Yes, that’s what we call them. Those new intakes that barely have an idea of what they are in for. They come into the system with excited smiles very hopeful of the fun and freedom that they anticipate instead of the classes and adaptation they have to go through. I’ll be wrong to have this stereotype of everyone, but trust me; most of them have this tendency. I have been there.
You don’t get to know much about them when you see them on the streets of campus. Of course, they are easily differentiated by their backpacks and clearbags which is home to the many photocopies that are a necessity. Some look so young, you would wonder while very few look like they are ready for the struggle. I remember one time I had to always encounter this short girl with a cute handbag of an 8 year old which would not even hold a notebook.
I can write about freshers now, I am no longer one. When I was, I lived the life. I had the privilege of being a Social Scientist, proud of the article “the”. I still don’t know why it’s something to be proud of, but we always say …”the only faculty in the university of Ibadan with the article “the” (if you want to know, do your findings). One reason I was proud to be a member of that faculty and a member of my department in particular is that I do not always have to rush to class by 8am or sleep in the faculty till 4 or 6pm like people in the sciences.
And yes, don’t argue we are all scientists …I have a Bachelor of Science to prove that. There was always the argument that we were the people who came to sleep and play in school. But no one understands that our life wasn’t straightforward. Unlike the pure sciences that had the formula for every problem, we have to brainstorm and critique the textbooks and lecturers in a logical manner. We had to look at the Society – don’t even think that is easy because it takes a lot of effort to understand even just one man.
Like I said, you can’t really observe freshers only on the streets or in their faculties, if you do not hear the testimony from the hostels, then you can’t make a fair judgment. The fight with roommates, reporting themselves to the portal (you would easily spot those who went to boarding schools), the catcalls for classes, the late nights talking to boys (even in the cold, some are just so determined to enjoy the freedom). Now I understand why University of Ibadan makes special provision to house freshers because really, we might not have survived that stage if we had to hustle for accommodation outside school with those first weeks of registrations.
I can remember vividly doing registrations as a fresher… it’s a preparation for those who would later comb the streets for a job. Really, I think Nigeria has a system of preparing its citizens for the worst. Lecturers would give time for signing and deciding to lock the office within those exact hours. Are we supposed to sign it in the spirit? Those unending queues for everything!
Life of a fresher isn’t easy, because just like every stage in life, we do not get manuals of how to live. Even if we did, it doesn’t come custom -made. Sad thing is, some people never left the stage of being ‘freshers’… and that is why it seems the system keeps churning out half-baked graduates…
About the Author
Okewumi Ewajesu is a God-conscious Sociologist who is concerned about the society especially the Family. A 700l student of the department of Sociology at the University of Ibadan working towards being an
academician and influence policies that affects the Family institution.
Twitter – @Ewajesu2
Facebook – Princess Ewajesu Amelia