I remember the day before going to university. I was nervous. My poor body was shaking with anxiety because I didn’t know what to expect. I was thinking what is my life going to be while I’m out there because I’ve never lived away from home and usually I have a list of rules that I have to abide to because of my strict parents. I was also thinking of whether I am going to make any friends seeing that I was starting school later than all my peers; or will I enjoy my classes? After all, I probably switched degree paths 5 times, before concluding to pursue a degree in Business. This was just difficult. However, the night before, my dad sat me down and told me that things are going to be ok. At least that was where he began, before giving me a list of rules that I needed to abide by whilst living on campus. “You need to be home by 8pm! If I you’re not home by then I will remove you from that school”, he said. “And be careful of the friends you make. No boys, no parties, no alcohol. Nothing! Just go to class, go to the library, go home and go to church. You hear me!” In my mind I responded with yes sir! But my eyes showed a completely different picture. My eyes were already filled with tears. I was a “bawler” at that time, a cry baby whenever I got told off or things weren’t going as planned.
The next day, we set out to my university. It wasn’t that far of a drive from our house to the school and so after a 30 minute drive; and the countless times we got lost because my dad thought he knew where the student accommodation was, we finally got there. It was raining. Not quite pouring, but enough to make my nervous day feel like a miserable day. The Fresher’s Angels came out to help me collect my welcoming pack, before moving into my dorm room. My room was fairly decent. I had a single bed and a window with a view piercing out to the other blocks. It wasn’t that bad. My dad and my sister sat down on the bed and stared blankly at my room. “This looks like a prison cell” chuckled my sister . “Eh, it is what is”, I replied. My dad then got up, and said “well you have 3 years in this place. You have heard what I told you yesterday and so I will be coming by to check that you are home. You don’t have time to be messing around”. I nodded and again my eyes started to flood with tears. “You are crying? For what reason? Or do you want go home? Ahh just stop it!” dictated my dad ” just a few more years”. As I tried to recollect myself, he got up, gave me a hug and said “let us pray before we go”. I hadn’t realised that this was starting to get a little emotional for him too because I was too busy having crybaby tears in my eyes. After praying, both my sister and my dad left. I sat back in my room and began to cry. At least for another hour, wondering whether I’ve made the right decision on whether to go to university to study something that i wasn’t a 100% sure about. It is what it is I thought to myself. My flowing tears were ruddy (so I thought) interrupted by someone who was knocking at my door. It was my next door neighbour. One tall black, guy in a tracksuit. Boy I felt short at that moment in time! “Hey my name is John, I live next door. I moved in yesterday along with pretty much everyone else in the house. What’s your name?” I introduced myself to him as I took in a few deep breaths to bring myself together, from what felt like the most devastating event of my lifetime. We chilled in the kitchen for a little while, before I decided to head back to my room and unpack my stuff, to make myself fell a little more like home.
As the evening approached, and the sun had set, I lay on my bed, listening to my Gospel music, which were blaring through my laptop speakers. In the midst of my solo moment, there was a knock on my door. With embarrassment, I paused the music, fixed myself up and opened the door to see who was outside. Before me stood 2 new guys, VJ and Alex. “Hey!”, I said with a smile (still embarrassed by the fact that the entire house could have heard my awful singing. “Hey”, they said unanimously. “I’m VJ and this is Alex, we are your neighbours up here and thought we’d introduce ourselves. Will you be heading to the ‘T shirt party’ tonight at the on- campus nightclub?” said VJ.”Wait what party?” I asked in confusion. “It’s run by the Student Union as an introductory party. Each house was given a t-shirt as part of our welcoming present, which we’ll need to customize and wear. The house with the most representatives wins a prize. I’ve heard from my older siblings that it’s either free entry to a concert, £10 gift voucher or sometimes something completely random. But I know it’s always had a crazy turnout, you should definitely come!” “Err yes sure, I’ll see if I’m coming out. I’m not really a party person because I don’t dance nor drink. But I’ll let you know a little later if I’m coming”, I replied politely, not trying to sound like a weirdo or anything.
After an hour of pondering and seeing people wearing their customer designed shirt, I decided to go. But only for an hour! Just so that I can bond with my housemates for a little while and then come home. Our house colour was pea green and our animal was a stag. At the venue there were hundreds of people wearing yellow, orange, red, blue, purple customized shirts. I on the other hand did not know how to be creative, other than transform my t-shirt into a simple crop top, using a black hair tie. The night was amazing. And without any alcohol, I was able to enjoy my first night as a university undergrad.