Free Counsel To All First Years

*By Rinani Nyakenyanya*

It is that time of the year again; where all wait with bated breath for the first years to report. Well, suffer me to offer pro-bono advice to them. Comrades, depression is real. Beneath the beautiful structures, immaculately mowed lawns and the great Mount Kenya staring at you on your way to Bomas, beneath all this is depression holding its bait. At stake is your social, academic, financial and spiritual well-being.

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I could not wait for the eyelids of the morning to open so that I could report to DeKUT. That was a year ago. My seventy-one year old father carried my suitcase on my head, to my embarrassment. But his parting shot was, “Be careful with women.” This statement would govern me. You see, first years, especially those who are diadems of beauty, are hunted down like wild beasts. They innocently do not realize that they are sailing in a dangerous harbor, not until they make a shipwreck of their lives.

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Honestly, I don’t believe in the notion of ‘love at first sight.’ A serious first year would observe the character of his or her suitor for a long time. Indeed, they will realize that what they now think is pure gold might be a baseless metal. Virtue will in time bring its own reward.

Academic life will disappoint many. Coming from a top national school with top grades in our class, I expected the going to be easy. I was in for a rude shock. My friends from ‘humble’ schools trounced me in CATs, they explained concepts better and hit the library. Honestly, I was depressed. The thought that the other guys might think I was struggling because I cheated in the National Examinations was always not far away. Despair washed through me. I walked alone in the darkness of my thoughts for days on end. I have now reconciled with the fact that being outshone by friends from any part of Kenya is not a weakness. Take it in stride.

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Plucking another string, financial management is a sure recipe for depression. The university is a melting pot for all motley collection of people from all walks of life. The old adage goes, “Cut your cloth according to your size.” If you go against this fundamental truth, you will only be tightening the noose around your neck. there came a time when due to heavy lending to a person, I could kneel down in heartfelt appreciation for a plate of food. During lean times, you learn to deeply appreciate things taken for granted.

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In conclusion, I will deal with spiritual life. I am afraid the character you leave with from campus will seldom be changed. Read widely and wildly, as PLO Lumumba often says and establish the reason for your faith. That your father was a Catholic, SDA, Muslim… name them, is a frivolous reason to warrant you to be one. Search for the truth. Before I am accused of a patronizing diatribe, let me remind you if your social, academic, financial and spiritual obligations are lethargic, you will find yourself in a rough place. Anyway, welcome to DeKUT.

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