RECENTLY in the wake of Freshersâ€™ week, I found my own mind wondering back to that time, when I myself was a bright-eyed graduate of â€˜theâ€™ Mt. St. Maryâ€™s Namagunga, anticipating a life I had only dreamed about for six years in a all Girlsâ€™ Catholic high school.
I was finally leaving the lucious hills of Lugazi and heading to the hill of hills, Makerere. Back then, at the trehshold of my undergraduate years, I was confident that I was well equipped for the â€˜campusâ€™ experience.
I mean, I had attended career talks, registered for the Abstinence movements, had been totally and wholly committed to the annual Youth Conferences, and of course coming from Namagunga, I would be able to hold my own when it came to academics!
But, looking back now, I wish someone had told me; that the biggest of all issues was summarised in one word; Decisions!
I have come to realise, that many of the decisions you made at university; for example decisions on what you chose to study, have a way of staying long after graduation.
I have friends who have ended up doing more than one degree because they realised the first one was not their calling and they found out after three years of study and a dismal â€˜passâ€™ or â€˜failâ€™ degree.
Decisions on who you date. Oh! there were great love stories in our time, understandably, many of which did not survive the test of time, but in a sinister way the dominos effect of the failure of those love stories still goes on.
For example the girl caught up in a loveless marriage now, because she was on the rebound (from her university love) when she met her husband!
Or the young bright man who was so consumed by his relationship with the campus belle, that he missed a first degree.
Then decisions on friends. We all know someone who was led down the wrong path at university because of friends. A relative of mine, because of his brilliance was selected by a reknowned international university for an undergraduate scholarship.
He never completed his course, because; his â€˜buddiesâ€™ believed more in partying hard than working hard.
Subsequently, the drugs and alcohol made him susceptible to manic depression. To date, some 10 years on, he is struggling to get the pieces of his life together.
Flipping the coin, there were those that were wise and made the good decisions during their graduate years. Yes, their fruit is visible long after those â€˜wonder yearsâ€™.
I guess the question is; at the dawn of your â€˜wonder yearsâ€™, what is the yardstick that can be used to determine a good or bad decision?
My response would be; I do not know, because I write now from the perspective of experience and whereas experience is a good teacher for the future, it is totally useless in retrospect.
What I do recommend though, is that you take time off, every once in a while to sit with someone who has had the experience and has come out relatively unscathed.
Yes, I think I am recommending a mentor. Let their experience be your teacher.
The decisions of the wonder years