In Uganda, joining university is one of the most anticipated moments of almost everyone’s life.
Much of the education system in Uganda is rooted in the belief that the right path to success is through attending boarding school where you will wake up as early as 5:00am, or earlier then sleep at 11:00pm or later, getting spanked for almost any, and every reason, and then girls get to cut off their hair, because mainting hair in school is a source of time wastage, therefore leading to poor grades. So we just have to cut it, and many more stuff that are reason enough to make even the least interested soul impatiently await the day they will leave high school.
The good thing is we grow up in such a system; knowing that being in boarding school is better than being in day school, it is better not to maintain hair in school, blah blah blah so its actually not really so much of a big deal because eventually, the most strict schools produce the best results. I guess our system kind of works.
So you are now in campus ( as we like to call university) and you finally have the freedom you always wanted, you get to forget the high school dormitories and have a hostel room to yourself, or you get to choose the person you want to share a room with, and then for girls, we finally get to grow our hair, no one will be telling you when to read or attend class. It is generally the type of freedom the average Ugandan student is not used to having. So what happens when someone who has been caged in rules and regulations for six years or even ten years or more(for those who joined boarding school in primary) finally gets this unbelievable amount of freedom?- You get to see their real personality.
I guess Socrates’ assumption that man is just because he doesnot have the opportunity to be unjust is quite feasible here.
You get to meet all sorts of personalities, and funny thing is you actually studied with some of these people in high school and never ever got to see this other side of them.
There are so many types of people i have enountered in my campus, or law school to be precise, that talking about each of them would be a never ending story, so here are the few i have decided to focus on.
Oh by the way, this post is not meant to criticise any category of people because at the end of the day, whatever category( whether mentioned here or not) each of us fall in, we all know what we are doing and why we are doing it. So it is fine to just be you.
Enjoy the read.
This goes without saying. This category of people literally live their lives in the library. Or as Ugandans say they “sleep in books”.
Currently we are on holiday, but I know a few people who have read for every course unit we will be studying next semester.
They have already read through all course units in the syllabus from first year to fourth year, just because they were bored and decided to read something.
They know all the libranians by name, know all the books in the library; the resourceful ones, and non resourceful, weekends are discussion days and best days to be in the library longer because then they will be all alone with the books.
I know of a guy in my class who has read those textbooks to the extent that he knows the exact page, paragraph and sentence line that a particular thing is found and even the those tiny numbers they put at the back cover of the books(shame on me. I am not sure what they are called). Now that is a bookworm.
The party animals.
Forget all the troubles of law school. This category will party to their maxinum before they even consider listening to whatever you have to say to them about being a law student.
It doesnt matter whether they have both a Jurispudence or Equity and Trusts test tommorrow. They will always go party then appear in class the next day to do the test, and actually ace it.
You need to do party consultations?, these are your go to people. They know who has a party, when, where and why.
They know who will have a party in the next three weeks, or the next month.
Their life is literally a party in its own way.
The church kids.
From conferences, to missions, to camps to this and that, the extremists in this category are usually about 80% more involved in church activities than in school.
We get to see them mostly during time for tests and exams.
The most amazing thing about this category, is that most of them really do perform well despite their absence from class most of the time.
The mysterious ones.
This category consists of people who we just don’t know. Literally. The most you can say about them is “i think he/ she is my classmate” because you get to see them only when end of semester exams begin.
These people are just never anywhere; not at parties, not at fellowships, not in class; they come to class when they want to, and disappear when they want to.
You know their names only if you care to know. If you don’t care, then you won’t know because you can only know by asking, and you can only ask if you care to know.
The High School cliques.
You know those cliques people get into in high school where everything an individual does revolves around this group; they eat together, go to class together, sit together, party together, hang out together. Everything is done together.
In most circumstances, the brotherhood/sisterhood is broken after high school because people join different universities, or some people just choose to drop the whole group thing and move on. However, this category of people actually carry on this fraternity stuff to campus, and the same process continues; walk together, attend class together, eat together, etc.
It is beautiful seeing people carry on such relationships from high school to campus, until they start talking about their pasts to other people behind eachother’s back (that always happens), then it just becomes outright annoying.
That girl did this, that boy did this, that is the girl i was telling you about. Thats what you always hear about that girl and that boy.
90% of the time you hear about them, it is because they did something scandalous. And because such news will always spread like wild fire, these scandals will get to be known.
In law school, this doesnt stop at sex related scandals or stuff like that.
There are these scandals about people sueing other people or societies in campus. Recently one of my friends was telling me he sued the law society of my school, over something that, in my opinion, he didnot even have to. He spent alot of money(which he struggled to get) paying his “lawyers” and the “tribunal” that heard his case ( who are fellow students!), and he ednded up losing the case because like i said,he had no real reason to sue in the first place.
He however did not seem to mind because as he was telling me this, he was planing to lodge another suit against the same society and he is going to pay more “lawyers” and “tribunal”…the cycle continues!. Now is it just me, or does this guy just love scandal?. I think it is some sort of priviledge and source of satisfaction to have their names appear in the school’s law reports.
There is always “that girl” in every class. The one who always looks like she just stepped out of a Vogue magazine. She wears the most expensive clothes, shoes, hair, bags, eats at the most expensive restaurants. Generally, she literally oozes wealth and glamour.
This girl resides in a room worth an outrageous amount of money, whatever is inside that room costs way more than her tuition even costs.
However, girls in the “that girl” category are further divided into two different categories. We have those who can actually afford this, and get this from their parents.
And then we have those who want these things, but cannot afford them, but still, they have to get them anyway because probably they need to fit in or for whatever reasons they have.
So, next, is they come with strategies to get all they have.
But because their are people who actually know who you really are, and know that you are actually using other means to get what you have, the news will spread like wildfire (because people just like to talk).
A friend told me that when he was moving into his hostel room, the girl who was sleeping there before him, requested him to let her keep her property in his room for a while as she figured out where to keep it because her parents had no idea she owned such stuff and they would question her about where she got all the money to buy the stuff. And because she knew she could not tell them how she got the money, she decided not to let them find out about the property.
Eventually she sold most of the property to him.
Those are the few categories i am able to write about. Like I said, despite the category, everyone knows what they are doing and why they are doing it.
Do you have such people in your universities? How are your universities different from mine?..
Till then, have a happy sunday.
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