pocket money on, only to be disappointed and what they result to, is suicide.
Relationship issues are very common, among young people who as a matter of fact, are in the bracket of being in campus. Love gone sour, where one partner is brutally murdered, in cold blood after misunderstandings brought about by the inability to handle rejection mostly.
Drugs are an impasse that many students peel off into, with all sorts of justification as to why they indulge, with many terming it as an opium that they use to elude the reality when nothing seems to be working out quite well and others, to forget their problems.
Loans are following comrades left , right and centre. The likes of Tala, Branch and the mother of them all, Helb. It is actually very enticing to obtain these loans, only for it to turn into a storm in a teacup, when one is unable to repay, and they all start cornering, coming at you like a dark horse threatening to enlist you with the CRB if you fail to pay by the stipulated date.
I cannot actually keep track of fellow students who we all started the same course, but they later on dropped out, with claims that is not what they wanted to pursue, it was just the grade that made them land where they did not want, others saying they are just there to make their parents happy since they were forced to do what they wanted not. Just like that, it becomes the last time to lay eyes on them.
A good number of the students struggle juggling between their studies and side hustles just to get the extra money for personal use, others to pay their school fees, all efforts to make it through the next day. For a student, money is never enough, kindly note this. When they say depression is real, it indeed is. An empty pocket, inadequate food, make an awful combination, worst bit is, with such problems it is hard to confide in somebody. When all of you are suffering from the same issues, with some looking down on you, as if your predicament is socially unacceptable, and they end up crucifying you, letting the world know of how you are in no position to cater for yourself, so an individual ends up being devastated and the next thing we know, they are no more.
Living in hostels is the most affordable form of accommodation many students can afford. Much as it helps save those extra coins, the bedbugs menace in some of these rooms is just horrendous and trust me these tiny fellas can really frustrate you, and this is one symbiotic relationship you cannot afford to live with.
Among the listed causes, I am sure many people are able to identify with one or two of the issues that affect university students. It is real, it is happening. Unless the issues are addressed with the seriousness that is needed, we will continue losing our students, day in, day out as we hide behind the curtains of them being the future leaders, mere hypocrisy! No one will be a leader once they are in a coffin, it is high time we wake up and face the bull by the horns.
Joyce Wachau Chege.