In the beginning was the word, the word was with our parents and the word was finalized by our parents.
The word was a mix between a command to do further studies, to study at the highest learning institution, and to get a paper so that you have a standing in the society.
As you may already realise by now, this decision was already made for us. What was left was for us to sign the papers and hand in the application form. To many the opinion of University is considered overrated. We ask, “Who needs school anyway these days?”
A recent graduate from the University of Zambia who studied Natural Resource Management but has since branched out into the media fraternity shared his sentiments on University in an interview.
“Fortunately for this current generation, parents are not bent on driving their children to the three mandated careers in society. It was engineering, medicine or law. We live in a time where accountants, journalists, sports personnel and entrepreneurs are able to thrive,” Lizu Chinyama said.
In the beginning of University, it is a time of general excitement for most “freshers.” This word is chanted and taunted out to them throughout their first semester. Rumor has it they are called this because they look fresh. They normally wear nice clean clothes as they are conscious about their sense of fashion and they carry around a large backpack to every class.
“It’s a bit degrading but after a while, you realize that it’s kind of a “right of passage”. Every first year goes through it,” first year Humanities student, Wana Kambita said.
Each year becomes more taxing, starting with academically, financially, fashionably and even socially.
“It reaches a point where you have no option but to be chained to your books. There’s no other option at that point. You try to give yourself hope by looking for light at the end of the tunnel but each tunnel comes with a closure. That means more time in the cage,” Third year engineering student William Manela said.
However, like science, the theory must be concluded. Like mathematics, the equation must be solved. Like journalism, the story must be told and published. Like business, the client must be satisfied. That is why all bad (and good) things must come to an end.
Even University comes to an end. The excitement builds up once again as the final lap is run and the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter.
“It is an amazing feeling to get there and feel like finally I am going to be done with all of this! The graduation is stressful because there’s still so much paper work that needs to be done but it is exhilarating to be in that gown and feel the freedom that it gives you,” Gloria Mushinda said.
Paradoxical how an item of clothing that belongs to the cage you were forced to be in for 4-7 years, could be the very definition of freedom.
Therefore although the beginning seems mysterious and miserable, in the end there is excitement, but more responsibilities, more stress and less free time than anticipated. Regardless, it’s important to look out for the beauty of this life. It undoubtedly comes with experiences to last you a life time.
Lizu Chinyama: CEO Kalichi Pictures graduate from University of Zambia 2017.
Gloria Mushinda: supervisor at Dreams International, graduate University of Zambia 2017.
William Manela: 3rd year Civil Engineering, University of Zambia.
Wana Kambita: 1st year Sociology with Education, University of Zambia new student 2018.
Layout: Chishimba Bwalya
Writer: Chipema Chinyama
Editors: Chanda Chanda and Peter Mwanza
Photographer: Chipema Chinyama
Sources: Chipema Chinyama